CHÂTEAU BRANAIRE DUCRU
2005 4ème Cru Classé Saint Julien
|Grapes||Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Merlot|
|Classification||4ème Cru Classé|
Patrick Maroteaux wanted to show this after the 2003 and 2004 in sequence, to show that each is better than its predecessor, and the proof was there in the tasting, good though the previous two wines were. As fat or fatter than the 2003, but in the total purity of fruit of the 2004, it is fresh and delightfully silky and seamless. Fruit, balance and power all working togther for great elegance length, it is hard to imagine a better Branaire. Rating: 93 L&S (Apr 2006)
*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.
Still very young, this is at the very beginning of its life. A classic St-Julien - love the structure and feel the lightness of touch that is such a signature of Branaire. Delicate tannins, this really rises on the finish, the power coming in the length, with brambly fruits building in intensity although you are barely aware of it. Drinking range: 2016 - 2042 Rating: 95 Decanter Magazine (Sep 2014)
Good full deep ruby. Intense aromas of black raspberry liqueur, mocha, bitter chocolate and licorice. Superconcentrated, chewy and deep, with a three-dimensional texture and a big structure. Offers terrific sweetness but also an almost medicinal reserve that promises a long evolution in bottle. The black cherry, bitter chocolate, mineral, floral and mint flavors stain the palate and bury the wine's ripe tannins. "Like a fresh liqueur," observes owner/president Patrick Maroteau. The sheer volume of this wine should make it approachable in three or four years. (May/June 2007) Rating: 92-94 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (May 2007)
Proprietor Patrick Maroteaux has been doing everything right since the late nineties, and, along with the monumental 2003 and 2000, the 2005 is one of his crowning achievements. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple color along with a sumptuous nose of raspberry liqueur interwoven with blueberries, crushed rocks, lead pencil shavings, and spring flowers. A big, structured St.-Julien revealing layers of fruit and glycerin, fabulous purity, and full-bodied power and richness, it will be long-lived, but is more backward than either the 2003 or 2000. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2030+. Rating: 94-96 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (May 2007)
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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