The prodigious, fantastic 2003 Cos d?Estournel is a candidate for ?wine of the vintage.? A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon (unusually high for this chateau), 30% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, 17,500 cases were produced from low yields. An inky/blue/purple color is accompanied by a compelling perfume of black fruits, subtle smoke, pain grille, incense, and flowers. With extraordinary richness, full body, and remarkable freshness, elegance, and persistence, this is one of the finest wines ever made by this estate. The good news is that it will be drinkable at a young age yet evolve for three decades or more. Kudos to winemaker Jean-Guillaume Prats and owner Michel Reybier.
The 2010 is a more structured, restrained, less flamboyant version of the 2009. A final blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that hit 14.5% natural alcohol, this wine (which represents only 55% of the estate's production) is full-bodied, classic and built along the lines of the 2000 (although that wine was made before Reybier acquired the estate and upgraded quality significantly). This wine exhibits beautifully pure notes of creme de cassis, blueberry liqueur, pen ink, graphite and hints of toast and vanillin. The wine is full and rich, and although aged in 80% new oak, the wood is a subtle background component. This beauty will take longer to round into shape than the dramatic and compelling 2009. Forget it for 5-8 years, and drink it over the following three-plus decades.
JADE JAGGER DESIGNS CROIX DE BEAUCAILLOU LABEL!Calvert Woodley is proud to be one of a handful of retailers in the US selected by Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou to offer the newest brainchild of its innovative, art-loving owner, Bruno Borie.Bruno commissioned noted designer Jade Jagger, daughter of Mick and Bianca, to create an elegant label for Croix de Beaucaillou, his superb "second wine." Bruno told Decanter magazine, "I really admired the work that Jade Jagger did … and we liked the idea of the daughter of a Rolling Stone working on Beaucaillou." Apropos when you realize that Beaucaillou means 'beautiful stones' in French.The re-design of the Croix de Beaucaillou label will commence with the 2010 vintage but as a pre-cursor, Bruno and Jade have made available extremely limited supplies, in large format bottles, of the sensational 2009 vintage with the new label.Quantities are limited!Bruno has made it a personal project to raise the level of quality of Croix de Beaucaillou and he wanted to re-design the label to showcase the uniqueness of the wine. Not your typical "second wine," Croix de Beaucaillou is sourced from its own dedicated vineyards to give it a more consistent quality. It undergoes the same rigorous selection as the grand vin but comes from younger vines than Ducru which makes it more approachable at a younger age. Having now tasted the wine at the chateau two years in a row we can say without hesitation, "Mission accomplished!"