Château Branaire Ducru

Château Branaire Ducru

94 points - The Wine Advocate
90 points - The Wine Advocate
90 points - The Wine Advocate
94 points - The Wine Advocate
94 points - The Wine Advocate
93 points - The Wine Advocate
95 points - The Wine Advocate
94 points - The Wine Advocate
89 points - The Wine Advocate

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The 2016 Branaire-Ducru is a real classic, and in the fullness of time, it will likely rival or even surpass the more charming, demonstrative 2019. Unwinding in the glass with deep aromas of dark berries, cassis, loamy soil, pencil shavings and cigar smoke, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with a taut, structured profile and a long, penetrating finish.
The 2015 Branaire-Ducru is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 18 September until 8 October, with two or three intervals in between. Matured in around 60% new oak (although as usual my barrel sample was from a new oak barrel), it has a high-toned, black cherry and cassis scented nose that perhaps feels a little constricted by the new wood in this sample, though not necessarily once in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with a lightly spiced entry, white pepper and a touch of sage, gritty tannin, foursquare and a little conservative. There is commendable weight on the finish, if not quite the precision compared to its peers. I noticed this gaining more cohesion in the glass, which bodes well for once the Branaire-Ducru is in bottle.
Deep ruby/purple, with sweet cranberry, mulberry and raspberry/blueberry fruit, this is always a distinctive St.-Julien and the 2012 has managed to avoid any of the hollowness or harsh tannins that can afflict some of the Médocs. It is elegant, well-made and an outstanding effort in this vintage. Drink it over the next 15 or more years.
This wine is more backward than I would have normally expected, but nevertheless, it is very impressive. The 2010 Branaire-Ducru displays an inky bluish purple color and loads of mulberry, raspberry, black currant, graphite and floral notes in its intense aromatics. Medium to full-bodied , with sensational ripeness, purity, texture and length, the tannins are slightly more prominent than I remember from barrel, but they are sweet and ripe (as opposed to astringent and bitter). This beautiful wine needs 4-6 years of cellaring and should keep 25-30 years.
The 2009 Branaire-Ducru has a medium to deep garnet color and reveals compelling notions of warm cassis, licorice, baked plums and hoisin with hints of sautéed herbs and pencil lead. Youthful and medium to full-bodied, it has a generous core of black fruits with a firm and grainy structure and bags of freshness, finishing long with great purity. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown
Sweet black raspberry and blueberry fruit intermixed with hints of acacia flowers and crushed rocks always provide Branaire with a distinctive perfume. In the mouth, there is impressive purity, a powerful yet elegant style, noticeable but sweet tannin, and nicely integrated acidity. The wood component is not apparent given the density and richness of the fruit. The 2008 should come close to rivaling the 2005, 2003, and 2000. Consume it over the next 20+ years.
As usual, the 2005 Branaire-Ducru is one of the more distinctive wines of St.-Julien. Proprietor Patrick Maroteaux has turned out another classic. While not as opulent or fleshy as the 2003, and it remains to be seen if it will eclipse the 2000, the 2005 is a big, structured, intensely rich effort with raspberry, blueberry, and spring flower garden characteristics, stunning purity, full-bodied power, and good underlying acidity as well as harmony. The hard tannins suggest 8-9 years of cellaring will be beneficial; it should last for three decades. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030+.
A beautiful wine from Branaire, the 2000 is close to full maturity, and should offer plenty of pleasure over the next 15-20 years. Its deep ruby/purple hue is accompanied by scents of boysenberries, black currants, and spring flowers. This medium to full-bodied, pure St.-Julien hits the palate with authority, displaying silky tannins as well as wonderful richness, depth, and texture.
Notes of menthol, raspberries, chocolate, crushed rock, and a notion of flowers emerge from this medium-bodied 1990. While neither as concentrated nor ageworthy as most Branaires made in the 21st century, it is an attractive, soft, elegant wine
Type:
Red
Country:
France
Region:
Bordeaux
Appellation:
Saint Julien
Producer:
Château Branaire Ducru

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Château Branaire Ducru

More about Château Branaire Ducru

Château Branaire-Ducru is situated on the opposite side of the road from Château Beychevelle in the south of the Saint Julien appellation. The vineyard used to be...

Château Branaire-Ducru is situated on the opposite side of the road from Château Beychevelle in the south of the Saint Julien appellation. The vineyard used to be a part of the massive Beychevelle estate in 1680 but was sold to Jean-Baptiste Braneyre. The estate was passed on through marriage to the Duluc family and then to a distant relative Gustave Ducru who added his name to the wine in 1875.

In 1988 Patrick Maroteaux bought the property and has quietly improved the vineyards, the cellar and the reputation of this fourth-growth estate to what is now, one of the most essential properties of the Médoc.

Branaire-Ducru's 60 hectares of vineyards are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon 70%, Merlot 22%, Cabernet Franc 5% and Petit Verdot 3%. The proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend is even higher than that in the vineyards, 80-85% in most years, which is one of the highest in the Médoc.

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Bordeaux, in the southwest of France, needs little introduction as one of the world's most famous, prestigious and prolific wine regions. The majority of Bordeaux wines (nearly 90...
Bordeaux, in the southwest of France, needs little introduction as one of the world's most famous, prestigious and prolific wine regions. The majority of Bordeaux wines (nearly 90 percent of production volume) are the dry, medium- and full-bodied red Bordeaux Blends that established its reputation.

The finest (and most expensive) of these are the wines from the great châteaux of the Haut-Médoc and the Right Bank appellations Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. The former is focused (at the top level) on Cabernet Sauvignon, the latter pair on on Merlot.

The legendary reds are complemented by high-quality white wines based on Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. These range from dry whites to challenge the best from the Burgundy region (Pessac-Léognan is particularly renowned) to the sweet, botrytized nectars of Sauternes.
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St Julien is the smallest of the ‘Big Four’ Médoc communes although, without any First Growths, it is recognised to be the most consistent of the main communes...

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