2020 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, St Julien, Bordeaux

2020 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, St Julien, Bordeaux

Product: 20208008844
 
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2020 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, St Julien, Bordeaux

Description

Cabernet Sauvignon 81%, Merlot 19%

This is a wonderful wine to mark Ducru-Beaucaillou’s 300th vintage. The hedonism of 2018 and the aromatic intensity of ’19 are present here, but with greater definition and toned musculature. Bruno Borie calls it “more athletic than sexy”. Initially, the wine is compact and defined. The bouquet starts with rose, transitions to black cherry, then blackberry, which then metamorphoses to cigar. It’s beautifully layered and with a voluptuous sense of crème de cassis, though alcohol is only 13.5%. The tannins are superb, both driving and supporting the wine. This is like a Pauillac in structure but St Julien in generosity.

Drink 2029-2050

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson98/100
Wine Advocate95-97/100
James Suckling98-99/100
Jeb Dunnuck97-99/100
Michael Schuster94-95/100
Jane Anson98/100
An amazing Ducru, one of the wines of the vintage. Hugely persistent, chiselled and precise, yet succulent in its berry and cassis fruit character. The slate and pencil lead finish slows things down and grabs hold of you, I love the push-and-pull of the tannins. Always a confident and well-finessed wine, really flexing its muscles in 2020. 100% new oak barrels. 3.83pH.

Drink from 2029 to 2045

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate95-97/100
Wow. This is very chalky and salty with lots of mineral character. It shows lots of purple fruit and firm tannins. Racy and bright. Chewy yet fine tannins. Gorgeous. Gets better and better.

Drink 2027 - 2052

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
James Suckling98-99/100
Really perfumed and complex with blackberries, blackcurrants and flowers. Gorgeous cabernet sauvignon character. Full-bodied with really fine, polished tannins. Superb length and intensity. Very compact and seamless. Ethereal. Just goes on and on.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck97-99/100
A blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot, brought up in new oak, the 2020 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou offers a gorgeously pure nose of crème de cassis, graphite, crushed stone, toasty oak, and lead pencil shavings. Full-bodied, concentrated, and structured, it reminds me of a hypothetical mix of the 2010 and 2016, offering serious concentration paired with a gorgeous sense of precision and purity. It's going to take a decade of cellaring to hit the early stages of maturity (it will have some up-front appeal if you're interested) yet evolve for 50 years or more. Along with the Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, it might be the wine of the vintage from the Médoc.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster94-95/100
A fine Cabernet nose with a discreet new-oak vanilla, refined and very gently mineral; medium-full, very fresh in acidity, and with Ducru’s trade-mark super-fine texture, but this year’s fairly firm tannins; a rich, elegant wine with, clear to perceive, the extra sinew and masculinity that Bruno has said he is looking for in recent vintages, noticeable as a little more extract, making the wine that little bit firmer, and which will make it longer to mellow as well; typically long and effortless and graceful across the palate, and with a lovely, gentle, mineral-fragrant finish. Succulent, juicy, complex, and classy, but also aristocratic, upright, and a touch severe in bearing. It will be very rewarding in the long term. A sort of refined version of 2010 here, less muscle, more polish, lower alcohol, and, as so often, rubbing shoulders with the first growths.

Drink 2035 - 2060

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou

Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou is a St-Julien property that today is one of the leading Super Seconds. It is owned by the Borie family and is situated in the south-east of the St-Julien appellation. Ducru-Beaucaillou's 50 hectares of vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon 65%, Merlot 25%, Cabernet Franc 5% and Petit Verdot 5%) lie on deep, large-stone gravel beds enriched with alluvial soil deposits and with a high clay content. The wines are matured in oak barriques (50-60% new) for 18 months.

For many, Ducru-Beaucaillou is the quintessential St-Julien - deep-coloured, powerful, ripe, exquisitely well-balanced and perfectly harmonious. It requires a minimum of 10 years of bottle ageing before it should be approached and the best vintages will continue improving for many more years. Ducru-Beaucaillou is classified as a 2ème Cru Classé.

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St Julien

St Julien

St Julien is the smallest of the "Big Four" Médoc communes. Although, without any First Growths, St Julien is recognised to be the most consistent of the main communes, with several châteaux turning out impressive wines year after year. 

St Julien itself is much more of a village than Pauillac and almost all of the notable properties lie to its south. Its most northerly château is Ch. Léoville Las Cases (whose vineyards actually adjoin those of Latour in Pauillac) but,  further south, suitable vineyard land gives way to arable farming and livestock until the Margaux appellation is reached.  

The soil is gravelly and finer than that of Pauillac, and without the iron content which gives Pauillac its stature. The homogeneous soils in the vineyards (which extend over a relatively small area of just over 700 hectares) give the commune a unified character.

The wines can be assessed as much by texture as flavour, and there is a sleek, wholesome character to the best. Elegance, harmony and perfect balance and weight, with hints of cassis and cedar, are what epitomise classic St Julien wines. At their very best they combine Margaux’s elegance and refinement with Pauillac’s power and substance.

Ch. Léoville Las Cases produces arguably the most sought-after St Julien, and in any reassessment of the 1855 Classification it would almost certainly warrant being elevated to First Growth status.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Léoville Las CasesCh.Léoville Barton, Ch Léoville Poyferré, Ch. Ducru-Beaucaillou, Ch Langoa Barton, Ch Gruaud Larose, Ch. Branaire-Ducru, Ch. Beychevelle

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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