2003 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien

SKU #1024812 97 points Wine Spectator

 (#28 on the Top 100 Wines of 2006) Intense aromas of blackberry, currant and cherry. Full-bodied, with masses of big, velvety tannins and a finish that lasts for minutes. A blockbuster. A classic big, juicy claret. Best after 2012.  (3/2006)

94 points James Suckling

 Ripe currants, spices, and blueberries on the nose. Full bodied, with big chewy tannins and a juicy finish. This still needs time. Pull the cork after 2014. Find the wine.  (3/2011)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Deep garnet colour with a hint of purple. Opulently spiced, dark fruit nose of black cherries, plum pudding, cinnamon, cloves and a little tar. The palate gives good support to the fleshy fruit with medium+, fine tannins and medium acidity. Medium to full body and a long finish. Drink now to 2020+. Tasted March 2009.  (5/2009)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Ruby-red. Sexy nose offers superripe currant, raspberry, graphite and coconut. Lush, very rich and fine-grained, with an almost confectionery sweetness and thickness for this St. Julien. Atypically powerful on the back end, but not hard. Bruno Borie took over direction of this property with the 2003 and immediately switched to a heavier bottle with a longer neck that could accommodate a 55-millimeter cork. A terrific showing-but I'd still give this wine another four or five years of aging.  (6/2006)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 The initial scents of molasses and sweet fruit give way to an equally black, but more complex and potent wine with air. It's extremely ripe, with the scent and feel of fruit skin in the tannins-almost pruney. But there's also a sense of stature and elegance, a supple wine that should prove itself around ten years of age.  (10/2006)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is a solid, powerful wine packed with tannins and heavy black fruits. As so often, Ducru is taking its time, and this wine is still knitting itself together. But in future years, watch for the generosity, the richness as well as the finesse and freshness.  (5/2006)

Jancis Robinson

 Pencil shavings and interest. Density. Interest and no exaggerations. Dryish finish but not uncomfortably so. Very appetising.  (10/2010)

K&L Notes

** Under the capable ownership of Bruno Borie, Ducru is improving on what was already a great wine. The Ducru (80% cabernet sauvignon and 20% merlot) is closed on the nose, but it has a silky mouthfeel upfront with a tannic finish. Big wine with earthy components and super structure. I think it is a bit more elegant than previous vintages, but it has power behind it. (Tasted from barrel, 03/2004)

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


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Specific Appellation:

Saint Julien

- St. Julien, the smallest of the four famous appellations of the Haut Medoc, is known for highly extracted, finely structured, Cabernet-based reds. It is nestled between Pauillac to the north and Margaux to the south. Like St. Estephe, there are no first growths in this area. Leoville-las-Cases, Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton, Ducru Beaucaillou, and Gruard Larose are the second-growths of St. Julien followed by Lagrange which is the only third-growth. Beychevelle, Branaire Ducru, St. Pierre, and Talbot, which are all fourth-growth wines, round out the grand cru classe chateaux. In the last several vintages, wineries from this appellation have been out-performing their traditional rankings making many of the wines from this region some of the best values in red wine today.