La Croix de Beaucaillou, St Julien, 2009

  Château Ducru-Beaucaillou

As with quite a few second wines in 2009, this is a sort of toned down, less extreme version of big brother. Croix 2009 is classic St Julien offering a beautifully perfumed floral bouquet, packed with minerals, rocks, liquorice, cassis and bilberry fruit. The palate offers layers of sumptuous fruit, blueberries, crème de mure and juicy berries. This has a solid backbone, wonderfully ripe tannins and a satiny texture. One is left with uplifting fruit and a delightful chocolaty finish. The estate describe their Croix 2009 as a `formidably sensual wine`, and who are we to disagree... 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, this will be aged in 60% new barrels for 12 months.

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Ducru-Beaucaillou

Ducru Beaucaillou has emerged as one of the most iconic wines from St Julien. In a commune literally bulging with celebrated estates, Ducru Beaucaillou, under the stewardship of Bruno Borie has hit the front of the pack. A true ‘Super Second’, the estate’s vineyards occupy some 215 hectares although only 75 hectares are used for Ducru. These are largely situated to the east of the D2, running almost all the way to the Gironde and some further inland towards Gruaud Larose. The soils around the chateau are dominated by Gunzian gravel and Cailloux. The estate is not all planted with vines and much of the production is used in the second label, La Croix de Beaucaillou and a separate label, Lalande-Borie. The style of the grand vin is flamboyant, polished and is built for long-term aging.

Appellation: St Julien

St-Julien may not have any first growths like its neighbour Pauillac but has a raft of high-performing Châteaux in its ranks, second through to fourth growths, Including Ducru-Beaucaillou, Léoville Las Cases, Léoville-Poyferré, Léoville-Barton. Gruaud-Larose and Talbot. For many St-Julien is quintessential claret, robust, powerful but refined subtle and poised. Gravelly soils dominate, hence wide plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot.

Grape Blend: Cab. Sauvignon | Merlot | Cab. Franc

The hallowed Bordeaux trinity of grape varieties that form the stock left bank blend. Cabernet's Sauvignon's acidic, tannic complex qualities marry ideally with Merlot's sweet, softy flesh characteristics, and Cabernet Franc's finesse and freshness. This classic combination has worked so successfully in Bordeaux that it is now mirrored the world over, particularly in warm sunny climates such as the Languedoc, Tuscany, South Africa, Australia and Napa Valley.