|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Julien|
A classic Saint Julien château that produces wines of real St Julien class and structure. The 60 hectares of vines are 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.
The 2020 Branaire Ducru takes some time to unfurl in the glass and so I afford it 10 minutes to open with rigorous swirling. It repays patience with a tightly-knit, quite intense and disarmingly pure bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, loamy and light minty aromas. The oak is nicely integrated here. The palate is medium-bodied with finely-chiseled tannins. As I remarked out of barrel, there is more weight on the back palate than older vintages, greater density and backbone. This has created a more satisfying Branaire Ducru with plenty of freshness on the finish. Bon vin.
A polished, creamy red with blue fruit, such as blackcurrants, and pretty, ripe and fine tannins that fill your mouth.
The 2020 Branaire-Ducru displays a deep garnet-purple color and pronounced blackcurrant cordial, plum preserves and boysenberries scents, plus hints of sautéed herbs, unsmoked cigars and graphite. The medium-bodied palate has a lot of verve, delivering appealing tension among the tightly wound black fruits and grainy tannins, finishing with an herbal lift. 2024 - 2042
Blueberry, blackberry, damson and hawthorn, this has juice and tannins with an elegance and really excellent St-Julien character; A lovely Branaire, well placed. Unfussy, this is still not overly exuberant but it has a real sense of sappiness, lift and sinew. 3% Cabernet Franc completes the blend.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2042
Full bottle 1,350 g. 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc. 18 months' ageing.
Deep crimson. Pale rim. Rather luscious fruit initially but a bit tart on the finish and just a little skinny on the mid palate. Relatively short. 13.5%
Drink 2027 – 2042
58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc in 2020, with a yield of 40hl/ha. Bright ruby in colour. Full of red fruit and cherry blossom on the nose. The palate is zippy and bright, with fresh red fruit and a herbal tone layered by a hint of sweet spice. The tannins are fine and crunchy, in keeping with the midweight fruit. Elegant through to the finish.
(58% CS, 32% M, 7% PV, 3% CF; 40hl/ha)
Pleasing nose, softly, freshly rich, subtly gravelly; very nicely balanced, medium-full, fresh to lively in acidity, very fine in tannin, a touch of the slightly “crisper” 2020 St-Julien style; but lovely red- and black-fruit flavor, mineral-infused, a gentle flesh at the core, a very restrained mid-weight style, with a beautiful texture, gravel-marked, and with excellent length. Beautiful wine, fine St-Julien. 2030–50.