Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou is named after the beautiful, large 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.
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.
There are very close links between this estate and the five families who have been its successive owners.
The grapes are all harvested manually. They are sorted in the vines on mobile tables to avoid contact between unhealthy and healthy grapes during transport to the vat room.The vinification of each plot is done individually to optimise the choice of blends. Moreover, the fermentations are carried out separately and customized to take account of terroir, grape variety and vintage characteristics. We generally operate gentle extraction and keep the must at traditional temperatures with moderate lengths and frequencies of pumping-over.The press drains off continuously into barrels to facilitate the selection of the press-wine batches. Malolactic fermentation is managed in vats for optimal control.
The wine is barrelled in duly identified individual batches immediately after malolactic fermentation. Blending takes place during the first racking operation; for Ducru Beaucaillou, between 50 and 80% of new barrels are used according to the richness of the vintage. The barrels (225L Bordeaux barrels, French oak) are supplied by 5 carefully selected cooperages giving every guarantee. The wine is matured for 18 months in accordance with Medoc traditions for classified growths. Bottling is performed with special care in regard to both oenological controls and homogenisation of the overall batch. The 5 cork makers supplying the estate have signed a detailed and stringent quality charter.
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou : Our 2005 vintage
Vintage: weather conditions and cultivation strategy The 2005 vintage was characterised by an exceptional climate, particularly in the summer: It was:
- Very sunny, with almost 2,000 hours of sunshine from May to September, which was 7.5% above average.
- Hot but not scorching: 2°C above average, similar to 2000, and 2°C lower than in 2003, and overall with colder nights.
- Excessively dry. Rainfall was 45% lower than the yearly average and there was a water shortage of 350 mm in the summer. It was, in fact much drier than in 2000 and 2003.
With an exceptional climate come exceptional grapes. These ideal conditions, particularly the drought, which came to a head after 3 successive years of below average rainfall, had several consequences: - Very early, just before ripening, the vines concentrated wholly on maturing the grapes
- Vine diseases and parasites were severely curbed - The grapes were 20% smaller than average, which intensified concentration - Forced to develop their root network to find the water needed, the vines also extracted extra
These advantages were all the more marked given the extremely low yields. Thanks to the green harvest in July, we had maximum yields of 4-8 bunches per vine at Ducru Beaucaillou. However the harvest was not early, the long-span of the cycle is another asset for this harvest. The Merlot are harvested on September 21st and the Cabernet Sauvignon on September 29th. Harvesting was completed on October 6th.