The history of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou is a long and fascinating one, stretching back 300 years and involving politicians and princesses, and most importantly fabulous vintages. Much of this is down to the unique terroir in the Saint-Julien appellation of Bordeaux.
The name Beaucaillou, in fact, takes its name beautiful pebbles (Beau Cailloux in French) from the large quartz stones that dominate the soil. This unusual mixture might be poor in plant nutrients, but paradoxically guarantees the quality of the award-winning wines the vineyard produces.
It’s a formula that has been successful for centuries with six families at the helm, the latest of which are the Bories, who acquired the vineyard in 1942. The man currently in charge of is Bruno-Eugène Borie, a tireless perfectionist who has launched a ten-year plan for the “sustainable reconstruction” of the vineyard and cellars. He is also overseeing a restoration of the château, fittingly by a princess, Sarah Poniatowska, a descendant of Stanislas II of Poland. Borie is passionate follower of contemporary art and design, elevating the vineyard to another level, with a series of superb vintages that truly embody the grand silky style of Saint-Julien.
Of course, embracing the modern does not mean forgetting the rich history that Ducru-Beaucaillou has accrued and the vineyard has marked its 300-year anniversary in a truly fitting way. The 2020 vintage celebrates the tercentenary in true style. The wine is an opaque colour with an explosion of rich black fruits, crushed gravel, exotic oak spices and a seductive floral perfume. On the palate the wine has a cashmere silk texture and a superb freshness. The flavours, pure and precise, perfume the palate with endless persistence. The 2020 is very elegant with perfectly mastered power. The presentation is also vitally important – the château has reinvented its distinctive label, maintaining its historic values but adding a modern twist. The orange colour evokes Oriental and Palladian motifs, the embossed tricentenary logo marks not just the 300 years but the three generations of the Borie family who have taken the vineyard into the 21st century. A homage to the past, yet a sign of things to come from a remarkable wine producer of true vintage quality.