2018 Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou

Year: 2018
Appellation: Saint-Julien
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 96-99
Wine Advocate: 97-99
Vinous Media: 95-98
James Suckling: 98-99
Jeb Dunnuck: 97-100--Wine Enthusiast: 96-98--Jeff Leve: 98-100
Red Wine


Price :


"Another rock 'em sock 'em St.-Julien here, brimming with nearly exotic blackberry, plum, blueberry and açaí berry reduction notes, bristling with brambly energy and racing through a graphite-edged finish. Shows gorgeous perfume throughout, despite the fairly obvious level of concentration.—J.M." (WS)

"The 2018 Ducru-Beaucaillou is composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, to be aged 18 months in 100% new barriques. It has a pH of 3.7, 14.5% alcohol and an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 95. Very deep purple-black in color, it prances out of the glass with flamboyant, showy scents of cinnamon stick, wilted roses, star anise, fallen leaves and Ceylon tea with a core of blackcurrant cordial, black cherry compote, violets, chocolate mint and espresso plus a waft of crushed rocks. Full-bodied, opulent and decadently fruited with layer upon layer of black/blue fruit and floral nuances, it has an exquisitely ripe, fine-grained frame and fantastic freshness supporting the multifaceted, beguiling fruit, finishing with tons of fragrant flowers and mineral sparks. At once beautifully elegant and wonderfully bold. About 7,000 cases of the grand vin will be produced, really focusing on the area around the estate.

“We had less mildew pressure here, less humidity,” said Ducru-Beaucaillou proprietor Bruno Borie. “Being close to the estuary helps. In September, when you have a little wind, you can lose a little weight to dehydration. We harvested very small berries, so the ratio of skin to juice was high. Interestingly, the pips were ripe before the skins. This was another paradox this year-it sets a new standard.”

Borie’s estate averaged 35 hectoliters per hectare in 2018. “The berry sorting was probably the task that was most involved,” he went on to tell me. “We want to translate with maximum essence and purity. It begins in the vineyard. We have the same team of pickers that have come from Andalucía for many years. They are very careful. Then hand sorting-very severe. We have increased the size of our sorting table. Before, it was eight meters, now it is 24 meters.”

“The temperature of the berries prior to fermentation was key," he continued. "We had to cool the berries with dry ice because it was very warm when we were harvesting. We didn’t want the fermentation to take off too quickly. But the biggest challenge was the extraction. The team tasted the vats every day during pumping over. We tried to extract tannins at the beginning, before the alcohol arrived, because with the higher alcohols you can extract too much. The skins were very ripe, the pips were ripe, but the risk was taking too much.”

Bruno Borie and his team completed blending by the end of February." (WA)

"The 2018 Ducru-Beaucaillou is a wine of pure and total sensual beauty. Layers of intense fruit nearly cover the massive tannins that lurk beneath. Sweet floral notes, spice, mint, lavender and rose petals all grace a sublime Ducru that is long on class and character. In most recent vintages, Ducru has been a tannic behemoth, but the 2018 is remarkably silky, sumptuous and nuanced. In 2018, Ducru is not an obvious wine, but it is exceptionally beautiful. The 2018 is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot. New oak is 100%. Tasted two times. " (VM)

"This is so layered and beautiful with incredible tannin quality. Full-bodied with a caressing texture that reminds me of the finest cashmere. So layered. You want to swallow this. Brings a smile to the face. Wow. So well crafted." (JS)

"The grand vin of this terrific estate, the 2018 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou is based on 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot that will spend 18 months in new barrels. It’s as classy as they come, boasting a deep purple/blue color as well as awesome notes of pure crème de cassis, smoke tobacco, crushed rock-like minerality, and violets. Haute couture at its finest, with full-bodied richness, building structure and tannins, and remarkable purity, it’s certainly in the same ballpark as the magical 2016. It will be approachable in just 4-5 years yet keep for 40+." (JD)

"96–98. Barrel Sample. This is a powerful wine that shows big tannins and great concentration that are matched with intense acidity. The result is a magnificent wine with the dense fruit flavor and bold structure that will lend well to aging." (WE)

"Pitch black in color, the wine explodes in the glass with flowers, black fruits, wet earth, rocks, stones and a vintage cigar box from the Hotel Monte Carlo. The depth of fruit and flavor is surreal. The wine has authority. Baskets of red and black pit fruit drench your palate, staining your teeth. It is refined, well-designed and dances on air. This is a contender for the best vintage ever produced at Ducru and that is really saying something considering the incredible run of vintages produced here since 2005. The wine was made from a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, reaching 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.7 and is aging in 100% new, French oak barrels for about 18 months. The harvest took place September 28-October 10. The Grand Vin was made from only 35% of the harvest." (JL)