CHÂTEAU BRANAIRE DUCRU
2001 4ème Cru Classé Saint Julien
|Grapes||Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Merlot|
|Classification||4ème Cru Classé|
Branaire is really on a roll. Both first and second wines since 1998 have been faultless. The 2001 is better than either 1998 or 1999, and hardly below the 2000, a point which Philippe Dhalluin makes by giving it to us to taste after the 2000. Perfectly balanced, with freshness, structure and weight, and all with the expressive delicacy of the place. L&S (Mar 2005)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The vintage that has proved the great surprise of the last 15 years, increasingly coming into its own, says Maroteaux. I couldn't agree more. This dances along the tongue, with an astonishing blend of power and lightness. the nose is seductive and beguiling, with burnt autumnal leaves and touches of warmth. Just what you want from this appellation and this esate - a vintage with purity, freshness and elegance. Not hugely powerful, rather this is all about grace and elegance. Drinking range: 2014 - 2035 Rating: 94 Decanter Magazine(Sep 2014)
The nose has a mix of fruits with the attractive black fruits appearing to be dominant. The tannins are a bit obvious giving firmness in the middle although still black fruited but fresher bilberry more in evidence. Although there is lots of freshness towards the back it slightly lacks length. 2011-20 Rating: 90 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk(Dec 2013)
This is a deep red/purple-colored, stylish, sexy concoction of raspberries, graphite, smoke, minerals, and flowers. The complex aromatics are followed by a medium to full-bodied, seamless St.-Julien displaying velvety tannin, medium body, and sweet, concentrated fruit in a stylish, well-constructed, elegant style. The tannin is unobtrusive and well-integrated. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2015. Rating: 91 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Mar 2005)
Château Branaire Ducru
St Julien Quatrième cru 1855 When the Beychevelle estate was broken up in 1642, in order to pay off the debts of the deceased owner, it gave birth to three Châteaux - Beychevelle, Ducru-Beaucaillou and, the portion purchased by Jean-Baptiste Braneyre, Branaire-Ducru. Jean-Baptiste's daughter married Pierre de Luc and their descendents (morphing into the Duluc family during the Revolution) owned Branaire until 1919. Branaire failed to excite much until it was bought by Patrick Maroteaux in 1988. Since then Branaire-Ducru has become a reliably good buy for lovers of St Julien. The vineyards are planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 4% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. While the number of family-owned châteaux is becoming increasingly smaller in the Médoc, the Maroteaux family has owned Branaire-Ducru since 1988. They immediatley put in a stat of the art gravity fed cellar - designed in a revolutionary way along the lines of a spoked -wheel - with all the tanks fanning out from a central control space up above. In 2017 it still looks cutting edge - and it is easy to understand how the wines are made so well here. Very sadly on November 19, 2017, Patrick Maroteaux passed away at the age of 67. His son, François Xavier Maroteaux took over the full time responsibilities of managing the estate and is committed to keeping up the great work being done here. Every year they strive to retain their ‘home signature’ of 'pure fruit, freshness and balance' and although you can always sense the vintage variations - this ambition is always clear. The Grand Vin has a focus and an elegance that is intrinsically 'Branaire' - and the pricing remains well measured. Branaire-Ducru is very often one of our recommended wines as it can offer super value for money in St Julien.
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