EP2023 Release: “Ducru Beaucaillou continues its unstoppable roll of fabulous vintages.” Jeff Leve

Bordeaux Index

15 May 2024

The 2023 vintage is the 21st vintage of the charismatic Bruno-Eugène Borie, running the property. His goal – to make “the best possible nectars from these blessed terroirs” – has been achieved, and some; he has transformed the château into one of the most well-known and well-loved of the Grand Crus Classés.

“This is more structured than most Médoc wines this year and very impressive.” Lisa Perrotti-Brown

While Ducru has gained a reputation for being one of the most hedonistic and sensuous wines of St Julien, recent vintages have focused more on precision and, if not quite restraint, then harmony. The 2023 vintage is one where the Cabernet Sauvignon reached an exceptionnaly high level, and thus represents 83% of the blend this year. Tasting the wine, it is the Cabernet character which really makes itself known on the palate with thrilling focus and energy, with saline and mineral accents.

“Ducru Beaucaillou continues its unstoppable roll of fabulous vintages.” Jeff Leve

Ducru Beaucaillou is an estate we love and follow ever year. It’s true that since Bruno Borie took the helm in 2003, he has transformed the estate into one of the consistent overperformers of the appellation. Under the modern Borie era, production has been slashed to nearly half of what it was in 1982, a deliberate move to enhance concentration and quality. Even more stringent is the selection of plots for the Grand Vin, further reducing the available volume. Today, Ducru's Grand Vin represents only around a third of their production in St Julien at just 7000-9000 cases a year.

“A serious Ducru, delivered with precision and balance.” Jane Anson

Bruno has been on “on an unstoppable roll since 2009” with Ducru (Jeff Leve), and since then the Grand Vin carries an average Wine Advocate score of 95+, a sure signal that this is a winegrower at the very top of his game. Pouring buckets of passion into each vintage, “Bruno Borie has done a remarkable job at Ducru Beaucaillou…if you haven't noticed yet, it's time to jump on the bandwagon” (Robert Parker). The only thing that disappointed us (and Bruno) about our visit in April was that we didn’t have time to join him for lunch after tasting…!

The 2023 Ducru comes highly recommended by us, and by the critics – it is another exceptional effort from this high-flying estate.

Add Ducru Beaucaillou 2023 to my cellar

97pts Georgina Hindle, Decanter “Lovely vibrant purple colour in the glass. Smells fragrant and lifted, a combination of sweet and ripe and fresh blackcurrant and black cherries on the nose with a touch of dark chocolate. Smooth and so silky, but rich too, there’s depth and weight but not too much. I love the texture - grippy and filling no doubt, it coats the mouth with a crushed velvet texture, you feel the ripeness but there’s such lift and effortless purity of fruit that it feels fresh too. No extra fat, but equally it’s not too lean, not strict at all, where many are. Not hollow, not light, there’s no let up. Juicy cherry, blackcurrant and blueberry with lots of liquorice on the finish. Feels well crafted. Maybe not as immediately moreish as some, but this is really well made. Feels elegant and stylish.7pH. 89 IPT. Ageing 18 months, 100% new oak. 12% press.”

96pts Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux “Glass-staining violet. A serious Ducru, delivered with precision and balance, with plenty of concentration and a slow, long build, layered, fine and sappy tannins. Proof again that this is a great Cabernet year in this corner of Bordeaux, less velvet concentration than the 2022 Ducru perhaps, but more finesse and packed full of nuance, and a saline mouthwatering finish. 41hl/h yield, 100% new oak, with long seasoning of up to five years, nine different coopers.”

96-98pts Robert Mathias MW, Bordeaux Index “This is a very enticing Ducru this year opening with aromas of black tea, sandalwood, cocoa nibs, violets and iris lifting from the glass. Super energy here, with drive and poise coming from the fine-grained powdery tannin. Overall, an athletic wine while also showing a sense of transparency, with a fine graphite core. Merlot helps to add a little flesh to the palate. There is a lovely hint of black olive, liquorice root, and soy giving a subtle bitter tinge. Lovely texture through the tannins which feel so finely layered. Long and sinewy - real focus to the wine on the finish.