Farr Vintners Logo

Branaire Ducru 2016

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Julien
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

A classic Saint Julien Chateau that has pushed the quality level up considerably in recent vintages under owner Patrick Maroteaux and winemaker Jean-Dominique Videau. It produces wines of real St Julien class and structure. 60 hectares of vines planted with 70%Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot.

View all vintages of this wine


Tasting Notes

The 2016 Branaire-Ducru is a real classic, and in the fullness of time, it will likely rival or even surpass the more charming, demonstrative 2019. Unwinding in the glass with deep aromas of dark berries, cassis, loamy soil, pencil shavings and cigar smoke, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with a taut, structured profile and a long, penetrating finish. The only missing ingredient here is time. Drink 2026-2060.

William Kelley, RobertParker.com (Cellar 33), August 2022

The best vintage of this wine since 2009! Effusive, fresh redcurrant and cassis aromas give this St.-Julien terrific drive and energy, the elegant, dry tannins beautifully married to the medium body, right through the long, agile finish. Drink or hold.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2019

The 2016 Branaire-Ducru is deep garnet colored. It jumps with notes of ripe, juicy blackberries and blackcurrants, followed by hints of lilacs and kirsch plus a touch of underbrush. The medium-bodied palate is laden with juicy black fruits, supported by soft tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing with a mineral lift.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, December 2022

Always a supremely elegant, measured take on St-Julien that delivers in spades in 2016. Plush damson fruit comes through with just the right level of extraction. Beautifully rich, ripe fruit is joined by touches of oak at exactly the right moment. An exceptional showing from Branaire that rises above its 2015.

Drinking Window 2027 - 2045

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017

Tasted blind. Tobacco-leaf nose and a bit savoury and scrawny on the end. Correct and a little warm, with prominent acidity.
Drink 2026 – 2039

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2020

The 2016 Château Branaire-Ducru checks in as a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc. This medium to full-bodied, downright pretty Saint-Julien has a complex, layered style in its mulberries, blackberries, saddle leather, and forest floor aromatics, with hints of graphite developing with time in the glass. Possessing terrific tannins, nicely integrated acidity, and a great finish, I’d certainly be happy to have bottles of this in the cellar. Give it a few years and it promises to shine for 20-25 years. 2021 - 2046.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, February 2019

The nose has a mix of fragrances the start of the palate is fresh. There is mid sweetness supple rich black fruits the tannins are fine and ripe fresher more of a bramble character at the back with sweetness on the finish. 2025-37

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017

Comparatively closed at this stage, as it was in 2015, this is a firm, concentrated, structured wine that has its eye on the future rather than the present. Sturdy and dense, this is a wine to forget about for at least eight years. 2025-32

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017
Read more tasting notes...

The 2016 Branaire-Ducru is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc picked from 28 September until 19 October at 50 hectoliters per hectare, one of the longest harvest periods at the estate. The nose is quite intense with black fruit infused with pencil shaving and a touch of tobacco, unashamedly classic in style, a little distant compared to some other Saint Juliens but undeniably well defined and full of character. The palate is structured and masculine, exerting a firm grip in the mouth, spicier than its peers with cracked black pepper complementing the black fruit, tobacco and smoke towards the structured finish. There is great length here, very persistent in the mouth, a little "rougher" in texture than others, but that will be smoothed out during élevage and in bottle. Give this Branaire-Ducru five or six years in bottle because it has great potential, one of the best produced at the estate in recent years. (NB This sample was taken from a new barrel, though the final blend will be 60%.) Drink 2023 - 2050.

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017

This is clearly the best wine I have tasted from Branaire-Ducru. Exquisite depth and richness are on offer, yet this is always framed and focused. Layers of fruit and tannins. So deep and long. Incredible quality.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017

Deep crimson. Quite intense with some gloss and evident ripeness. Lots of tannins and not overdone. Great polish.
Drink 2026-2042

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, May 2018

Juicy, savoury nose. Fresh and fine-boned. Could only be bordeaux – tant mieux! Silky texture with some energy.
Drink 2026-2043

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.