Coming from a totally separate vineyard, this blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot sports a dramatic label designed by Jade Jagger, the daughter of rock legend Mick. The wine is richly fruity, lush, fleshy, very flamboyant, and seems to have more in common with the 2009 vintage than the more structured, backward and restrained 2010s. The wine is medium to full-bodied, luscious and best drunk over the next 10-15 years.
This represented 55% of the production and now, under Bruno Borie, comes from the same vineyard almost every year. (The vineyard is on the other side of the Route du Vin, separating Beaucaillou from estates such as St.-Pierre, Branaire-Ducru and Gloria.) Sweet mulberry and boysenberry fruit intermixed with licorice, forest floor and earth are followed by an opulently textured, fleshy wine that is dense and outstanding. I joked with Bruno Borie that the second wine is probably better than many of the Ducru Beaucaillous produced in the 1970s. It should drink well for 10-15 years.
The Croix de Beaucaillou is very well defined with lifted dark cherries, boysenberry and crushed violets lending it an almost Margaux-like allure. The palate is rich and generous on the entry, a voluminous, mouth-filling Croix de Beaucaillou laden with ebullient lush dark plum and cassis notes infused with date and Asian spice. It is backward and surly on the finish, but it should grow up to become an excellent Saint Julien. Tasted November 2012.
A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, destined to be aged in 60% new oak for 12 months, the Croix du Beaucaillou delivers 13.66% alcohol at a pH of 3.64. It has a very refined bouquet, great definition but tightly-wound at the moment. Hints of black cherries, blackberry and a touch of boysenberry. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins, a lovely creamy texture with fine precision on the finish. Everything in its right place. Tasted March 2011.
Deep garnet colored, the 2010 La Croix de Beaucaillou strides confidently out of the glass with classic cassis, cigar box and pencil lead scents plus nuances of iron ore, cardamom and cinnamon stick. Medium to full-bodied, the mid-palate is slightly lean while the tannins are firm and chewy, finishing with appealing freshness. 2020 - 2033.
I love the aromas of minerals, flowers, blackberries and blueberries. Full body with a fabulous texture of polished and integrated tannins. It goes on for minutes. Spicy, subtle fruit and a long and marvelous finish. Currant bush undertones. A whole and beautiful wine. The second wine of Ducru-Beaucaillou. Drink or hold.
Since 2005 it is no longer a second wine but from a plot in the centre of the appellation with less estuarine influence. Very deep crimson. Deep crimson. Very rich and round. Suave and convincing. Lots of life and masses of fruit. €30-35 euros. A new label designed by a British designer will be launched at Annabels, London in May.
Bruno Borie's relentless pursuit of excellence at Ducru Beaucaillou has resulted in the production levels of the grand vin falling by around 50%. The chief beneficiary of the draconian selection process here is this - the second label - which contains fruit that was once always used for Ducru itself. Another wine - Lalande Borie is made from the vineyards further inland from the estuary near Talbot and Lagrange. Really a single vineyard separate wine - 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot. 60% new oak. Very much a rival for Clos du Marquis. This is a wine of classed growth quality. Classic Saint Julien backbone and structure with good density and dark chocolate and cherry fruit.
Rich ripe black fruits give power on the nose and depth on the palate. Cassis seems to dominate enriched by chocolate and coffee beans but under the richness there is freshness from the red cherry and bilberry. The tannins are remarkably fleshy and supple.
Very good depth of Cabernet-dominated fruit, lightly spicy, silky length, perfect balance. Drink 2015-25.