|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc|
|Classification||4ème Cru Classé|
Deep violet-laced crimson which coats the glass. Rich dry fruit, though with a sweet touch of vanilla and crème patissière to go with the tight cherry and blackcurrant. A nice consistency on the palate, medium to full-bodied, fresh and liquid, powerful, with quite a dry finish of fine-textured tannin. This is a pretty full-on Branaire, but not yet quite fruitily expressive enough to merit a higher note.
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This fully mature, gorgeous 2003 Branaire Ducru possesses silky tannins, lots of cedary, spice box, floral, black cherry, forest floor and velvety leather-like notes, full body, and an opulent, complex yet elegant style. A beauty of complexity, richness and finesse, it should continue to drink well for another 5-6 years. 2014-2020
94 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.eRobertParker.com (Aug 2014)
(72% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot, 4.5% petit verdot and 3.5% cabernet franc; 3.75 pH; 13% alcohol): Bright ruby-red. Intense mocha and sweet spice notes complicate ripe dark cherry and macerated plum aromas on the very ripe, deep nose. Large-scaled and plush, with ripe but not cooked red and black fruit flavors. Surprisingly lively acidity and seamless tannins give the wine good support. Finishes creamy and long, with a repeating note of mocha. For the most part I am not a fan of the 2003 Bordeaux owing to the furnace-like summer, but the Branaire-Ducru is a knockout and owner Patrick Maroteaux has always told me he thinks it's one of the best wines he has ever made. Not surprisingly in 2003, the grapes were harvested much earlier and faster than usual, between September 9 and 24.
92/100 Ian d'Agata, www.vinousmedia.com (Mar 2014)
Proprietor Patrick Maroteaux, president of Unions des Grands Crus Classes, is pulling out all the stops to make Branaire as alluring as several of the Leovilles and Ducru Beaucaillou. 2003 and 2004 may be the finest back-to-back vintages ever produced at Branaire. Even better than the 1982, the profound 2003 Branaire Ducru boasts a saturated plum/purple color as well as an extraordinarily complex nose of black currants, blackberries, espresso roast, white chocolate, minerals, and truffles. It displays amazing freshness and definition for such a complex, complete, and full-bodied wine. A brilliant effort in the vintage, it will undoubtedly close down in several years and need more time, but perhaps its low acidity and huge, extravagant fruit-forwardness will keep it drinking well over the next two decades. A brilliant wine! Drink: 2006 - 2026
95/100 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.eRobertParker.com
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