Bruno Borie calls his 2012 Ducru a 'homage to Fan BINGBING'. From the year of the Dragon, its 'fresh and fruity bouquet, its charm and grace, its slinky construction, all suggest the delicious curves of the undulating, iconic Fan BINGBING...'. I know I'll be called out of touch by the rest of the J&B team, but I don't have a clue who this Fan BINGBING is. But, if she's caught Bruno's eye, she's probably a bit of a cracker. And so it the 2012 Grand Vin. Sorting in the vineyards and on three optical sorting tables eliminated any imperfect fruit; the raw materials were excellent, so then it was down to vinifying with enough understanding and precision to extract colour, flavour and tannins without marring the wine with anything aggressive or forced. The team should be very proud, they have got the tone spot on; rich, decadent, voluptuous, sleek and will age beautifully - much like Miss BINGBING I'm sure... Pure crème de cassis interspersed with little red berries; mineral and classical. This is very suave, sexy and pure in an understated way. The classical lines continue on the palate; this is almost paradoxical giving the impression of an ultra modern, super svelte wine, but at the same time possessing all the hallmarks of great classic St Juliens with its inky well of minerals and bittersweet fruit. Deeply mineral, perfumed, fresh, pitch perfect and beautifully balanced; this is without doubt one of the stars of the vintage. 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot.
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.