For 300 years, six families have nurtured an indelible bond with Château Ducru-Beaucaillou. They are forever captives of this prestigious estate, be they named Desjean, Bergeron, Ducru, Johnston, Desbarat, or Borie. Its families were never short of praise for it. Over the decades, this devotion has managed to overcome all that is accidental or fleeting, as if passion perfected Nature's opus. Château Ducru-Beaucaillou owes its name to its "beautiful pebbles" ("beaux Cailloux", in French) that geologists refer to less romantically as Gunzian gravel. These quartz pebbles were deposited by the ancient Garonne at the beginning of the early Quaternary period, some two million years ago. It suffices to take a walk through the vineyards to make rich lithological finds. Lydian jasper from the Pyrenees, flint, quartz, agatoids... These Gunzian gravels make for soils that are poor in plant nutrients. But it is their very agrological paucity that guarantees the qualitative excellence of the wines. A choice of nature.
The wines of La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou come from the vineyard of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou. This exceptional Médoc terroir is situated between the Gironde River to the east, the centre and the west of the Saint-Julien appellation. The estate owes its name to its “beautiful pebbles” ("beaux cailloux", in French) which, because of their high quartz content, make for soils that are poor in plant nutrients. It is precisely this “agrological” paucity, as the late Bordeaux professor and geographer, René Pijassou, described it, that makes them so well-suited to the production of fine wine. In the east, the plots are planted along the rolling Médoc ridges, just above the estuary, while those at the epicentre benefit from a microclimate nurtured by the little La Mouline stream that meanders through the middle of the appellation from west to east before disappearing into the Gironde.
This newcomer is a selection derived from our St-Julien vineyards. An affectionate and informative name that already tells wine lovers something about its positioning and its ambitions. Le Petit Ducru portends an introduction to the Borie signature, a courteous invitation to approach the qualities of its elders, Ducru-Beaucaillou and La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou; from its complexity to its structure, by way of its balance and its elegance. There is, of course, a family resemblance, a wonderful complicity between the three nectars. They know what they have in common: a rigorous technical process, drastic selection, demanding winemaking. Here, barrel ageing lasts for 12 months with one-third new oak. A Cabernet-Merlot blend and depending on the vintage, sometimes with a hint of Petit Verdot, varietal that we know to be a skillful sculptor.