1998 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou

Red Bordeaux Blend

  • France
  • Bordeaux
  • Médoc
  • St. Julien

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Community Tasting Note

  • liber Likes this wine: 95 points

    April 2, 2016 - 2nd of 12, decanted an hour, perfect cork and level - I've noted that the top left bank 98s are now beginning to drink well and this was no exception, a substantial upgrade on my April 14 note when it was still surly and one dimensional - now still youthful garnet; complex and classy bouquet of cassis, bramble, cedar and graphite; medium, very long, persistent and involving, beautiful fruit hiding fine grain but slightly dry tannin, has grip and balance to develop further. Unexpectedly beautiful, VF (18.5).

    2 people found this helpful 3,067 views


  • ESCO commented:

    4/3/16, 4:13 PM - You really must be having a laugh......95 .........never , ever.

  • liber commented:

    4/4/16, 2:12 AM - Yes ESCO a pleasant surprise, but not wholly unexpected based on my recent experience of the vintage and long experience of Ducru which nearly always comes good given time

  • ESCO commented:

    4/5/16, 2:43 PM - I liked your very polite reply . It had class. But ....

    .....if it develops as you expect this is a potential 98 point wine ? Almost perfection ?

    I acknowledge your familiarity with the wine but having tasted 6 bottles of 98' D-B at various stages of development there is no chance it nears perfection. None, zero, niente.....

    It is all opinions after all , and I really enjoyed your opinion and defence of same.

  • liber commented:

    4/7/16, 8:24 AM - ESCO I agree that I don't think this wine has the grip or balance to be a 98 pointer, it's not that special...and I worry about that mild undertow of dry tannin. Nevertheless, it was a delight with lamb shoulder and I judge on what is in the glass at the time. It was my wine of the weekend eclipsing a technically very fine Beze 98 from Rousseau served with steak the previous night and a Pegau 01 Reservee the next night, both of which were slightly sulky by comparison. it seems that the Ducru in my cellar has just emerged from the sulks. Better luck with your next bottle!

  • djhammond commented:

    10/12/17, 3:57 AM - Fully agree with your assessment of the wine and your comment re 1998 leftbankers. I gave this wine a 94 nearly a year ago and noted it was far more evolved than the 1995 and 1996, and indeed outperforming the 1995. Am tasting the 1998 again tonight and will accordingly post a review.

  • djhammond commented:

    10/12/17, 1:45 PM - To ESCO please see my tasting note for tonight. I am firmly in opposition to your comments

  • liber commented:

    10/13/17, 3:58 AM - Thanks DJ. My last bottle was a little less convincing and accordingly slightly marked down.....but I'm sure it's a phase; that's the beauty of fine wine, following them through the ups and downs. Incidently, your note on the 03 is tempting me to rack a case to look at it. is your wine kept in a cool cellar (so I can judge relative evolution)? Best wishes, Liber

  • djhammond commented:

    10/13/17, 6:55 AM - Hi Liber,. Would recommend the 2003; I am a great fan of the left bank of this vintage but not everyone would agree. It reminds me of the 1998 in many ways but the only cautionary note is that it probably will not be a wine that will have the legs to last for decades.

    Re storage, I don't have temperature controlled storage; but I have converted an above ground outhouse into storage with all natural light blocked and the room itself is north facing and in shade. This means it is consistently cool through the year. One other point is that I always store in the wooden case. Hope this helps.

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