2011 represented the smallest yields in the history of Ducru Beaucaillou, just 25hl/ha, so the production is some 30% lower than in 2010. The final blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot. In the best of French traditions, Bruno likes to compare his latest vintage to a famous woman - in this case, Nicole Kidman - we decline to comment... At first brooding and introspective, but after some coaxing one finds aromas of black cherries, violets and stones. On the palate there is ample bramble fruit and lots of extract. This has awesome texture and glorious tannins; sexy, energetic and echoing - a splendid Ducru.
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.