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Madame de Beaucaillou by Ducru Beaucaillou

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Country/State France

Region Bordeaux

Subregion Haut-Medoc


Type Cabernet Blend

Read About the Wine

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We often spend a lot of hot air at Waterford trying to convince you that the second wine of a chateau is nearly as good as the Grand Vin of said chateau. Like this: “Well, just across the road, you have the younger vines, and technically those could be included in the Grand Vin. However, the Chateau ownership separates them out. Sooo… same winemaker, same chateau, same technique and aging, just younger vines – at a 2/3rds off!”

Well, to be upfront here, the famous Chateau of Ducru Beaucaillou did receive 100 points from Wine Enthusiast and 99 points from just about everyone else. And they do make a second wine right from the same property, with the same winemaking team, in the same chateau – and this isn’t that wine.

So what is going on here? Here goes:

Ducru Beaucaillou is a Bordeaux Second Growth that dates back to 1720 and is named for its terroir – the beautiful large stones. These stones, and the vineyards planted on them, are part of what gives Ducru Beaucaillou its particular Saint Julien character. That, and Ducru has a noble and long line of women owners that are, as the chateau notes, “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.”

So, in 2020, with the 2018 vintage, Ducru Beaucaillou decided to honor it’s 300th birthday and its Chairman [sic] 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, and it’s a stunner:

Deep garnet-colored, the wine flows effortlessly out of the glass with vibrant notes of blackberries, blueberries, graphite, bouquet garni and a touch of clove. The palate is languid and lush, with a note of blackcurrant cordial that is lifted by a frame of sturdy, fine-grain tannins. The finish is youthful and fresh now and the wine is ready to go, yet it hints at dramatic things to come if cellared. At this price, try a whole case and drink over the next decade. Every single bottle will give you deep satisfaction.

So really, what is this wine? It’s vineyard plots in the Haut-Medoc upslope from Saint Julien, brought into the fold of Ducru Beaucaillou due to marriage. The winery is at pains to state that other than the location of the vines, everything is the same as for its main wine. It’s a beautiful tribute to a vast history, and is thoroughly delicious.

And yes, I know, its kinda unpatriotic to offer a foreign wine right after we celebrated Independence Day. But hey – the French supported us in our War of Independence.