1999 Ducru Beaucaillou
Robert Parker | 92 RP-NM
Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93+ RP
Medium red. Aromas of black cherry, minerals and graphite. Sweet and harmonious, with impressive vivacity and purity of flavor for '99. Strong mineral and graphite notes contribute complexity. Not overly fleshy but fresh and sharply delineated, with excellent intensity. A very sophisticated wine, showing well today.
Vinous Media | 91 VM
I love the aromas of chocolate, walnut, dark berries and flowers. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and a fresh, fruity finish. The mouthfeel is wonderful. Really silky. Just coming around now. Yes.—'89/'99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 17,500 cases made.
Wine Spectator | 91 WS
Wine Details for 1999 Ducru Beaucaillou
|Type of Wine
: Picture in your mind a combination of cedar, lead pencil, blackcurrant, plum and mineral aromatics, and texture that caresses your palate like a playful lover. The experience is thrilling from the first whiff to the final seconds of a tannic, generous finish - that is what you'll get from a Bordeaux Red
: Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.
For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.
France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.
France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.
Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou
: With three hundred years of influence in the Medoc, the history of Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou is as elegant as the wine itself; the property, magnificent and its terroir so unique that it lends to the name of this tremendous Second Growth. In existence since 1720, Ducru Beaucaillou has been a symbol of beauty and prestige in the small but fertile appellation of Saint Julien, carved by the Gironde and nestled between Margaux to the South and Paulliac to the North.
Over the course of history only six families have owned the lands of Ducru Beaucaillou, each playing a significant role in its success, from the founding family to its current owner. In 1795, Bertrand Ducru acquired the property and his love of the Medoc growth led him to make major investments in both the cellars and vineyard. His contributions were so grand that his successors decided to add his name to that of Beaucaillou. Ducru’s tireless, ambitious nature helped propel the reputation of the estate, developing the land and transforming the typical Gironde house into an elegant Directoire chartreuse (traditional country-styled chateau) overlooking the estuary.
Each inheriting family would tend to the vineyards with the utmost care and respect, leaving their own mark on its history. In 1855, Ducru Beaucaillou was officially classified a Second Growth. After years of continued success, the property finally came to rest in the hands of the Borie family in 1942. The efforts of the Borie family have only elevated the esteem and allure of Ducru Beaucaillou to a higher status. Human effort can only be partly accountable and the Borie family recognized this ideal as well as the extreme importance of the unique terroir being its most significant contributor.
The miracle of this Medoc property lies in the marriage of the air, land and vine. The peninsula is open to the estuary to the east, bordered by the peaceful pine forest to the west and has a light like no other. This steamy, orange light lazily caresses the vines of Ducru Beaucaillou in the early morning. The stony ridges are comprised of ancient deposits from centuries of erosion creating a soil composed of gravel, marl and pebbles. These pebbles are quite significant in both its contribution to the soil and also its name. The name Beaucaillou means, “Beautiful Pebbles.” These large, beautiful stones named “Gunz,” give rise to poor soils, forcing the plant to draw its nutrients at depth. The pebbles retain daytime heat and return it to the vines at night, facilitating the ripening of the vine. This tremendous force of nature gives the wines of Ducru Beaucaillou an extraordinary elegance, grace and silky composure.
The 75-hectare vineyard is planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and provide the grapes for its flagship, Ducru Beaucaillou, the second and third wines, La Croix Ducru Beaucaillou, and Le Petit Ducru De Ducru Beaucaillou. The current owner, Borie has lowered its yields in an attempt to increase quality and thus dropping production to 10,000 cases annually. Ducru Beaucaillou has witnessed much throughout its long and illustrious history, but has also, very much stayed the same. It remains a jewel of Saint Julien today.