|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Julien|
A classic Saint Julien Chateau that produces wines of real St Julien class and structure. 60 hectares of vines planted with 65%Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Purchased by the late Patrick Maroteaux in 1988, it is now run by his son Francois-Xavier who told us that the 2018 seems to him to be a hypothetical blend of 2009 (accessability), 2010 (structure) and 2016 (classicism). A bit more Merlot this year with a final blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.
The 2019 Branaire-Ducru unwinds in the glass with aromas of raspberries, blackcurrants, sweet soil tones and hints of cigar wrapper, rose petals and cedar. Medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, it's youthfully tightly wound, with terrific concentration, tangy acids, powdery tannins and a long, saline finish. While this is a little reserved out of the gates, its energy and classical proportions will richly reward bottle age. Drink Date 2029 - 2065
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Branaire-Ducru slips out of the glass with flamboyant notes of creme de cassis, blackberry pie, and Indian spices plus hints of potpourri and truffles. Medium-bodied, the palate has a quiet intensity of savory layers with ripe, fine-grained tannins and beautiful tension, finishing on a minerally note.
Deep ruby colour with a highly floral, fresh and fragrant nose. The palate is lithe and pure, with red and black fruits complemented by chalky tannins. The fruit is fresh and slightly herbal, but there is no sense of underripeness. Cool, compact and harmonious, this should drink well from a fairly young age.
Very clear fruit character of blackcurrants, orange peel and spices. Some walnut, too. It’s full-bodied with integrated, polished tannins and shows finesse and focus. Love the focused fruit at the end of this. Strength with finesse. Give it four to five years of bottle age. Try after 2024.
Hard to resist this finessed and silky Branaire, with finely boned tannins, well balanced black fruits, nuanced tobacco leaf and a crushed mint sign-off. Plenty to enjoy in this wine, there are good tannins. 43hl/h yield.
Tasted blind. Deep, luscious crimson. Rich, tea-leaf nose and lots of vigour. Marked acidity, but lots of fruit and tannin too. But not incredibly tightly knit. 13.5%
Deep ruby in colour with red cherry and darker plum on the nose. The palate is compact and fresh, with chalky tannins framing hedgerow fruit and a hint of cedar. This elegant and fresh example is well proportioned and harmonious through to the finish.
56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc. Barrel sample.
Juicy, appetising and very aromatic. Almost primary in the definition of the aromas. Lithe and fresh on the palate, the tannins firm but not aggressive. (JL)
Drink 2026 – 2038
Dark-berry and blue-fruit character to the firm, chewy tannins that are polished and solid. Medium to full body. Wood and walnut undertones now. Impressive.
Sporting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2019 Branaire-Ducru starts off a little broody, with woodsmoke and graphite-inspired scents giving way to an emerging core of warm cassis, mulberries and fruitcake plus touches of mocha, rose petals and bouquet garni. Medium-bodied, the palate reveals surprising energy with bags of perfumed black fruits juxtaposed by compelling tension and a fine-grained texture, beautifully supporting the tightly knit layers, finishing on a lingering mineral note. If the bottled wine delivers on this promise, I foresee a wonderfully poised, nuanced Branaire-Ducru of the sophistication and caliber that has not been seen for quite some time. Exciting! 2024 - 2044
Floral-studded nose along with cassis fruits, this is an enjoyable Branaire Ducru that is easy to recommend. Lighter-framed than some in the appellation with its characteristic fine tannins making this a medium-term drinker within the St Julien context. Plenty of juice running through the palate, enjoyable baked earth and menthol notes and a kick of salinity on the finish. A yield of 43hl/ha. 4% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. Drinking Window 2026 - 2042
56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot.
Light with quite marked acidity. Muted and dry with good fruit/tannin balance. Sandpaper tannins on the finish. 13.5%
Drink 2027 – 2042