Driving up and down the Médoc you can not fail to be impressed by the many grand châteaux you will pass. From the understated maison and yet iconic dovecot at Château Latour, to the exuberant extravagance of Château Cos d’Estournel, these châteaux in many cases reflect the demeanour of long-deceased proprietors, and I don’t think it unreasonable in some cases to ask whether they also channel the style of the wine? With this in mind, I think it is always worthwhile exploring the history of these estates and their proprietors, in order to put the wine made in modern times into context.
Few can boast such a majestic outer shell as Château Ducru-Beaucaillou. The first château of some sort seems to have gone up during the 1730s, although the central part of what stands today was erected by the Ducru family during the first half of the 19th century, presumably replacing what stood before. The design, a long and low chartreuse, was situated directly over the barrel cellars, unusual for the Médoc. This arrangement is immediately apparent when visiting the property, which in my case is most commonly during the primeur tastings. The entrance utilised during the primeurs is via the grape reception area at one end of the building, and once through the doorway you descend directly into the cellars.Please log in to continue reading: