"Classic old school styled claret, driven by its masculine leaning personality and smoky, tobacco, cigar box and cassis nose, this is fully mature. Fans of the wine 1996 forward might have a problem with its old school style, while older, classic wine tasters will have more fun with the wine.
The wines produced at Ducru Beaucaillou offer an intense concentration of flavors, ripe tannins, supple textures, purity of fruit, the structure to age, and a unique sense of harmony, that is only found in the best Bordeaux wines. There is density, complexity and uniqueness of character.
Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou is not a wine to drink on the young side. The wine is usually far too tannic, powerful, and reserved during its youth. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 3-4 hours, give or take. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume.
Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou is usually better with at least 15 years of bottle age. Of course, that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 18 and 50 years of age after the vintage.
The Borie family moved to Bordeaux in the late 1800s and started out as negociants. Today, the Borie family also own Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste in Pauillac as well as other vineyards in the region.
In 1953, Jean Eugene Borie took over the property from his father, Francois Borie. In 1978, Francois Xavier Borie began working at the estate full time, eventually taking over from his father after his passing in 1998. That continued until 2003.
The 75-hectare vineyard of Ducru Beaucaillou is planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. This shows a change in the vineyard since the mid-1990s with an increase in the amount of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot due to the removal of the previously planted Petit Verdot vines.
To produce the wine of Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou, the grapes are allowed to macerate for close to 7 days. Vinification takes place in stainless steel vats of various sizes allowing for a plot by plot vinification. The entire process takes about two weeks, with the frequency of pumping over and exact temperature tailored to each individual vat.
Malolactic fermentation takes place in concrete vats. The wine of Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou is aged in 75% to 90% new, French oak barrels for between 18 and 20 months. The amount of time and new oak varies depending on the vintage.
This shows an increase in the percentage of new, oak barrels. As an example, prior to 2007, the percentage of new oak barrels used during the aging process was closer to 60% to 70%. On average, close to 10,000 cases of wine are produced by Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou every year."
Excerpts from The Wine Cellar Insider.