2012 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien
Mesmerizing aromas of blackberries, licorice and mint. Wet stones too. Full-bodied and tight with super-refined and polished tannins that are pinpointed and elegant. It caresses your palate. Savory and salty on finish. Electric for the vintage. Better in 2018.
*Cellar Selection* This is a wine with big tannins and big fruit. You can feel the wood rather than taste it, certainly smell it initially before the black currant aromas kick in. Impressive and sumptuous, it has a solid density that layers with the smoky character of the fruit and wood. Rich and complex, it needs to age. Drink from 2025. (RV)
A big wine for the year, the 2012 Ducru-Beaucaillou possesses striking depth and intensity from start to finish. Sweet tobacco, cedar, smoke and savory herb overtones add intrigue to this deep, fleshy Saint-Julien. I imagine the 2012 will age for several decades based on its fruit density. Whether the tannins ever become noble is another question. Still, it is impossible not to admire the wine's pure depth. (AG)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
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. (ID)
Offers an almost lavish feel, with layers of warmed fig, blackberry paste and raspberry coulis lined with ganache, anise and fruitcake flavors. A rock-solid graphite note lines the finish, showing just the slightest twinge of the vintage's austerity. A very admirable effort. Best from 2018 through 2027. (JM)
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. (RP)
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 planted soil of 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 spends 18 months in mostly new French oak.