The 2018 Branaire-Ducru was picked from 19 September until 10 October at 53hl/ha and it is currently being aged in 60% new oak. Now this has a really fine bouquet, classic in style but with more fruit intensity than the 2017: blackberry, bilberry, cedar and a touch of singed leather. It is very Saint-Julien. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannin. Notes of blackcurrant, raspberry, black pepper and cedar with fine acidity and more substance on the finish compared directly with the preceding vintage. Having visited this property for 20 years, I can safely say that this is the most impressive Branaire-Ducru that I have encountered at this stage. 2022 - 2042
|Score: 92/94||Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019|
The deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Branaire-Ducru begins just a tad reduced with broody tar, rubber and fried herbs scents giving way to a fragrant core of warm cassis, blackberry pie and blueberry coulis with touches of smoked meats and tobacco. Full-bodied, firm and rugged in the mouth with brawny, muscular fruit and a sturdy frame of grainy tannins, it finishes long and savory.
|Score: 92/94||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019|
This is a fantastic Brainaire with deep and dark fruit, such as blackberries and blackcurrants. Lots of raspberries, too. Full-bodied with firm and creamy tannins and a super long finish. We will see if it’s better than 2016, but on its way.
|Score: 95/96||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019|
The 2018 Branaire-Ducru is fabulous. Bright, lifted and impeccably precise, the 2018 is one of the best recent Branaires I can remember tasting. The 2018 is distinguished by its vertical lift, striking aromatic intensity and exceptional balance. Lavender, rose petal, gravel, mint and sweet red/purplish berry fruit are all given an extra kick of textural richness. More than anything else, I was blown away by the wine's density and precision. The 2018 is dazzling. There's not much else to say. Well, except the obvious question, which is why is Branaire not at this level every year? The 2018 is 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Tasted three times.
|Score: 93/96||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019|
58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc; 60% new oak. Barrel sample.
Black-cherry rim with opaque core. Scented with cassis and ripe damson fruit, quite open on the nose. Lively on the palate too, really fruity, balanced by fine layers of dry but not drying tannins. Oaky, chewy, rich, but smooth on the finish with aromatic fruit through to the finish. (JH) 14%
|Score: 16.5||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019|
Deep in colour, with a mix of ripe red and black fruit, baked vanilla and brioche on an enticing, brambly nose. The palate is ripe but not jammy, framed by bright acidity and medocain tannins. The toast from oak is savoury and complex, complementing rather than dominating the fruit. This finds perfect equilibrium between the sweet and savoury, making this a compact, perfectly proportioned, classic left bank Bordeaux.
|Score: 16||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019|
This is well-packed, with blueberry, açaí and blackberry fruit flavors and licorice snap and fruitcake notes. Long and refined despite the copious fruit, showing polish and poise through the finish.
|Score: 94/97||James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, March 2019|
(58 Cabernet Sauvignon, 33 Merlot, 5 Petit Verdot, 4 Cabernet Franc) | 60% new oak |14.3% alc This is a delicious and silky-smooth Branaire with fondanty fruit notes and a deep, dark core. At no stage does the oak or alcohol interrupt the flow of fruit and the overall impression is of a wine with serious class and definition. Great balance and nice weight make this a very rewarding drop if not quite one of the stellar Châteaux in this vintage. I think it will last for a long time, too, given the quality of tannins on display.
|Score: 18+||Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019|