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Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 2003

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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Winemaker Notes

Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2006!

If, after analysis, this is one of the most powerful wines every produced at Ducru Beaucaillou, from the organoleptic point of view, its attraction lies in its harmony and elegance, its finesse and length so characteristic of Ducru Beaucaillou.

Its color is deep red; its nose, a little restrained at the beginning opens out to aromas of black fruit, black cherries in particular. It has a fruity attack in the mouth, a dense structure, full and attractive with plenty of freshness. It lingers on the palate with an exceptionally good length and voluptuous retro-olfactory aromas.

Ultimately, it is a great Bordeaux classic, in an athletic "body."

Critical Acclaim

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WS 97
Wine Spectator
Intense aromas of blackberry, currant and cherry. Full-bodied, with masses of big, velvety tannins and a finish that lasts for minutes. A blockbuster. A classic big, juicy claret. Best after 2012.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A hot, dry summer resulted in a tiny production of under 10,000 cases of 2003 Ducru Beaucaillou from yields of 35 hectoliters per hectare. This beauty boasts a deep plum/ruby/purple color with a touch of lightening at the edge. Aromas of licorice, creme de cassis, incense and spring flowers are followed by a full-bodied, opulent wine with loads of fruit and glycerin as well as a plush texture. It is just entering its plateau of maturity where it should remain for another 10-15 years.
JS 94
James Suckling
Lots of aromas of roasted fruit, such as blueberries and raisins, and spices. It has full body with plenty of velvety tannins and a long, slightly chewy finish. Needs another two or three years to come together but outstanding now.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This is a solid, powerful wine packed with tannins and heavy black fruits. As so often, Ducru is taking its time, and this wine is still knitting itself together. But in future years, watch for the generosity, the richness as well as the finesse and freshness.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
The initial scents of molasses and sweet fruit give way to an equally black, but more complex and potent wine with air. It's extremely ripe, with the scent and feel of fruit skin in the tannins-almost pruney. But there's also a sense of stature and elegance, a supple wine that should prove itself around ten years of age.
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Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou

Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou

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Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou, France - Other regions
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Château Ducru Beaucaillou is named after the beautiful, large stones found in its unique wine-growing terroir. This exceptional ecosystem produces fine, elegant, tasty wines with a long finish - in short, archetypical Saint-Julien wines.

Perched on an exceptional site with incomparable views over the Gironde estuary, in the center of a hundred-year-old park, Ducru-Beaucaillou is a majestic, Victorian-style castle, which has, over time, become one of the great symbols of the Médoc. Unusual for Bordeaux, it is built directly above the barrel cellars, enveloping its owners, who have lived here for over sixty years.

Today, the estate is managed by the company Jean Eugène Borie SA, which is owned by Mrs Borie, her daughter Sabine Coiffe and her son Bruno-Eugène, CEO since 2003, the third generation of the Borie family to head the estate. There are very close links between this estate and the five families who have been its successive owners.

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St-Julien

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An icon of balance and tradition, St. Julien boasts the highest proportion of classed growths in the Médoc. What it lacks in any first growths, it makes up in the rest: five amazing second growth chateaux, two superb third growths and four well-reputed fourth growths. While the actual class rankings set in 1855 (first, second, and so on the fifth) today do not necessarily indicate a score of quality, the classification system is important to understand in the context of Bordeaux history. Today rivalry among the classed chateaux only serves to elevate the appellation overall.

One of its best historically, the estate of Leoville, was the largest in the Médoc in the 18th century, before it was divided into the three second growths known today as Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases, Léoville-Poyferré and Léoville-Barton. Located in the north section, these are stone’s throw from Chateau Latour in Pauillac and share much in common with that well-esteemed estate.

The relatively homogeneous gravelly and rocky top soil on top of clay-limestone subsoil is broken only by a narrow strip of bank on either side of the “jalle,” or stream, that bisects the zone and flows into the Gironde.

St. Julien wines are for those wanting subtlety, balance and consistency in their Bordeaux. Rewarding and persistent, the best among these Bordeaux Blends are full of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, plum, tobacco and licorice. They are intense and complex and finish with fine, velvety tannins.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

KHM89312_2003 Item# 89312