Château Ducru Beaucaillou Saint Julien 2018
|France, Bordeaux, St. Julien
|Château Ducru Beaucaillou
Vintage 2018 was generous to the style of Ducru-Beaucaillou. The rich character of wines from this estate is enhanced by the ripeness and concentration of this wine. At the same time it keeps an amazing freshness that comes out of the acidity. This wine will go down in the annals of this historic estate. It is not likely to approach drinkability before 2028.
BT. Another rock 'em sock 'em St.-Julien here, brimming with nearly exotic blackberry, plum, blueberry and açaí berry reduction notes, bristling with brambly energy and racing through a graphite-edged finish. Shows gorgeous perfume throughout, despite the fairly obvious level of concentration. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The 2018 Ducru-Beaucaillou is composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, aged 18 months in 100% new barriques. It has a pH of 3.7, 14.5% alcohol and an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 95. Deep purple-black colored, it has a powerful nose of baked black cherries, blackberry preserves and crème de cassis with nuances of menthol, pencil lead, cedar chest and Indian spices, plus fragrant wafts of violets and licorice emerging after a few minutes. Medium to full-bodied, the palate bursts with impactful black fruits and exotic spices layers, supported by firm, ripe grainy tannins and bags of freshness, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note. There is a brightness to the wine-surprising freshness-and yet it remains very rich and hedonic, presenting an extraordinary vinous paradox that will blow away fans of this great estate.
The Grand Vin 2018 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou checks in as 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot that was harvested at the end of September through October 10 and brought up all in new French oak. This is a gorgeous, incredibly complete, classic expression of this terroir, offering a heavenly nose of crème de cassis, cedarwood, unsmoked tobacco, new leather, spring flowers, chocolate, and a touch of chalky minerality. With full-bodied richness, a monster of a mid-palate, remarkable purity, and a great, great finish, it's one of the most concentrated, impressive wines of the vintage, and might also be one of the longest lived. It actually reminds me of an improved version of the 1996 or a hypothetical mix of the 2010 and 2016. For the tech geeks out there, the IPT checks in at a massive 95 and the pH is 3.7.
The 2018 Ducru-Beaucaillou is surprisingly reticent at this stage, almost shockingly so. I imagine that won't be an issue in time. If anything, I am quite struck by the wine's energy and drive. Dark-fleshed fruit, spice, mint, lavender and new oak build in the glass. From barrel, the Ducru was opulent and sensual, but it appears to be going through a closed phase at the moment. Decanting helps, but I would not be in any rush to drink this. The 2018 is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot aged for 18 months in 100% new French oak.