'At 16 years of age, this wine continues to taste more like a 5 to7-year-old Bordeaux. The color is a handsome dark ruby with just a bit of pink at the edge. The wine exhibits sweet red and black currant fruit intermixed with wet stones, spice, and flowers. Medium-bodied and still moderately tannic, but very concentrated, this firmly structured, slightly austere wine has tremendous upside to it. By the way, this was the first vintage where I began to notice on some bottles the wet cement/damp cardboard aromas that were far more increasingly evident in the subsequent vintages, 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1990. Interestingly, the last five times I have tasted the 1986 Ducru-Beaucaillou, they were totally pristine bottles. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2030. 90+/100'. - erobertparker.com
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.
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.