(2006 Vintage) The weather in June was fine. The month of July was torrid and cause for concern. Crop-thinning was carried out so as to leave 4 to 6 bunches per vine at Ducru Beaucaillou and 6 to 8 bunches per vine at Lalande Borie. The first and limited leaf-pulling was done over the entire vineyard: to ensure that the clusters were properly ventilated. While still being protected from too much exposure to the sun that could burn them. Atlantic weather prevailed in August. It was moderately hot, with some showers during the last two weeks of the month. The first fortnight of September was sunny, even torrid, with temperatures exceeding 30 °C. This favoured the quick maturation of the Merlots which developed record levels of sugar, identical to those attained in 2005 and 2003. The Cabernets Sauvignons ripened later. Extensive leaf-pulling was carried out around the clusters so that they could fully benefit from the tender September sunshine and thus attain full maturity. This also ensured the proper airing of the berries and prevented the development of botrytis.
Wine AdvocateThe Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 2014 is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot that was picked between 25 September and 15 October and matured in 100% new oak as usual. The IPT is 81, the pH 3.81. Compared to recent vintages the nose is more backward, sultry and less explosive although there is still impressive concentration here. It's just "buttoned down" at present. (A second sample showed a little more sous-bois, more complexity than the first.) The palate is medium-bodied and masculine, a little chalky in the mouth with a firm backbone. Bruno Borie has overseen a more classic Ducru-Beaucaillou, one that I suspect will be less approachable than the last three vintages, boasting a Pauillac-like, graphite-infused finish that just needs to gain a little more persistence during its élevage. This is one wine that actually showed better on my second visit, demonstrating more élan and brio, but nuances notwithstanding, it is another magnificent Ducru-Beaucaillou to add to the roster." -Neal Martin
Antonio Galloni"One of the more powerful wines for the year, the 2014 Ducru-Beaucaillou surprises with its sheer concentration. A blast of dark cherry, crème de cassis, mocha, spice and chocolate makes a strong opening statement. Super-ripe, voluptuous and opulent, the wine possesses off-the-charts depth and richness. Ducru remains the most opulent and flamboyant of the 2014 Saint-Juliens. While some 2014s have faded a bit over the last two years, Ducru has barely budged. I imagine it will be many years before the 2014 starts drinking well. Proprietor Bruno Borie gave it 18 months in 100 % new French oak."
James Suckling"Stunning aromas of licorice, blackcurrants, minerals, dried rose petals and wet earth. Full body, incredibly intense fruit yet this remains compacted and toned with tannins. Long, long finish. What a wine."