2008 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien

SKU #1084914 95 points John Gilman

 The 2008 Ducru-Beaucaillou is one of the top wines of the vintage and a stellar bottle in the making. The wine delivers a truly stunning bouquet, as it soars from the glass in a mélange of cassis, dark berries, French roast, tobacco leaf, a complex base of gravelly soil tones and a deft framing of cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full and wonderfully suave on the attack, with a sappy core of fruit, ripe, perfectly-integrated tannins and great length and grip on the nascently complex finish. While Ducru has produced exemplary efforts in both 2009 and 2010, make no mistake, the 2008 is the finest of the troika. A great 2008!  (5/2012)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 One of the stars of the vintage, and a remarkable achievement in 2008, with impressive richness, this dense purple colored wine is almost as opaque as the 2010. Spring flowers, crushed rocks, creme de cassis and some subtle oak are followed by a full-bodied, concentrated wine that transcends the vintage character in its power, richness, and aging potential. It also exhibits tremendous precision, purity, and depth of character. It is more forward than the 2010 is likely to be, but probably not as sumptuous as the 2009 will turn out to be. This is a wine to buy. (RP) 95+  (5/2011)

94 points James Suckling

 Wow. This is really impressive for the vintage, with a solid core of raspberry, currants and spices. Full and round, with velvety tannins and a long, long finish. Superb winemaking for the vintage.  (12/2010)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Chocolate, coffee and sweet plum notes give this wine great richness. It has wood that needs time to integrate, although the main character is beautiful, velvet-textured, ripe fruit and plenty of sweet tannins. (RV)  (4/2011)

93 points Vinous

 The 2008 Ducru Beaucaillou has a very well defined bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, mineral and smoke. This is very focused and detailed, the oak beautifully integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin, a fine line of acidity, crisp and detailed with a harmonious finish laced with white pepper that lingers in the mouth. There was a point where the 2008 came across as a little stemmy however, this element has clearly been subsumed and it should age with style over the next two decades. (NM)  (5/2018)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Ruby-red. Pungent, vibrant aromas of cassis, bitter chocolate and graphite. Silky and seamless, but with terrific lift to the tight core of raspberry, mineral and chocolate flavors. Strong but integrated acidity gives superb vinosity to the wine's racy fruit. Finishes brisk, perfumed and long, with suave, dusty tannins. This wine went into a shell with aeration, suggesting that it will need at least several years of bottle aging. I would not be surprised if it merited an even higher score ten years down the road. (ST) 92+  (8/2011)

92 points Wine Spectator

 This is dark and brooding, with a tarry wall holding the black currant, melted licorice and espresso notes at bay for now. Extra roasted sage, cedar and briar push in on the finish, which shows an old-school hint. Rock-solid. (JM)  (4/2011)


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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.
Sub-Region:

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.