Château Ducru Beaucaillou
Classification: Second Growth (2ème Cru Classé)
Ducru Beaucaillou is a magnificent Château in Saint Julien which is a 2000 acre appellation on two plateaus between Pauillac and Margaux on the left bank of the Gironde Estuary. This chateau is one of the leading Second Growths in Saint Julien and can trace its history back to the 13th century. It takes its name from the French word “cailloux” which translates as “Beautiful Pebbles”. Ducru was added to the name in 1795 by its then owner Bertrand Ducru. These pale pebbles are found dotted around the vineyard.
The Château’s wines have been famous for centuries. Bertrand Ducru’s daughter married Antoine Ravez who was the Speaker in the French Parliament. He switched the MP’s customary glasses of water with Château Ducru Beaucaillou as he loved the wine so much. There is no record of whether any of the MPs complained so its presumed they were grateful that Ravez had made the switch – whether it helped in their political debates or not is another matter!
Ducru Beaucaillou also had the benefit of pioneering techniques in its past which aided the wine industry in general as well as the château. Nathaniel Johnston purchased the Château in 1866 and he was renowned for his experiments on grape varietals and vine diseases. In 1878 Johnston perfected the blend of Bouille Bordeaux (Bordeaux Mix) which is made from naturally occurring copper sulphate deposits in the local soil and lime milk and is used as a remedy for mildew to this day.
Château Ducru Beaucaillou is the only Château in Bordeaux to be built directly over its wine cellars. The vineyards run up the slopes above the low lying marsh land and cover 112 acres. The grapes in the vineyard are 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.
The wines of Ducru Beaucaillou are often hailed as the quintessential claret. They are full bodied, and powerful but beautifully well balanced. It requires a minimum of 10 years of bottle ageing to reveal the rich and fruity, elegant flavours of cassis, vanilla and ripe blackberries
Owner: Bruno Borie (the family also own Chateaux Grand Puy Lacoste, Haut Batailley, Fourcas Borie, Borie Lalande, Ducluzeau, La Couronne and the Lillet Company)
Château Website: www.chateau-ducru-beaucaillou.com
Oenologist: J & E Boissenot