2012 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien (Pre-Arrival)
This is a glamorous wine with acidity and structure surrounded by a ripe fruit character. The palate is powerful, and already quite complex, with both great fruitiness and a solid feel.
The plum, currant and blackberry fruit is well-integrated already, with taut anise, singed spice and apple wood notes. Sleek and refined, lacking the telltale sinew of the vintage. Very stylish through the finish, revealing a persistent anise note. Tasted non-blind.
A very clean and pretty Ducru with fine tannins and a mineral floral character. Full body, yet racy and delicious. Pure and very elegant. Juicy and enticing.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(a blend of 91% cabernet sauvignon and 9% merlot; 5.5 g/l total acidity, 3.7 pH; IPT 70; 13% alcohol; 60% new oak): Dark ruby-red. Perfumed aromas of blackcurrant, violet, licorice and graphite, plus a whiff of minerals. The flavors of blackcurrant, graphite and minerals are delicate, pure and refined. Finishes fine-grained, suave and firm, with excellent breadth. It's also one of the longest wines of the vintage, and for my money one of the top four or five from the Left Bank in 2012. When I asked Bruno Borie how this could be, given the very high percentage of cabernet sauvignon in the blend, he mentioned the intensive work required to achieve this result: he added two sorting tables directly in the vineyards and installed an optical sorting system in the cellar. He also noted that the cabernet sauvignon vines are very precocious in his terroir (gravelly clay right next to the river, where daily temperatures can average roughly 3°C more than vineyards in Saint-Julien's interior. Moreover, he harvested between October 3 and 5 and from October 6 through 10, escaping the brunt of the rain showers. According to Borie, the 2012 reminds him of the estate's 1964, an excellent vintage for those properties that harvested before the rains.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The color is a healthy deep ruby/purple and the wine smells beautiful, exhibiting lots of floral, creme de cassis, licorice and graphite notes. Medium-bodied but slightly deficient in the mid-palate at present, it picks up speed and finishes with serious authority and power. This 2012 should be outstanding, but it is difficult to favorably compare the 2012 to the prodigious wines produced at Ducru in 2009 and 2010. The 2012 will require 4-6 years of cellaring and should drink well for 15-20 years.
91% Cabernet Sauvignon! Bruno Borie had a vat that represented 0.75% of the total blend and Bruno claims you could taste the difference between whether it was included. Brilliant crimson. Just a hint of green leaves. A bit of meat extract. Great texture. Transparent. Really rather delicate – more so than other St-Juliens. Chapeau! Very distinctive. Fresh and delicate. Good interpretation of the vintage.
Located in St Julien, the appellation between Pauillac and Margaux, The second growth Ducru Beaucaillou vineyards are gravel and stones, and overlook the estuary providing a more moderated climate than much of Bordeaux. The 2012 vintage blend is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot. It is to spend 18 months in mostly new French oak.