Château Ducru-Beaucaillou Celebrates 300 Years with Exclusive Commemorative Label
Acclaimed Second Growth Château Ducru-Beaucaillou in Saint-Julien celebrates 300 years of exceptional winemaking with its 2020 vintage, marked by an exclusive commemorative label. The ideal conditions of 2020 yielded perfectly ripe and concentrated fruit, albeit with limited volumes, enabling the new technical team to produce wines that are garnering high praises across the globe. To commemorate the Château’s tercentenary, visionary owner Bruno-Eugène Borie commissioned a one-time label, combining the classic and the contemporary, to adorn these fine and rare bottles. The wines will be sold as futures this month in extremely limited quantities.
A One-Time, Rare Label Created Exclusively for 2020
To celebrate its tercentenary, Ducru-Beaucaillou has reinvented its historic label: an elegant and sophisticated creation, resolutely modern, daringly disruptive, which nevertheless shows allegiance to the past and to the property’s centuries-old values.
“For us, the creation of an ephemeral label designed for Château Ducru-Beaucaillou’s three hundredth vintage had to be seen as an event in and of itself. It was inspired by a kind of poetic rebirth of Ducru-Beaucaillou’s legendary label, which had remained unchanged since its creation by the Johnstons in 1870. This new design recalls major art movements and techniques of the twentieth century: abstract art, collage, destructured forms, and new realism,” says Owner Bruno-Eugène Borie, a passionate enthusiast for contemporary art.
The 2020 Ducru-Beaucaillou will also feature the tercentenary logo, refined and modern, in orange enameled characters on the shoulder of the bottle which will be topped with an orange wax, the property’s signature color, embossed with the Château’s logo.
300 Years of Inspiration for this Rising Star
Since 1720, six families have nurtured an indelible bond with Ducru-Beaucaillou: Desjean, Bergeron, Ducru, Johnston, Desbarat de Burcke or Borie. With its privileged terroirs of Günzian gravel soils that rise from the Gironde estuary, the majestic Château Ducru-Beaucaillou has historically been one of the most revered châteaux of Bordeaux. This Grand Cru Classé of Saint Julien has belonged to the Borie family for almost 80 years. Bruno-Eugène is the third generation to oversee operations, taking the helm in 2003, and has raised the quality each vintage through his strive for excellence and visionary approach. Today, the Château is considered amongst the very top of Bordeaux.
New & Brilliant Technical Duo For A New Era and the 2020 Vintage
With the arrival in 2016 of a new technical team (headed by Emmanuel Bonneau), coupled with the addition of the R&D/Quality Department in 2019 (headed by Cécile Dupuis) for this 2020 vintage, Ducru-Beaucaillou has clearly entered a new era with wines that affirm the refined and unique style of the Château yet with even greater purity, precision, breadth, and depth.
Perfectly ripened fruit allied with a highly motivated and competent technical team and a visionary leader yielded exceptional wines for the tercentenary vintage. The wines are elegantly perfumed, with a voluptuous cashmere texture, exquisite freshness, precisely chiseled, succulent, and hugely persistent (Cellar Master Note, June 2021).
Beyond the remarkable quality, Bruno-Eugene Borie added, “the 2020 vintage offers another advantage to consumers, the unlimited capacity for ageing. The precision in the wine extends the drinking window, so that the wines can be enjoyed in their youth without compromising endless ageability.”
A Must-Have for Bordeaux Collectors and Aficionados
The wines of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou will be sold as futures through fine wine retailers across the US beginning this month. Due to small yields and drastic selection of only the best fruit, quantities are extremely limited. The wines will be carefully matured in casks in the Château cellars, for an exceptional period of 18 months and will be ready for shipping Spring 2023.
2019 Vintage, Forever Vigneron.
It looks like the 2019 vintage was, once again, a winegrower’s vintage.
Season after season, this vintage demanded observation, analysis, rigour, advance preparation. The winegrower, at one with nature, before benefiting from the exceptional summer conditions, knew how to deal with the mixed spring weather, how to assess the risks, how to understand the temperament of each plot.
Without doubt, we can’t say often enough how much talent is brought together in our rows of vines, to work this beautiful material cleanly, sustainably, passionately.
A radiant wine-growing summer after a spring of twists and turns. Excess rainfall in April, fine weather in May, a sharp return to cool temperatures in early June; heatwaves at the end of June and July (and therefore with no risk of sunburn at this stage of the cycle), almost no rain over the whole of the summer and until the end of harvest, very moderate temperatures in August and September (again avoiding the risk of burning exposed berries).
