1978 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien

SKU #950297 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 An outstanding 1978, Ducru-Beaucaillou's effort displays a fragrant, well-developed bouquet of licorice, earth, black currants, and underbrush. Rich for a 1978, with none of the vegetal character now found in many wines of this vintage, this fully mature, medium-bodied wine exhibits soft tannin, excellent concentration and purity, and a sweet, elegant finish. (RP)  (1/1998)

K&L Notes

92 points Neal Martin: "Served at the Ducru offline in London. One of the highlights of this vertical, this is a classic 1970s Saint Julien that is aged much better than one would presuppose. The nose is leafy, unashamedly austere with cedar, cigar box and a touch of peppermint, yet there is still agreeable clarity and precision. The palate is medium-bodied, very well balanced with sturdy but fine tannins, an “unbending”, conservative Ducru Beaucaillou that has great focus and vigour. Lively dark cherry finish with hints of tomato and even some toffee/creme-brulee notes lingering on the aftertaste. Very elegant and poised, this is the kind of mature claret I adore. Lovely. Drink now-2020. Tasted September 2009." (Wine Journal, eRobertParker.com, 7/2010)

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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 Médoc 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

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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.