CHÂTEAU BRANAIRE DUCRU
2008 4ème Cru Classé Saint Julien
|Classification||4ème Cru Classé|
Very juicy aromas, although some are of a wine that is only half-made. Very youthful, good volume and fine consistency, lending depth to the fuit aromas which start with redcurrant and gradually pick up raspberry through to fine damson on the finish. Blissful brightness and definition, very pure, and the juicy tannins stay caressing on the finish. Rating: 91-92 L&S (Apr 2009)
*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 2008 Branaire Ducru has a clean and fresh bouquet with mulberry, blackcurrant pastilles, and subtle hints of eucalyptus that are all detailed and focused, if missing the complexity of more recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with thickset tannin, quite dense black fruit with a touch of cassis. I like the atypical density of this 2008 although I would like more panache and personality to shine through. Drinking range: 2018 - 2035 Rating: 91 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(Feb 2018)
The nose has lots of black fruits rich cassis and some fresher bramble. The fruit on the palate feels ripe giving a mid fleshiness and although towards the back the tannins feel firm there is some nice fruit showing through on the finish. 2014-26 Rating: 91 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk(Dec 2013)
Opaque purple-ruby. Very rich nose offers sweet blueberry syrup and blackberry jam aromas, with a topnote of nutmeg and crystallized ginger. Also quite spicy on the palate, where it boasts great purity to its blackberry and plum flavors. Quite concentrated and long, though it seems almost light thanks to wonderfully harmonious acids. Finishes with still youthful but very polished tannins and a late kick of cracked black pepper and smoked bacon. Owner Patrick Maroteaux feels this is one of the five best Branaires of the last 25 years and he won't get any argument from me. Rating: 91-93 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website(May 2009)
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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