2019 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou & 'Croix'Thursday, June 18
"...exquisitely ripe tannins and electric freshness, finishing long and incredibly layered. WOW! 97-100 points." Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
Saint-Julien heavyweight Ducru-Beaucaillou has released a potentially perfect wine, with 97-100 points from Lisa Perotti-Brown MW. At £720 IB per six, this is 16.7% down on the release price in 2018. A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, the excepionally fine and intense black fruit character which we are seeing across the left bank in 2019 is particularly noticeable here.
Entertainingly, Neal Martin finds it "Pauillac-like", whilst Jane Anson notes the terroir as "slap-bang in St-Julien" (who are we to criticise other people's tasting notes...!). What we think they and all the critics are drawing attention to is the wonderfully pure and intense expression of Cabernet in this vintage...already a feature of Ducru in any year. Many merchants are selling out, we had a healthy allocation about an hour ago but are now down to our last few cases, so please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to order.
Ducru's second wine, La Croix de Beaucaillou, is not that far behind the grand vin according to Neal Martin, with 94-96 points and described by him as a "Deuxième Vin full of breeding". Like a number of second wines of late, this challenges concepts of value (in a good way!), offered at just £338 per dozen.
Finally in this very sumptuous trio of releases, Brane-Cantenac wowed us yesterday when we tasted it. Knocking at the door of ‘super-second’ status, this must be one of the best values at this exalted level. As Jane Anson comments, the Margaux terroir seems to have handled the heat of the vintage very well (though volume is down 40% this year).
This is a wonderfully silky, succulent Brane-Cantenac, without losing any of the Margaux elegance and complexity. One of our personal highlights from the cask samples we have tasted, it scores 96 points from Anson and is priced at £495 per dozen, just under 20% below the 2018 release price.
Offered En Primeur, landing Spring 2022.
2019 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien Grand Cru Classé
“I tasted the 2019 Ducru Beaucaillou four times in 12-hour intervals from opening. It has a splendid bouquet centered around black fruit laced with graphite, Montecristo cigars and hints of sage and cedar. This is one of the most Pauillac-like Ducrus that I have encountered at this stage. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannins, pitch perfect acidity and a sensual, satin-like texture that could seduce from miles away. There is a sense of completeness surrounding this Second Growth, charming you surfeit with nobility and outstanding in terms of persistence. Fabulous. 96-98 points." Neal Martin, Vinous
"Inky depths to the concentrated ruby colour, the Cabernet Sauvignon imposes itself strongly from the first moment. No question that we are slap-bang in St Julien here, in the heart of this appellation's signature, with its elegance, balance and hidden power. At first the wine feels taut and austere, but performs the trick of changing as it travels through the palate, and by the end of play the texture is almost creamy, with blackberry, bilberry, black chocolate, cigar box, slate and liquorice. A big accomplishment, making this an unmissable Ducru. Drinking Window 2029 - 2045. 98 points." Jane Anson, Decanter
“This year the blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. The alcohol weighed in at 14.2%, while the pH is 3.8 and the IPT is 88. It will mature for 18 months in French oak barrels, 100% new. Opaque purple-black in color, the 2019 Ducru-Beaucaillou explodes from the glass with bombastic notes of crème de cassis, blueberry pie and plum preserves plus hints of candied violets, dark chocolate, licorice, wild fungi, crushed rocks and tilled soil with a touch of mossy bark. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is a tightly wound coil poised to spring out with layer upon layer of minerals, rich black fruits and floral notes, framed by very firm, exquisitely ripe tannins and electric freshness, finishing long and incredibly layered. WOW! 97-100 points." Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate
2019 La Croix de Beaucaillou, St-Julien
“The 2019 La Croix Ducru Beaucaillou is endowed with a gorgeous, quite sumptuous bouquet loaded with black plum, tobacco, smoke and Earl Grey aromas that burst from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with very pliant tannin, harmonious and velvety in texture, gradually building towards a detailed and mineral-driven finish. Maybe less opulent than the 2018 by comparison, yet a Deuxième Vin full of breeding. 94-96 Points." Neal Martin, Vinous