Château-Ducru-Beaucaillou Saint Julien 2014
James SucklingFabulous aromas of crushed berries such as blackberries and blackcurrants, not to mention spices. Wet earth and cedar, too. Complex. Full-bodied, yet agile and complete. A dense center palate. Ultra-round tannins. Everything in the right balance. Wonderful to taste but better to drink in 2022.
Wine EnthusiastBarrel Sample. This wine showcases the balanced combination of power and elegance that's commonly associated with the property. It also has fresh acidity, complex tannins and a dense, dark structure full of black currant fruitiness. It is certain to age over the long term.
Wine AdvocateThe Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 2014 is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot that was picked between 25 September and 15 October and matured in 100% new oak as usual. The IPT is 81, the pH 3.81. Compared to recent vintages the nose is more backward, sultry and less explosive although there is still impressive concentration here. It's just "buttoned down" at present. (A second sample showed a little more sous-bois, more complexity than the first.) The palate is medium-bodied and masculine, a little chalky in the mouth with a firm backbone. Bruno Borie has overseen a more classic Ducru-Beaucaillou, one that I suspect will be less approachable than the last three vintages, boasting a Pauillac-like, graphite-infused finish that just needs to gain a little more persistence during its élevage. This is one wine that actually showed better on my second visit, demonstrating more élan and brio, but nuances notwithstanding, it is another magnificent Ducru-Beaucaillou to add to the roster.
VinousOne of the more powerful wines for the year, the 2014 Ducru-Beaucaillou surprises with its sheer concentration. A blast of dark cherry, crème de cassis, mocha, spice and chocolate makes a strong opening statement. Super-ripe, voluptuous and opulent, the wine possesses off-the-charts depth and richness. Ducru remains the most opulent and flamboyant of the 2014 Saint-Juliens. While some 2014s have faded a bit over the last two years, Ducru has barely budged. I imagine it will be many years before the 2014 starts drinking well. Proprietor Bruno Borie gave it 18 months in 100 % new French oak.
Wine Spectator This is opulent, with layers of warmed fig, boysenberry and blackberry confiture that loll along, yet are kept going by a graphite note that is well-buried throughout. Alluring black tea, singed mesquite and bittersweet cocoa accents add to the panache. A head-turner. Best from 2020 through 2040.