Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Madame de Beaucaillou Haut-Médoc

Madame de Beaucaillou Haut-Médoc 2018

Local wine merchant Vin Chicago put this label out as a special feature offer and I picked up a case and, oh my, am I glad I did! We're long time fans and collectors of the grand vin Ducru Beaucaillou and were intrigued to try this new label in its inaugural release. 

We visited the famous Château Ducru Beaucaillou during our Bordeaux St Julien wine experience in 2018 and tasted the 2018 release from the barrel. That vintage went on to receive 100 points from Wine Enthusiast and 99 points from just about everyone else. They released this new label for that vintage so we were compelled to pick some up. 

As I have oft written in these pages, in top vintages, 'all boats rise with the tide', meaning great Chateaux will produce great wines even in their second and third labels, such that those labels often provide tremendous QPR - Quality Price Ratios, superb wines at a fraction of the price of the grand vin.

Wine critic Jeb Dunnuck wrote about the 2018 Bordeaux: "In short, 2018 is a thrilling vintage with no shortage of legendary wines and I cannot imagine anyone who purchases these wines will be disappointed...It’s possible to find attractive, well-made, even outstanding, wines that punch well above their price points." 

This is the very first vintage of this new label coming from the cellars of Ducru Beaucaillou. The new wine comes from vineyards located in the Haut-Médoc; plots brought by Madame Eugène-Borie on her marriage and more recently by the acquisition of plots from Madame Fort-Pradère. This wine label was created to pay homage to the woman who chaired the Board from 1998 to today, but also to an attentive and loving mother. Under the Haut Medoc appellation, this wine offers Borie quality at an entry-level price.

In recognition of Ducru's long line of women owners, the chateau released this label noting, “equally inspiring and demanding… all of them had an essential role in the development and renown of Ducru Beaucaillou’s signature style – strength and grace.”

Ducru Beaucaillou is a Bordeaux Second Growth that dates back to 1720 and is named for its terroir – the beautiful stones - ducru beaucaillou ... that are a large part of the composition of the soil of the vineyards adjacent the Gironde River. These stones, and the vineyards planted on them, are part of what gives Ducru Beaucaillou its particular Saint Julien character. Adjacent is a commemorative 'beautiful pebble', engraved with the historic chateau, in a gift box given to guests at to the estate. 

With the 2018 vintage, Ducru Beaucaillou decided to honor it’s 300th birthday and its Chairman [chairwoman] of the Board, Mrs. Eugene Borie, for the past decade by creating a new cuvee from her family’s home vineyards. The cuvee is this one, the Madame de Beaucaillou, released in 2020. 

This is vinified in the cellars by the Ducru-Beaucaillou team, receiving the same care and attention: the technical winemaking process, selective blending, and careful ageing for 12 months in barrel (including 20% new oak). 

In classic Bordeaux style, this is a blend of 39% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot.

Deep garnet-colored, medium bodied, bright expressive vibrant blackberries, blueberries and plum fruits, accented by graphite and a touch of clove, hints of coffee tobacco, cigar and cedar with a savoury round finish with firm structured backbone and sturdy, fine-grain cloying tongue coating tannins that are not for the feint of heart but will impress big Bordeaux enthusiasts.

This was delicious already and I can only imagine how this will be with three to five or more years of additional integration and aging. 

RM 91 points. This was also awarded 91 points by James Suckling

Upon tasting this, I quickly got on line and ordered the current release of this label, available through En primeur (futures purchase). Stay tuned as I'll dutifully report on that wine as I soon as obtain some and have the opportunity to try it.