Grand Cru Selection
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Since 2005 it is no longer a second wine but from a plot in the centre of the appellation with less estuarine influence. Very deep crimson. Deep crimson. Very rich and round. Suave and convincing. Lots of life and masses of fruit. €30-35 euros. A new label designed by a British designer will be launched at Annabels, London in May.
This represented 55% of the production and now, under Bruno Borie, comes from the same vineyard almost every year. (The vineyard is on the other side of the Route du Vin, separating Beaucaillou from estates such as St.-Pierre, Branaire-Ducru and Gloria.) Sweet mulberry and boysenberry fruit intermixed with licorice, forest floor and earth are followed by an opulently textured, fleshy wine that is dense and outstanding. I joked with Bruno Borie that the second wine is probably better than many of the Ducru Beaucaillous produced in the 1970s.
This is the second wine of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, a ‘grand cru’ classified in 1855. The La Croix de Beaucaillou wines come from the Château Ducru Beaucaillou vineyard. Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou is named after the beautiful, stones found in its unique wine-growing terroir. This exceptional ecosystem produces fine, elegant, tasty wines, with a long finish – in short, archetypal Saint-Julien wines. The origins of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou date back to the beginning of the XVIII century, 1720 to be precise. Perched on an exceptional site with incomparable views over the Gironde estuary, in the centre of a hundred-year-old park, Ducru-Beaucaillou is a majestic, Victorian-style castle, which has, over time, become one of the great symbols of the Médoc. Unusually for Bordeaux, it is built directly above the barrel cellars, enveloping its owners, who have lived here for over sixty years, in the sumptuous aromas of their wine. Today, the estate is managed by the company Jean Eugène Borie SA, which is owned by Mrs Borie, her daughter Sabine Coiffe and her son Bruno-Eugène, CEO since 2003, the third generation of the Borie family to head the estate. The notion of Second growth is difficult to figure out. Most of the vineyards, from the greatest to the more modest ones, now produce a second growth. It is therefore essential to consider the soil’s possibilities as well as the quality requirements of the wine owner. Indeed, the quality level of the second wine is directly derived from the first of these elements. Croix Beaucaillou, like a first growth, is therefore submitted to careful selection. Most of the wines coming from the plots of young vineyard as well as the lesser batches will incorporate the third growth which will be sold or… drunk at the chateau. Croix de Beaucaillou is thus subjected to a reasoned blending aimed at producing a wine which will of course reveal its assets earlier than Ducru Beaucaillou but also the characteristics of a great Saint Julien: elegance, finesse and of course its ability to age. It is worth noting that this wine is far superior to the connotation of ‘second wine’. It is a great, noble wine, which we are sure will play a prominent role in the Saint-Julien appellation. La Croix de Beaucaillou has been bottled on the property since 1995. Until then, it was sold in bulk to Bordeaux wine merchants.
Owner: Mrs J.E. Borie, Sabine Coiffe, Bruno Eugène Borie
Administrator: Bruno Eugène Borie
Cellar master: René Lusseau
Vineyard manager: Francis Souquet
Oenologist: Virginie Sallette, Jacques & Eric Boissenot
Blend of the 2010 vintage: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot
Ageing: 20% in new barrels
Area: 75 hectares
Average age of the vines: 35 years
Density of the vines: 10000 feet per hectare
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