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.
Ducru-Beaucaillou’s 75 hectares are planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot Noir. The average age of the vines is 35. Over time, fertility is moderated and a root network develops (reaching up to 6 metres deep), both reducing the effect of climatic excess and increasing the take-up of nutrients from the soil and subsoil. Meticulously exploring the poor, arid soil to find the necessary nutrients and water, the roots carry back the trace elements which give the wine its uniqueness: this is the essence of the terroir of Ducru-Beaucaillou.
The high plantation density (10,000 vines per ha.) has many advantages. It reduces the production of each plant while creating competition between the vines that will search deeper down into the soil to find their nutriment ("vines must suffer in order to produce"). It also generates a microclimate with many an advantage:
- Maximizing the leaf surface per hectare and therefore the rainwater consumption which are
particularly profuse in our Atlantic climate
- Creating ideal conditions for the grapes
La conduite du vignoble, tout en étant traditionnelle (taille médocaine double Guyot etc.) intègre les derniers progrès de la viticulture (effeuillage manuel, vendanges en vert en été etc.).
Bref, la tétralogie est ici : gestion parcellaire, rendements maîtrisés, durée de vie des ceps optimisée et traitements phytosanitaires raisonnés.