Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 1989

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Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou

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Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 1989

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  • Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 1989
  • Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 1989

"Awesome wine once given time to open up. First sips upon opening were bad- tinny, metallic, very worried that it was bad. Even after 2 hours still overly metal; but another hour and it was sublime. Must decant!" 94 points


Many Bordeaux wine properties take their name from previous owners. That is only part of the story with Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou because this St. Julien estate found part of their name from their unique terroir. Ducru Beaucaillou has a special soils that are literally covered with with large stones. In fact, the word Beaucaillou is translated into beautiful stones.

Ducru Beaucaillou is one of the oldest Bordeaux wine producing estates in the Medoc. History dates what we know of as Ducru Beaucaillou all the back to the start of the 13th century. As a working Bordeaux wine vineyard in St. Julien, the Bergeron family was in charge the chateau from 1720. Bertrand Ducru purchased the estate in 1795. He added his name to the winery which quickly earned fame under the name of Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou. The owner was not done yet. Ducru Beaucaillou hired the well known Parisian architect, Paul Abadie to create a special chateau on the property. Abadie took the current design they were already using and added a second story to the chateau which became the now famous look we enjoy today. They also upgraded the vineyards and built new, barrel aging. All those efforts paid off when they were awarded Second growth status in the 1855 Classification of the Medoc.

Following more than seven decades at the helm of Ducru Beaucaillou, they sold the property to Lucie Caroline Dassier in 1866 for one million Francs. Keep in mind, at the time, one million French Francs was a lot of money! Dassier was the wife of the famous Bordeaux wine merchant, negociant Nathaniel Johnston. Johnston knew what was needed at Ducru Beaucaillou. He replanted the vineyards and modernized the cellars with the aid of Ernest David, the manager of the Left Bank estate.

At Ducru Beaucaillou, Johnston and David performed numerous experiments on grape varietals and vine diseases. Thanks to their efforts, in 1878 they created the first solution to the mildew problem so many Bordeaux vineyards suffered from. Known as Bordeaux soup, the blend of lime milk and copper sulphate was the perfect cure and was adopted by winemakers and vineyard owners all over the world.

Loses suffered from the 1929 depression forced the Johnstons to sell Ducru Beaucaillou to the Desbarats family. Desbarats, a Bordeaux wine merchant sold the estate after little more than a decade of ownership to Francis Borie. Borie was an experienced Bordeaux wine merchant who also owned vineyards in Pauillac.

Today, Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou is producing some of the finest wines they have ever made. Much of that credit goes to Bruno Borie, a descendant of Francis Borie and the current proprietor.

The 75 hectare vineyard of Ducru Beaucaillou is planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. The average age of the vines is 35 years. However, Ducru Beaucaillou has old vines. Their oldest plot is the Les Sadons parcel which was planted all the way back in 1918. The vines are planted to a high density of 10,000 vines per hectare. The high level of vineyard density helps bring down the yields, which concentrates the flavors and intensity of the wine. Each parcel is planted to the specific needs of its o topography.

Traditional Medoc double-pruning methods are used to control production and optimise the distribution of grapes along the wire, thus ensuring improved and more homogenous maturity while minimising the risk of Botrytis bunch rot. They adapt this pruning technique to each varietal, the age of each plot, the vigour of each plant and overall quality.

The grapes are harvested manually. They are sorted multiple times. First in the vineyard on mobile tables which is followed with an optical sorting also takes place before the grapes are ready for vinification. The vinification of each plot is done individually. Vinification takes place in stainless steel vats of various sized that are fully temperature controlled. The range of vats allows for a plot by plot vinification. The entire process takes about two weeks, with frequency of pumping over and exact temperature tailored to each individual vat. Following fermentation, the materials are allowed to macerate for close to 7 days. At that point, the finished wine, along with select batches of press wine are assessed for quality. Malolactic fermentation takes place in concrete vats. The wine of Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou is aged in 50% to 80% new, French oak barrels for between 18 and 20 months. The amount of time and new oak varies depending on the vintage and its unique style and character. On average, close to 10,000 cases of wine are produced by Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou every year.

Bruno Borie produces four additional wines with the help of the same team that makes the wines for Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou; La Croix de Beaucaillou, which made its debut in 1995, Lalande Borie, which comes from fruit grown in parcels that were purchased from their St. Julien neighbor, Chateau Lagrange in 1970, Chateau Fourcas Borie, which comes from the Listrac in the Haut Medoc region and ChateauHortevie which was purchased by Bruno Borie in 2006. Chateau Hortevie is located in the St. Julien appellation.

Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou

Part of the reason for the rise in quality in the wine of Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou is that only the best fruit is used to produce Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou. Similar to what used to take place at every Bordeaux chateaux, the amount of wine placed in the Grand vin today, is close to half of what it was even as recent as 1982.

With Ducru Beaucaillou during the 1980′s, production hovered between 20,000 cases to 25,000 cases. In the 1990′s, Ducru Beaucaillou produced between 15,000 cases and 20,000 cases of wine. Since Bruno Borie began managing Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou in 2003, production levels dropped to an average of 9,000 to 11,000 cases.

Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou is at the top of their game these days. The wines produced today offer intense concentration of flavors, ripe tannins, supple textures, purity of fruit, the structure to age and a unique sense of harmony, that is only found in the best Bordeaux wines. 2009 and 2010 Ducru Beaucaillou are the finest examples I’ve ever tasted from this property. They are candidates for legendary status for Ducru Beaucaillou.

Producent Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou
Jaar 1989
Appellation Saint Julien
Climat Nee
Flesgrootte 0,75 L
Aantal flessen 1
Conditie Nee
Waardering Nee