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Ducru is one of my favorite Bordeaux wines, and I've always enjoyed its smoothness and finesse. The Chateau is a "show place" and with their modern facility, they are making some outstanding wines.

I had 4 bottles of the 1996 vintage resting in my cellar, but I read a recent wine review and made me think it was ready. Still, I double decanted this 1996 Ducru Beaucaillou through a Vinturi aerator, then re-corked the bottle for three hours. Simply put, this wine is not ready, and won't be for at least 5 or 6 years minimum, IMO.

The color was youthful, the tannins are strong, and the wine is closed! The fruit may be plentiful, but it seemed not well integrated, or even sweet enough. This bottle screams for maturity, and if it ever comes together, it should be outstanding. Those who can't wait should be prepared to give it some serious decanting time.
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Originally posted by mareff:
good to know that my 96's will lie dormant for somemore time. Latour, have you tried any from the 80's??? I know that they had that mold problem in the cellars during the mid 80's but are any vintages from then worth pursuing?


I've had more 80's Ducru than from any other decade, and always had a wonderful experience with their wines, and my visits.

Although I didn't buy any Ducru from the following vintages: 1980, 1984, or 1987, the rest of the 1980's were fine. I don't remember any problem with mold in the 1980's, but the mold in their cellars was prolific, with drips of water still seeping down the walls during my last visit in 2000. However, the mold never bothered any wines I tasted during the 70's, 80's, or 90's. Still, I would imagine they have moved their cellar from beneath the Chateau to their new area, which is also underground, but I'm sure its free of mold. (BTW, a trip to the Mouton cellars would also provide a real display of mold)


My last visit was 2000, and I don't remember the little pebbles. Confused I do remember the Palmer rocks quite well, as I almost fell, and they were quite dusty!
Originally posted by Randy Sloan:
Latour, come on back out here. Ducru was the wine my late father-in-law collected and I've continued the trend. We could probably put together a pretty great vertical tasting.


Thanks, I might take you up on that offer, next year! I stopped buying Bordeaux in 2000, and my supply of Ducru has dwindled over the last 15 years, but I still have a few bottles hidden away. Perhaps next summer.
Originally posted by thirsty man:
I had a stash of the 83s that i found direct from the chateau. They were all nice, starting to or were edging over the hill. Of the 6 - 1 was corked and 1 was compromised (cork failure). They were very nice wines, fully mature, but the failure rate was rather high...

thirsty man

If you bought "direct from chateau", I would return both bottles due to cork failure. Perhaps a little trouble but surely worth it.

If you bought from a retailer, and they advertised "direct from the Chateau", I would contact the retailer, advising them you had two of six bottles with cork failure, and think they should be replaced by the Chateau. Or, at the very least, they can replace those two bottles with wines of like value.

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