Dark as night, with an open, generous nose of ripe, healthy fruit in a warm and rich bouquet. The palate shows remarkable energy and vivacity around a core of kirsch and plum sauce laced with mushroom, cedar and smoke. This is a huge, impressive wine at a great price.
Richly juicy and intense, this wine is massive, with concentrated tannins and dusty texture. The wine has weight and density but is also impressively fresh with acidity. It's a successful combination for this second wine of Ducru-Beaucaillou. Drink from 2027.JS94
Aromas of blackberry, blueberry and blackcurrant with violet and lavender, following through to a full body with very fine tannins and a creamy, beautifully caressing texture. Like the chocolate, walnut and berry aftertaste. Second wine of Ducru. Drink after 2025.DC94
Cabernet Sauvignon's savoury black fruit flavours dominate on the attack, along with a swirl of spice. Small berries meant great concentration, and the vintage saw a full 130 days between flowering and harvest (compared, for example , with 115 days in 2005). Rich in expression of fruit, with complexity and a lovely slate character along with charcoal, liquorice and campfire. This is a lovely glass of polished St-Julien. Harvest from 19 September to 10 October. 66% new oak. Drinking Window 2023 - 2038.JD94
The second wine of this great domaine is the 2018 La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou. A blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot, this ripe, opulent beauty boasts a dense purple color to go with a sexy, full-bodied style showing loads of blackcurrants, cassis, spice, candied violet, and tobacco-like aromas and flavors. Plush, full-bodied, and concentrated on the palate, this is one big, sumptuous Saint-Julien that's going to evolve for 15-20 years or more.WS93
The solid core of kirsch and plum sauce flavors is laced with apple wood and graphite notes. Direct and well-built.WA92
The 2018 La Croix de Beaucaillou is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, aged 12 months in two-third new barriques. It has a pH of 3.75, 15% alcohol and an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 96. Deep garnet-purple colored, it rolls effortlessly out of the glass with vibrant notes of crushed blueberries, baked plums and blackcurrant cordial with hints of bouquet garni, underbrush, clove oil and cast-iron pan. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a sturdy frame of firm, grainy tannin's and just enough freshness supporting the muscular black fruits, finishing earthy. Not a second wine as such, because it comes from a dedicated part of the vineyard, the blocks for La Croix de Beaucaillou are generally located on the south bank of the La Mouline steam.VN92
The 2018 La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou (note the subtle change of name) was raised 12 months in barrel (60% new) and then transferred into vat, and bottled in June 2020. It has a seductive though almost understated bouquet that bides its time, unfolding to reveal black cherries, menthol (though less prominently than out of barrel) and hints of fennel and clove. There is something reassuringly complex about this Deuxième Vin. The palate is vibrant and lively on the entry, retaining the vitality and vigor it showed en primeur. Succulent ripe tannin's belie the structure of this La Croix de Beaucaillou, which delivers an engaging saline finish. It has calmed down since I tasted it in barrel, although there is still a soupçon of fieriness on the aftertaste emanating from the 15% alcohol, which is why I am prudent with my score.