Ducru Beaucaillou Tasting with UBS

Posted by Martin Docherty & Sam Mudie on 22 September 2017 |

Ducru Beaucaillou Tasting with UBS


“Do not seek praise. Seek criticism.” - Paul Arden


UBS’s new offices in Broadgate is the site of the single largest concentration of traders in the City. The £500m development, which was opened last year, houses around 5,500 employees and is unsurprisingly quite a sight to behold. On the outside, somewhat Marmite: the building was shortlisted as one of Britain’s ugliest new buildings 12 months ago – an award won by 20 Fenchurch Street (aka the Walkie Talkie Building) the year before. But on the inside, indisputably incredibly impressive in every way. While it receives criticism for its external style, it more than compensates with the internal services, offices, meeting and entertaining spaces. They even have an in-house Michelin-starred chef’s table. Because they can.


It was in one of the many event spaces that we held our investment session and wine tasting with the esteemed Bordeaux Second Growth, Ducru Beaucaillou (‘Beautiful Stones’).


Following an introduction from James Houston of UBS, Cult Wines’ Managing Director, Thomas Gearing, presented the fundamentals of wine investing and how we approach it, together with past performance and some also touching on market forecasts. It’s been a big and exciting year for us so this was expectedly well received all-round.


On a pleasant Thursday evening overlooking the bustling bars of Broadgate Circle, it was with zeal the 50 or so attendees moved onto the main event, the wine tasting!


Durcu’s Brand Ambassador, the charming Pascale Blickman, walked and talked us through a range of the estate’s wines.



La Croix de Beaucaillou 2012


Ducru’s owner, Bruno Borie, repositioned the branding of the estate’s ‘Second Wine’ between 2005 and 2010, culminating in the redesigning of the label by Jade Jagger (is the Stones connection a coincidence?) from the 2010 vintage onwards.


At around £30 a bottle, La Croix is a superb ‘entry-level’ example of Ducru’s style. The 2012 is comprised of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and the remaining 2% of Petit Verdot and, although early in its drinking window (recommended 2015-2025), it’s already a pleasure albeit a relatively uncomplicated one. Medium bodied with still fine tannins, quite soft blackberry and vanilla, a hint of spice. Something like a winter crumble. Great for more everyday drinking.



Ducru Beaucaillou 2008


“One of the stars of the vintage,” were Robert Parker’s last words on this wine. We don’t disagree. Pushing £130 a bottle on the table, this is still one of the more affordable vintages of the Grand Vin on the market and doesn’t deserve to live too much in the shadow of the massive 2009 and 2010.


An intense nose but far more restrained on the palate, still youthful but herbaceous – more cherry & raspberry than blackcurrant. Polished, with silky tannins and a long finish.


Whilst it doesn’t have the concentration of fruit that you only get in great vintages, it’s not too far behind. With time this will be drinking beautifully and offers great value for money.



Ducru Beaucaillou 2005


With a large amount of merlot for a left-bank wine (over 30%) we were keen to see how Ducru had performed in what is one of the great Bordeaux vintages of the past 30 years – we were certainly not disappointed.


In it’s 10th year of bottling but still a puppy. Bags of dark fruit coaxing the glass; so rich, yet so balanced. Full-bodied, highly concentrated and of one for the long-haul; surely this will go down in the pantheon of great Ducru-Beaucaillou! Justifying the overall quality of the vintage and Ducru Beaucaillou. Superb!



Ducru Beaucaillou 1985


We were very pleased, and honoured when Madame Blickman revealed she was bringing over their 1985 for us to sample. 1985 has longed lived in the shadow of the 1986 vintage but perhaps this was is a little unfair. Our head of Fine Wine, Lukasz Kolodziejczyk certainly thinks so, having recently tried a number of Bordeaux wines from this vintage.


The nose immediately revealed a wine of huge complexity; cedar, graphite and cigar box coming through intertwined with blackcurrant. Whilst fully mature there was still an abundance of freshness and acidity suggesting there is still plenty of life in this old dog. Seriously impressive and universally enjoyed….the 2005 will undoubtedly improve with age but for now as the 1985 clearly stole the show!



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