Bruno Borie was in Los Angeles for the first time in five years Monday. He was showing his just bottled 2009 Ducru Beaucaillou, 2009 Croix de Beaucaillou and a few selected older vintages. The special tasting was hosted by Wallys Wine.
If you’re not familiar with the improvements made in the Bordeaux wine being produced at Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou in St. Julien since Bruno Borie started to manage the estate in 2003, you should try and taste what he’s been up to. The current vintages offer more intensity of flavor, additional levels of concentration, richness, supple textures and purity. While some properties talk the talk, based on what’s in the bottle at Ducru today, Borie is walking the walk.
Like many chateaux managers, Bruno is fun, charming, well-spoken, knowledgeable, and a good sales person. After all, while he enjoys traveling as much as the next person, he’s here promoting his wines because he wants you to buy them. While Borie delivered a speech before each flight, he did not bore the guests with too much technical talk. He got to the point and let the attendees decide if they liked his wines based on what was in their glass.
The highlight of the tasting was the first opportunity to taste his 2009 Bordeaux wines in bottle. Having tasted them multiple times in barrel, did the bottled wine stand up to the in barrel scores of 95-97 Pts?
There was only one way to find out, and I was ready. The night started off with the debut of the wine new label for Borie’s 2009 Croix de Beaucaillou.
2009 Croix de Beaucaillou – From the new bottle designed by Jade Jagger, which is very tastefully done, the wine is deep purple in color. The 2009 St. Julien opens with scents of boysenberry, chocolate, earth, tobacco and cherries. Fresh, clean and fleshy, the wine produced from a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot and aged in 60% new oak, ends with a supple, ripe, bright, black cherry and cocoa finish. In today’s market place, this is a fairly priced wine from Bruno Borie, who is one of the hottest producers in Bordeaux at the moment. 92 Pts
2009 Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou – Powerful aromatics of Boysenberry, licorice, cassis, bitter chocolate, olive tapenade, tobacco and blackberry liqueur. The wine caresses your palate with pure, silk and velvet textures. There is not a hard edge to be found in this delicious vintage of Ducru Beaucaillou. This supple, sexy, powerful, ripe, concentrated wine ends with a long, fresh, pure, intense, boysenberry, chocolate, spice and black cherry finish. The wine was produced from a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot and aged in 90% new oak. As good as the 2009 is, the 2010 Ducru Beaucaillou could turn out to be an even better wine! When Bruno Borie described this wine, he said it reminded him of Beyonce, with all its curves and sensuality! After tasting this delicious St. Julien, I get his point. 97 Pts
2005 Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou – The wine was closed and not expressive at this stage of its development. With air and intense swirling, complex scents of tobacco, gravel, cassis, blackberry, forest floor, bitter chocolate, floral, spice and black pepper could be found. The wine is tannic, concentrated and full bodied. It demands another decade or more before it begins to display all its charms. This sublime St. Julien wine ends with a long, fresh, boysenberry, cassis, spice and olive tapenade finish. It is not a wine for current consumption. 96 Pts
2003 Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou – Smoke, earth, coffee bean, blackberry liqueur, cassis, pepper, mocha and an intriguing note of flowers make up the exotic perfume. Sensuous, opulent, fleshy and flashy. This is a serious St. Julien wine. 2003 Ducru Beaucaillou, made from a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot marks the first vintage where Bruno Borie began calling the shots. The wine ends with a long, sweet, concentrated, ripe finish filled with deep layers of blackberry, plum and chocolate. This is not mature, but it’s offering a lot of pleasure today. 95 Pts
2000 Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou – Pungent aromas of truffle, flowers, mocha, cassis, blackberry, earth and cigar box come to the front without much effort. This full bodied, ripe, supple, refined St. Julien is elegant, classy and refined. With ripe tannins, the wine finishes with layers of sweet, juicy, spicy black cherries, cassis and blackberry. It’s starting to come around and will be much better with a few more years of bottle age. It should have a long life. 96 Pts
1995 Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou – Black cherry, tobacco, pepper, slate, earth and creme de cassis aromas paired with the full bodied, beefy, masculine, style of tannic wine produced in 1995. While the wine is coming around, it will always have a tannic side to its character. There was a touch of green and some dryness in the chewy, sharp, cassis filled finish. 92 Pts