|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Julien|
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. The vines are situated near to Leoville Barton. Really a single vineyard separate wine with a label designed by Jade Jagger. The younger and less well situated vines are used for Lalande Borie. The 2018 is 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, being aged in 70% new oak.
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The 2018 La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou (note the subtle change of name) was raised 12 months in barrel (60% new) and then transferred into vat, and bottled in June 2020. It has a seductive though almost understated bouquet that bides its time, unfolding to reveal black cherries, menthol (though less prominently than out of barrel) and hints of fennel and clove. There is something reassuringly complex about this Deuxième Vin. The palate is vibrant and lively on the entry, retaining the vitality and vigor it showed en primeur. Succulent ripe tannins belie the structure of this La Croix de Beaucaillou, which delivers an engaging saline finish. It has calmed down since I tasted it in barrel, although there is still a soupçon of fieriness on the aftertaste emanating from the 15% alcohol, which is why I am prudent with my score. 2024 - 2045
This is so savory and delicious with dark-berry and mushroom character and cedar undertones. Lavender and smoke as well. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a flavorful finish.
The 2018 La Croix de Beaucaillou is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, aged 12 months in two-third new barriques. It has a pH of 3.75, 15% alcohol and an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 96. Deep garnet-purple colored, it rolls effortlessly out of the glass with vibrant notes of crushed blueberries, baked plums and blackcurrant cordial with hints of bouquet garni, underbrush, clove oil and cast-iron pan. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a sturdy frame of firm, grainy tannins and just enough freshness supporting the muscular black fruits, finishing earthy. Not a second wine as such, because it comes from a dedicated part of the vineyard, the blocks for La Croix de Beaucaillou are generally located on the south bank of the La Mouline steam. 2022 - 2039
In the centre of the appellation. 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, 35% Merlot. 70% new oak. Barrel sample.
Black hearted. Intense ripe cassis and damson fruit. A slight sourness to the black fruit but the tannins are smooth and compact. There's richness to the fruit and impressive density just a little bitter and some alcoholic heat on the finish. More power than elegance and not very digestible. (JH) 15%
A deep ruby-purple in the glass, this is peppery and rich on the nose with juicy cherry and roasted coffee bean. The palate is silky, refined and voluptuous, with rounded tannins and heady black fruits making this a true hedonist's wine. The exotic, plump fruits burst through to the finish which is pure and primary.
While the 2018 La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou is often thought of as the second wine of Ducru-Beaucaillou, it’s actually from a separate parcel on the northern part of the estate and is a stand-alone wine based on 55% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Petit Verdot that will spend 12 months in 60% new French oak. Offering terrific purity of fruit as well as notes of graphite, lead pencil, cassis, and blackberries, it’s medium to full-bodied, has a distinct sense of minerality, good structure, and outstanding length. I’d be thrilled to drink bottles over the coming decade or more.
(62 Cabernet Sauvignon, 35 Merlot, 3 Petit Verdot) | 70% new oak for 12 months | 15% alc | 35 hl/ha | 96 IPT This is a super-dark wine with the highest IPT they have experienced at Ducru. La Croix has pretentions of the throne and it clearly wants to depose the King. The tannins are awesome and dense and dark, but it is also fruit-rich and chocolatey and the overall experience is breath-taking. Very over the top in one respect, but also incredibly focussed and concentrated this is a massive and slightly scary wine.
This is not a second wine as such, because it comes from a dedicated part of the vineyard, located on the south bank of La Mouline. The 2018 La Croix de Beaucaillou is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, to be aged 12 months in 60% new barriques. It has a pH of 3.75, 15% alcohol and an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 96. Deep garnet-purple colored, it is a little closed and broody to begin, offering subtle notions of fertile loam, tobacco, truffles and cast iron pan with a core of crème de cassis, blackberry compote and boysenberries with hints of underbrush and bay leaves. Full, rich and seductive in the mouth, it has firm, rounded tannins and just enough freshness to lift the dense fruit to a long finish.