Château Ducru-Beaucaillou is right at the top of the Saint-Julien ladder, and it is known as a Bordeaux 'Super Second' – a left bank second growth Bordeaux producing fine red wines equal or superior to the illustrious first growths.
Ducru-Beaucaillou is named after the beautiful stones (beau cailloux) found in its unique wine-growing soils and was once part of Château Beychevelle in the 17th century, the land being parcelled off and acquired by Jean-Baptiste Braneyre in 1680. The estate was once actually called 'Maucaillou' (lit. bad pebbles), but its name was changed to give it a more positive slant.
The late Jean-Eugène Borie, one of Bordeaux's real gentlemen, rescued what was a château in trouble back in 1961 and the estate, which commands sweeping panoramic views over the Gironde, rose to stardom in the latter part of last century, with a succession of scintillating vintages. Today, Ducru-Beaucaillou's 75 hectares of vines are managed by his son, the affable and welcoming Bruno-Eugene Borie. Ducru-Beaucaillou is the estate's first wine, La Croix de Beaucaillou the second wine.