1982 Ducru-Beaucaillou

I was at an HDH 1982 Bordeaux tasting recently. (Always good to see the superbly gracious executives and staff of the firm, but I was both disappointed and a little amused when two bottles each of the Lafite and Mouton were flawed – not very good advertising for these very expensive wines when they are selling them to you. The Latour, however, was beyond stunning.) In any event I was quite impressed with the '82 Ducru, and bought three bottles at the auction the following day. I opened one yesterday, and it drank about 20 years younger than the one at the tasting. Still completely opaque, beautiful St. Julien nose, and lovely flavor, but still quite tannic and few if any tertiary notes. I had a look at Parker’s Bordeaux book from 2003, when he called it one of the few '82’s that had at that time reached maturity! My assumption was that my bottle had remained unmoved in a very cold cellar, but has anyone else had this experience with the '82? If it were a more important wine I might suspect an '82 bottle had been filled with a vintage from the 2000’s.

David Kubiak

I have not had the '82 Ducru for many years, but the last time I did (8-9 years?) it was completely primary, so I’m not too surprised yours was too, especially if it came from a deep cold cellar.

Every 1982 Ducru I’ve had has been too young. The last was about 6 years ago, the wine was almost 30 years old. These were bought within a year of release and stored at 55 degrees since. Not corked, just not developing. In my experience the only other 82 that has been that slow to come around was Leoville Las Cases. Another one where every bottle I’ve had was too young.

Thanks for sharing this bottle David, it was an excellent wine despite its apparent youth. No hurry to open the next one!

had this bottle about a month ago, it was lovely. for my taste it’s near the optimum drinking window.

I think it’s fair to say that Parker got many of his drinking windows and maturity estimations on traditionally-made Bordeaux wrong even where he made a good call on the quality of the wine. But I’m guessing this is a topic that has been explored previously on WB, and I’m not trying to open an old debate.

I’ve had 2-3 bottles of 82 Ducru over the past 5 years and none of them were too young. They were all in their prime drinking window.

I have a few left and all have been on the younger side. I am in no hurry nor would I worry about opening a bottle. It is a great bottle.