The 2003 vintage was a year of transition at this respected second-growth, as the enigmatic Bruno Borie took the reins from older brother Xavier, part of a reshuffling of properties their late father owned. The 2003 matched the 1995 as the best Ducru-Beaucaillou ever. The château enjoys a location overlooking the Gironde, with 130 gravelly acres planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (70 percent), Merlot (25 percent) and Cabernet Franc (5 percent). 17,500 cases made.
|Score: 97||, WineSpectator.com (Top 100), December 2006|
A hot, dry summer resulted in a tiny production of under 10,000 cases of 2003 Ducru Beaucaillou from yields of 35 hectoliters per hectare. This beauty boasts a deep plum/ruby/purple color with a touch of lightening at the edge. Aromas of licorice, creme de cassis, incense and spring flowers are followed by a full-bodied, opulent wine with loads of fruit and glycerin as well as a plush texture. It is just entering its plateau of maturity where it should remain for another 10-15 years. Drink 2014-2029
|Score: 94||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (214), August 2014|
One of the most compelling Ducru Beaucaillou’s made in the last quarter century is the 2003 (which is also the first vintage to be packaged in an impressive heavy glass bottle with a special long cork). A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, it is a powerful, tannic, blockbuster effort revealing a liqueur of mineral-like component intermixed with creme de cassis, raspberry, and flower characteristics, and an atypically high 13.5% alcohol. Having firmed up considerably since bottling, it exhibits tremendous definition, weight, and concentration. It is a wine for patient connoisseurs. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2025+. A brilliant tour de force!
|Score: 96||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006|
This is one of the finest Ducru Beaucaillous made in the last 20 to 25 years. Certainly in the spirit of the 1982, the wine is atypically opulent and viscous, but still carries its trademark St.-Julien elegance. Deep ruby/purple in color with a sweet nose of jammy cassis intermixed with flowers and some of the tell-tale wet stone/minerality of this estate on display, it is viscous, voluptuously textured, and exceptionally concentrated, with low acidity and relatively high alcohol for this estate (13%). This is great stuff that should drink reasonably well young but age effortlessly for 20-25 years. The final blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2025+. Of course, this estate is now being run by Bruno Borie, the eldest son of the late Jean-Eugene Borie. He replaced his younger brother, Xavier Borie, who remains fully responsible for Grand-Puy-Lacoste and Haut-Batailley.
|Score: 94/96||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (158), April 2005|
The first vintage managed from start to finish by Bruno Borie, who replaced his younger brother, Xavier, at Ducru Beaucaillou, the 2003 is an atypically plump, juicy, fat, fleshy effort that does a terrific job of hiding its 13% alcohol. Yields were a mere 34 hectoliters per hectare. The harvest occurred between September 10 - 27, and two-thirds of the grapes made it into the final blend (80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot). The 2003 is reminiscent of the 1982 when tasted in March, 1983. Low in acidity with an evolved plum/purple/garnet color, it offers a sensationally fragrant bouquet of jammy red and black fruits, minerals, earth, and oak. Somewhat atypical for Ducru, it is opulent, viscous, pure, and juicy, with an exuberant, flamboyant personality. If it does not shut down over the next 1-2 years, it will drink well young, yet has the necessary richness and power to evolve for 20-25 years. This is sumptuous stuff!
|Score: 93/95||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (152), April 2004|
Intense aromas of blackberry, currant and cherry. Lasts for minutes. A blockbuster. A big, juicy claret.
|Score: 97||James Suckling, Wine Spectator, February 2006|
Intense aromas of blackberry, currant and cherry. Full-bodied, with masses of big, velvety tannins and a finish that lasts for minutes. A blockbuster. A classic big, juicy claret. Best after 2012.
|Score: 97||James Suckling, Wine Spectator Insider (25/1/6), January 2006|
Gorgeous blackberry, licorice and raspberry with hints of minerals. Full bodied and super-long. Silky and beautiful. Really long and fine. You have to like this. Seductive and harmonious red that grows on you. It’s very rich in tannins but then shows lovely elegance. Almost 95-100.
|Score: 92/94||James Suckling, Wine Spectator (April 04), April 2004|
Pencil shavings and interest. Density. Interest and no exaggerations. Dryish finish but not uncomfortably so. Very appetising. (Average group score: 16.3)
|Score: 17||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, October 2010|
|Score: 16.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, August 2005|
2003 Ducru Beaucaillou placed eighteenth overall, out of 100 wines tasted blind, at the 2003 Farr Vintners Blind Tasting held in October 2010. For more information, please visit www.farrvintners.com/blog.php
|Score: 16.3||Farr Vintners, Farr Vintners 2003 Blind Tasting, October 2010|
|Score: 17||Farr Vintners, Southwold Bordeaux Tasting, January 2007|
|Score: 17||Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (1), April 2004|