*Cellar Selection* Spicy, rich and full of ripe fruit, this wine has great potential. It is structured and dense while bringing out a stylish elegance. Blackberry fruit dominates the tannins to create a wine that has both concentration and fine fruit. Drink from 2022. (RV)
This is a slightly shy mid-weight wine that is anything but a flashy one. If you have some patience though it has plenty of subtlety and sophistication. Drink in 2021.
The 2014 Branaire Ducru is soft, polished and super-inviting. Succulent red cherry, plum, lavender, spice and mint give the wine its attractive, open-knit personality, while silky tannins add to an overall impression of sensuality. The 2014 should drink well with minimal cellaring. Today, it is among the most accessible of the Saint-Juliens. (AG)
Very pure and expressive, featuring lovely violet and cassis aromas and flavors that stream forth, backed by light anise and graphite hints. Maintains a fresh feel through the finish, with light minerality engaging with the fruit. Best from 2019 through 2028. (JM)
The Château Branaire-Ducru is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc picked between 24 September with the early-ripening Merlot, and finishing on 11 October. The yields came in at 40 hectoliters per hectare and Patrick Maratoux explained the importance of waiting for the correct maturity of each parcel. It has a tightly wound bouquet with black cherries and orange peel aromas, focused if not quite as complex as say, Château Beychevelle. The palate is medium-bodied, sinewy in the mouth with tensile tannins. This is a wine that seems to be making a huge effort in this vintage, but I would like to see more finesse manifested on the finish by the time it is in bottle. You know, I think that will develop. That 12 to 13% vin de presse lends this Branaire Ducru impressive sustain on the finish and I suspect that it will coalesce throughout the barrel ageing in two-thirds new oak (though the sample shown at the château was 100% new oak). (NM)
Mid crimson. A touch less ripe than the Beychevelle but more graphite than leafy. Excellent balance between profound, dark fruit, smooth, compact tannins and fresh acidity. Medium weight and elegant already. (JH)
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