Ducru-Beaucaillou experienced an uncharacteristically shaky period between 1986 and 1990. The winemaking did not suffer, but the inconsistency from bottle to bottle (too many wines exhibited a musty, wet cardboard-like aroma), is history. The construction of a new cellar and replacement of every barrel has guaranteed the conditions necessary to produce trouble free wines. Ducru is on a roll, with fine efforts over recent vintages, including an exceptional 1994, spectacular 1995, and what looks to be an equally profound, super-concentrated 1996. A top-notch effort in this vintage, Ducru-Beaucaillou's 1994 displays a dark purple color, a textbook, cassis, mineral, licorice, and floral-scented nose, medium body, outstanding extract and purity, moderate tannin, and a persuasively rich, sweet, spicy finish. Everything is well-integrated (including the tannin). This should prove to be a classic St.-Julien.