Château Ducru-Beaucaillou is among the finest wines in the world. Located in the St. Julien appellation of Bordeaux, France, the property has been making red Bordeaux wine since the 17th century. It enjoys a deservedly stellar reputation, but it’s not cheap. Some people will never spend hundreds of euros on a bottle of wine, and that’s OK. Others wouldn’t think twice about spending that or more when dining in a fine restaurant or stocking their cellar.
For those of you that might be tempted, but aren’t fully convinced, we’ve laid on this handy guide. We’ll tell you a little bit about the estate and give you three good reasons to splash out on a bottle of this Bordeaux blockbuster!
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou: The basics
Before we get into the why, let’s take a quick look at the what. Let’s establish a few facts about Ducru-Beaucaillou, shall we?
It’s a member of the Grand Cru Classé
Ducru-Beaucaillou was ranked as a second growth in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux. This ranking places it just one tier below the legendary first growths, like Château Margaux and Château Mouton Rothschild.
It’s a Super Second
Beyond its official ranking, Ducru-Beaucaillou belongs to an informal and unofficial grouping of overperforming châteaux known as “Super Seconds”. Alongside other top estates like Château Palmer, Château Léoville Las Cases and Château Cos d’Estournel, these guys are well able to produce first growth quality at (relatively) more affordable prices!
3 reasons you should be drinking Ducru-Beaucaillou
To be frank, there are any number of good reasons for you to bag a bottle of this stuff. The only really good argument against it is the price, but even with such a high price, it can offer some relatively good value. Those that have already tasted this beautiful Bordeaux will need little convincing, but for those in any doubt, why not consider:
Where it comes from!
The word terroir can appear quite terrifying. It’s a French word for which there is no direct English translation, and it is thrown around with reckless abandon in the wine world. At its essence, it refers to a product – in this case a wine – having a sense of place, and expressing the specific area from which it has come. Ducru-Beaucaillou comes from a 90-hectare vineyard site facing the Gironde river in St. Julien. Locals say that the best wines are produced from riverside vineyards, and you’ll see where they’re coming from if you taste this wine. It’s got nice neighbours, too: To the south you’ll find Château Beychevelle, and to the north Château Léoville Barton.
Buy a bottle of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 2006 and taste its terroir: Though predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, it is never overpowering: there is a finesse here that simply couldn’t be achieved anywhere else!
Critics love it!
For those inside the wine industry, there are few estates whose reputation has the caché of Ducru-Beaucaillou’s. Robert Parker has awarded these wines with some very strong scores, rating the 2009 vintage a perfect 100 points. Anyone that enjoys fine wine knows what a 100-point score means: On the plus side, you’re guaranteed an exceptional wine, however, it’s going to be in short supply and hot demand – and you’ll pay for it!
Look instead to Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 2005. At 97 Parker points, this is a top-notch wine, and it won’t cost you (quite) as much as the 2009!
Food, glorious food!
Ducru-Beaucaillou is an outstanding food wine. The estate is led by the colourful Bruno Borie, who is well-known for hosting dinners at the château – and getting his hands dirty in the kitchen! It’s no surprise, then, that the wine itself is especially food-friendly. Pairing Bordeaux wine with food is one of life’s great pleasures, and Ducru-Beaucaillou is a case in point. Each vintage has its own unique characteristics, of course, but there’s nothing quite like pairing a mature Bordeaux with fine food.
Grab a bottle of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 1995, an elegant wine from a very strong vintage that is now in a beautiful point of its life. Pair it with something special: Recreate French Michelin-star style dining with a foie gras pôele or entrecote with red wine jus. Bon appetit!