At the beginning of September, an equally demanding vigil began, monitoring the ripeness of the different grape varieties and each plot. The grapes are tasted continuously at this stage, methodically, vine by vine, then analysed in the laboratory to determine the timing of the harvest, sector by sector. Micromanagement within a single plot in order to gain precision.
He very good weather in August and September, combined with mild temperatures, allowed the grapes to flourish calmly. At the end of September, when the Merlot offered itself complacently to our secateurs, the Cabernet Sauvignon was still not ready… The light rains on Sunday 22, Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 September restarted the ripening process. At the turn of the month, the Cabernet Sauvignon finally underwent its transformation to excellence.
The observation is that here, and no doubt better than Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon can cope with these warmer climatic conditions by maintaining a long vegetative cycle: 120 days or more from flowering to full ripening of the grapes. With the IBMP (*) fully broken down, restrained alcohol degrees, acidity in phase, thick skins with extraordinary anthocyanin potential, perfectly ripe seeds, there was no doubt that the potential for excellence was there! Very careful hand picking was complemented by strict inspection of the bunches at the end of the rows and then optical sorting of the berries on arrival in the vat room. The material had to be flawless.
We obtained superb juices. This vintage, we experimented with a battery of new-generation (“smart”) conical tanks of small size (60/80 hectolitres), allowing us to work very accurately and ultimately to express as closely as possible the identity of each plot in the wine. This precision is found in the blends, which have now reached a remarkable level of precision (less than 0.3%). Each year, decision-support tools are added, both in monitoring the health of the vineyard and in the winemaking and ageing. No stone is left unturned in the pursuit of excellence... to reveal the essence of the terroirs of Ducru-Beaucaillou.
Millésime 2012 Introduction: Enriched by diversity!
The notion of “vintage” takes on its full meaning in regions where the climatic conditions vary greatly from one year to the next. Elsewhere, the regularity of the climate leads to standardisation of the taste. Here, in Bordeaux, each year has its own originality and its own particular attraction. These are very much part of the charm of Bordeaux wines and arouse the desire to collect vintages one after the other, as witnesses to/ singular illustration of the life of an estate and the climatic conditions to which it is subjected over the years, together with the answers that man has found according to his ambitions, his ethics, his aesthetics, his technical progress and his financial possibilities...like the many facets of a single “beautiful pebble” –“Beau Caillou”!“Uniformity is death – diversity is life»Mikhail Bakounine - 1814-1876 - La Liberté
Climatology of the 2012 Vintage: Happy Ending! A very cold, dry winter, a humid and chilly spring, with here and there unexpectedly
high temperatures - the 2012 Vintage started with mixed weather which lasted until mid-July, until bunch-closure in fact. Throughout the entire vegetative cycle total vigilance was absolutely necessary, together with unfailing and constant presence in the vineyards, to watch out for and contain all fungus attacks (mildew, oïdium, Botrytis) and reduce to a minimum the disparity between bunches, caused by a slow, difficult and protracted flowering. The fine, hot and sunny days of August and those vital ones of September, together with a certain amount of summer drought, allowed the grapes on the best terroirs, and in the perfectly worked vineyards, to attain a fine concentration of sugar and a great richness in their phenolic composition. At the end of the cycle, rain allowed the grapes, whose maturation process had been halted by the drought, to continue to ripen. Just before the picking started, a period of considerable temperature differences between hot days and chilly nights helped to increase both the aromatic intensity and the synthesis of the anthocyanins in the grapes. Thus, after an uncertain start, came a happy ending! In the final analysis we achieved, at the beginning of October, a truly promising potential, which it was vital to preserve by not leaving the bunches on the vines too long.
2012 Vintage: A Revolution on the move!
The entirety of our 150 hectares of vineyards was picked between 28th September forthe young Merlot grapes and 17th October for the last Petits Verdots.
2012: Homage to Fan BINGBING! From the completion of the picking and the beginning of the vinification we were seduced by the absolute cleanliness of the musts, their splendid fruitiness and their controlled strengths: in other words, the perfect elegance of the wine of this vintage.Thanks to the unrelenting hard work of our teams, to the beneficial sun at the end of summer and to our technological innovations, which punctuated the entire process, quality has been achieved and we find notably in the wine: bouquets of blackcurrant and violets; superbly silky tannins: perfect balance; excellent length.