Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 1970

One of the first big tastings organised by the Naughton Dining Club (oft-referred to wine-swilling gang of trade and ex-trade mates) was a vertical of Ducru dating back to 1955. If memory serves, and subsequent tastings are any indication, the 1966 was the wine of the evening. But we all loved the 1970 as well. In those days, and up through to the 90s, Ducru provided the poise and elegance of St Julien. Nowadays it tends towards the bigger style of claret, which is a shame. As such, revisiting old Ducru is not something that needs to be forced upon me. I'll sip willingly.

Mature, but not old, and classic claret tones at 41 years.

Soft nose, with bunches of tangy berries - the dried ones you find in a good muesli, and hints of cloves on the edges.

This is almost aperitif claret. Sadly ill-suited to the lamb shanks. Perhaps the acidity of the tomato in the sauce is cutting into it a bit. Tasted away from the food, it's delicious. Supple and textured, it's not quite as big and vibrant as the La Chapelle, nor as poised as the Barolo, but sits somewhere between the two. Is it a touch too old? Nah. I'd keep drinking it over the next five years or so. Perhaps longer.


Tasted 20 August 2011 at Shorehead.