1983 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien

SKU #950349 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Served at the Ducru offline in London. Hmm…not quite sure why I marked this so low because this performed way above my expectations. It has a surprisingly intense, lifted bouquet with strong savoury notes, quite animally/meaty, touches of spice and thyme. If I am to complain, it is just a little diffuse at 27-years of age. The palate is medium-bodied and quite candied on the entry, fully mature as one would expect with vibrant red-berried fruit, cigar box, a touch of thyme, well integrated oak with a refined finish. I would not leave this much longer, but I have to change my views on this Ducru having tasted this bottle. Drink now-2024. Tasted September 2009. (NM)  (7/2010)

K&L Notes

4 stars Michael Broadbent: "The best of nine of its peers in 1993, its bouquet fully developed, fragrant, a touch of figs, very sweet, chewy, attractive in 1998 and showing well at the Decanter tasting [Dec 1999]: mature, good flavour, good length - for an 83." According to Wine Advocate: "Château Ducru-Beaucaillou is for many, the quintessential St-Julien; a name revered by connoisseurs from the Home Counties of England to Oriental collectors. Under the aegis of Francis Borie and his son Jean-Eugène, a succession of admirable wines established Ducru-Beaucaillou as one of finest exponents of Cabernet Sauvignon in the whole of Bordeaux...The vines of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou cover 50-hectares that surround the château building, stretching down the escarpment towards the bank of the Gironde estuary though stopping short of the actual river where the alluvial soils are too fertile for vine production. The soil profile consists of a 6-to-8-metre bed of Gunzian gravel characterized by visibly large stones originating from the Massif Central and the Pyrenees. These stones, which can measure up to 2.5 inches in width, benefit drainage and aeration (the name Beaucaillou literally translates as 'beautiful stones')."

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Price: $174.99
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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 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.


- 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.


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.