60 years of Ducru Beaucaillou

In the recent thread about favorite super seconds, this was my favorite, and IMHO an easy candidate for promotion. It has elegance, length, a tremendous terroir, and a seamless and layered palate. Under Bruno Borie, I have seen a noticeable improvement, and 2010 and 2012 were among my two or three favorite Medocs at the Primeur tastings.

I am not going to do detailed notes, but my overall impression that this was one of the great Bordeaux was confirmed by the tasting. The food at Cafe Boulud was as usual extraordinary and among the courses was a wine soaked risotto with squab that might make it as one of the dishes that I would order for the perfect meal.

Wine of the night 1961 (98)

Great classic Bordeaux: 2005 (96), 2000 (95) and 1996 (96)

Surprises of the evening: 1966 (94) and 1981 (95)

Very good and only slightly overshadowed: 1995 (92) 1970 (93) 1982 (93)

Better when poured 1945 (95 down to 89 after 10 minutes)

Just missed 1959 (90)

Slightly better than I would have expected given the vintage: 2003 (88)

Tainted 1989 and 1990

Corked 1985

Well done sir!

I am a bit surprised the 82 did not show better, but it’s been a while since I’ve had one.

No 1986?

No 1986.

There seems to be some variability with the 1982s; I have had a few and never been sure what to expect. I felt this was upper middle on the continuum. Interestingly, it was outclassed by the 1981.

Thx for the notes. I drank a 2000 just a few days ago- I rated it the same.

For comparison sake, I noted major bursts of sour cherry which feathered into a midpalate with pleasant charcoal and minerality (chalk-like, perhaps due to slightly drying tannins). All-in, really impressive but I would wait 5+ more years for further development. It sounds like the 1996 is a good one to seek out as well.

Cool notes Mark - thanks - the '70 has been a long time favorite, nice to see it is still holding up. I always loved the '81 as well, and it was such a bargain for years when everyone was scrambling for the '82. Still have 1-2 bottles left -

This was the second bottle of 1996 I had in the last month, and I have been looking out for them ever since. In fact, I bought a case at Wallys today for $180 a bottle incl. Vig.

Would love to hear more about the '81. Just acquired a bottle and I know little of the vintage.


Jealous…love Ducru!

Had an '81 recently, and it was fabulous. I only have one left, and I will be sad when it’s gone.

Excellent wines, those Ducru’s.

We had the 2000 late last year. Looked great.

Thanks for the notes. In the process of consuming a case of '95 Ducru, the wine was showing great a couple of years ago but it seems to be in shutting down stage again recently.

The 1981 was extraordinarily fresh. It contained many of the characteristics that I associate with Ducru, blackcurrant, violets, something slightly ferric and spices.

Vintage got lost when the 1982s came out. Very strong in Pomerol, everywhere else a really solid vintage. Racking my brains thinking of a better left bank wine than Ducru. Perhaps Margaux.

Great notes.

The first Bordeaux futures I ever bought were 1981 Ducru - split a case with a friend (it was $140 a case). The first few were very good, but not beyond that. What I expected from an average vintage. The last couple were much better. So, I drank these too young. Amazing how good Mark says this has become. Happy that it is a wine I know well. Sad that had mine too early and don’t have any more, although the friend I split this with does so I likely will have the wine again.

And, my visit to Ducru last November was incredibly special. One of my favorite stops in Bordeaux.

I agree Mark. Except for a bad period between '86 and '89, they make consistently good wine. I’m also surprised at the '81. Always thought it was good but not that good. Then again, the last one I had was years ago.

Very interesting to read about the 1981. I haven’t had one for years but wouldn’t have thought it would be still going strong now, so that’s great! The only 81 I remember enjoying as much was a lone bottle of Pichon Baron I discovered under the stairs at my father’s house a couple of years ago. I was amazed at how good it was.

In a similar vein to the Ducru 81, I recommend the 1998. I enjoyed it more than the 96 last year - and it’s half the price of the latter so worth trying.

Thanks for the heads up on the 1981 Mark -will look out for it over here. Re other Medocs Lafite 1981 is a nice wine too. LMHB is v good too.

I would have though the 1995, 1996 and 2000 would still be pretty adolescent. Not intending to touch mine for quite a few years.

I have had generally good experiences with the 1986…I thought the really dark period was 1988-90…but untainted 88s and 90s are really good.

I’m also impressed with the consistent solid performance of Ducru Beaucaillou vintages that I’ve tasted over the years.

I’ll add that both the 1978 and the 1998 versions had been fine-drinkers for me.

Nice tasting. 1982 I have had several times, always outstanding. 1978, not in this tasting had been excellent. Anyone try the 2003 lately?

I just picked up a couple of 1983s for a relative song; I am hoping they are better by themselves than they showed for you in the company of better vintages

Neal’s post made me go back to the original.

Sorry guys: major typo. I was originally planning to put in the 1983, ended up subbing the 2003 for it. Now comment “Slightly better than I would have expected given the vintage: 2003 (88)” make sense, given the trials and tribulations of the 2003 harvest. I have changed the OP, and again my apologies.