In what can only be considered as an attempt to make the price as bold as the bottle, Ducru Beaucaillou has released this morning at £960 per six or £1,920 per 12 IB. Decorated with a special label, celebrating 300 years of the property, Ducru Beaucaillou 2020 is certainly an outstanding wine. Jane Anson of Decanter and Jeb Dunnuck both proclaim it one of the wines of the vintage. Anson awards it 98 points and goes on saying, “Always a confident and well-finessed wine, really flexing its muscles in 2020.” Dunnuck gives it 97-99 and compares it to the epic 2016 and 2010 vintages: “it reminds me of a hypothetical mix of the 2010 and 2016, offering serious concentration paired with a gorgeous sense of precision and purity. It’s going to take a decade of cellaring to hit the early stages of maturity… yet evolve for 50 years or more.” James Suckling admires the “gorgeous cabernet sauvignon character” and grants it a stellar score of 98-99.

The release price of £160 per bottle marks a 33% increase to last year which seems to be the trend of this En Primeur campaign. That said, Ducru Beaucaillou is a truly great wine which competes with Las Cases for the title of the finest Super Second of St Julien. It is one of the leading Second Growths renowned for perennially offering complex aromas of cedar, black truffle, tobacco, cassis and spice. 

Ducru Beaucaillou has now been in the Borie family for three generations. Francis, the wise businessman who bought the estate in 1941, truly turned around its fortunes and re-established its reputation. On his death in 1953 his son Jean Eugéne took command and introduced château bottling, invested in a new cellar, increased the density of planting and in 1995 introduced a second label, Le Croix de Beaucaillou. Jean Eugéne’s son Bruno took over managing Ducru in 2003 and he has brought the wines of Ducru to another level. From the 2003 vintage onwards only the vineyards adjacent to the château, looking over the estuary, would be used in the grand vin. Production therefore dropped from 20,000 to 10,000 cases a year. The difference in the wines that Bruno is making today is that as well as the poise, elegance and the beauty of a classic Ducru, the wine now possess the power only found in the finest vintages such as 1982.