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2022 Le Petit Ducru de Ducru-Beaucaillou

Flying below the radar yesterday was the release of Le Petit de Ducru-Beaucaillou, effectively the third wine of St-Julien Super Second, Ducru-Beaucaillou.  We really enjoyed tasting this and at £271 per dozen it has some of the pizzazz of the grand vin.

Le Petit is made from vines that formerly belonged to Lalande-Borie, now added to the Ducru estate, with the name changing from 2019 vintage.  It also includes declassified fruit from the grand and deuxième vin.  Lalande-Borie was owned by the Bories for many years and this is reflected in the quality of the vineyards, on classic St-Julien gravel terroirs.

The blend is 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet and 5% Petit Verdot, aged for 12 months in 43% new oak.  We found the 2022 impressively dense and well-structured, but still showing lots of graphite, cassis and tobacco aromas that evoke the style of St-Julien.

Bruno Borie has managed production down from an average of 20,000 cases per annum in the 1980s to around half that today...a story repeated at most of the best Cru Classé estates.  It may help put price increases in context if we remember that, on top of the reduction in total production, increasingly, estates like these will reduce the volume of grand vin produced, sending more fruit to the second and third wines, in the pursuit of the best possible quality.  Vintages from twenty years ago may contain fruit from plots that would never make it into the grand vin today.

2022 Le Petit de Ducru-Beaucaillou had loads of personality and flare when we tasted it and we recommend adding some to your cellar this year.

Offered en primeur, landing spring 2025.

Magnums available with £15 ex-VAT bottling surcharge, please enquire for other formats.

All previous offers of 2022 Bordeaux can be found here.


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Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien Grand Cru Classé

Producer Profile

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien Grand Cru Classé

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou is a Deuxième Grands Cru Classé in St.-Julien.

One of the oldest estates in the Medoc, it dates back to the 13th century.  The second half of the name derives from the terroir, which is covered with large stones, 'beau-caillou', literally 'beautiful stones'.  Bertrand Ducru purchased the estate in 1795, adding his own name.  The property changed hands several times over the decades and was purchased in the 1940s by the Borie family (who also own Grand Puy Lacoste).

Bruno Borie took over in 2003 and has elevated the quality to the current high level, making this one of the 'super second' estates.  His personality is everywhere at the estate, including the distinctive pop art he installed in the cellars (tasting here feels a little incongruous, like visiting a rather louche nightclub).

The 75 hectares of vines are planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, averaging 35 years of age, at a density of10,000 vines per hectare. 

The second wine is La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou (recently re-named, previously known as La Croix de Beaucaillou).  Lalande-Borie, a separate estate, ceased to exist from the 2018 vintage and has become in effect a third wine, Le Petit Ducru de Ducru-Beaucaillou.  Borie has managed production down from an average of 20,000 cases per annum in the 1980s to around half that today, just one aspect of his pursuit of quality.


RED 2022 Le Petit Ducru de Ducru Beaucaillou 75cl £271 per case of 12 Le Petit Ducru de Ducru Beaucaillou
2022 / / 75cl
£271 per case of 12
Tasting Notes"Creamy generosity to the blackberry and cassis fruits, showing intensity and depth, knitted down right now, and with clear ageing potential and heavy black pepper spice. Tasted twice, this is an En Primeur wine to its boots, feels young and full of promise. 25ha on western side of St Julien (formerly Lalande Borie until 2018, plus sourcing from across the appellation), 3.77ph, IPT86, 43% new oak for ageing. 91 points""Coming from the western side of Saint-Julien and functioning basically as a third wine of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, the 2022 Petit Ducru De Ducru-Beaucaillou is 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot raised in a mix of new and used barrels. A beautiful wine, it has plenty of Saint-Julien elegance and purity as well as cassis-driven fruits, notes of violet, spicy oak, and scorched earth, medium to full body, and just a silky, elegant mouthfeel. It's going to drink nicely right out of the gate. 90-92 points""The 2022 Le Petit Ducru has turned out especially well this year, offering up aromas of cherries and raspberries mingled with tobacco leaf and pencil shavings, followed by a medium to full-bodied, velvety and fleshy palate that's unusually supple and polished. 90-92 points" William Kelley,"The 2022 Le Petit Ducru pulses with notable energy. Graphite, lavender, mocha and licorice play off a core of blue/purplish fruit in this mid-weight, vibrant Saint-Julien. All the elements are so well-balanced. This is beautifully done. 91-93 points" Antonio Galloni,"The fine tannins come through clearly here with black berries and hints of lavender. Medium-bodied with really fine tannins. Medium finish. A blend 75% merlot, 20% cabernet sauvignon and rest petit verdot. 92-93 points"

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