1996 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien

SKU #110448 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright medium ruby. Deep, superripe aromas of dark berries, black cherry and bitter chocolate; slightly exotic crystallized fruit aspect. Dense, sweet and wonderfully rich; a lovely combination of palate-caressing chocolatey fruit and firm underlying structure. Finishes with excellent grip and great palate-saturating sweetness. Another outstanding 1996 Medoc wine in the making. 94+ (ST)  (7/2002)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1996 Ducru Beaucaillou was picked from 23 September until 8 October, a blend of 25% Merlot and 75% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has evolved a very pure bouquet, almost Burgundy-like, with macerated red cherries and red plum, tobacco, leather and bay leaf. This 1996 seems a little more forward than others, perhaps more 1995 in style, but it is bestowed one of the most seductive and sensual aromatics of the vintage. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp acidity, moving firmly into secondary stage with hints of leather, game and allspice. This is a Ducru Beaucaillou that has resolved to give pleasure at 20 years and not sooner. Hints of Hoisin develop on the finish with Chinese Five-Spice and leave you wanting more. Enjoy this now and over the next 15-20 years. (Incidentally, Bruno Borie poured another bottle that had been decanted and it was astonishingly different. The decanted version, perhaps against expectation, seemed firmer, sharper and more masculine, more "1996" if you like, perhaps revealing the true Ducru Beaucaillou.) (NM)  (10/2016)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Intense aromas of cedar, vanilla, leather and blackberry. Full-bodied, with coffee, vanilla, ripe fruit and a medium finish. (JS, Web-2007)

90 points James Suckling

 The Ducru 1996 is less extravagant than the 2000. It shows a full body, with firm tannins and pretty floral, leaf, light earth and berry character.  (6/2016)

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Varietal:

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.
Country:

France

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
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.