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Branaire Ducru 2020

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

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.

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Tasting Notes

The 2020 Branaire-Ducru will require more patience than the supple, sensual 2019, but it is another strong effort for this overperforming estate. Wafting from the glass with aromas of crème de cassis, plums, pencil shavings, petals, burning embers and discreet hints of new oak, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with a concentrated core of vibrant fruit and fine but youthfully firm tannins that assert themselves on the gently chewy finish. 2027 - 2055

William Kelley, Wine Advocate, April 2023

Plenty of blackberry, blueberry, lead pencil and violet aromas here that follow through to a full body, with ultra-fine tannins that run the length of the wine. So integrated and polished.Changes a lot in the glass. Thoughtful young red. Try after 2027.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2023

The 2020 Branaire-Ducru is deep garnet-purple in color. Pure scents of blackcurrant jelly, crushed black plums, and Bing cherries spring from the glass, leading to nuances of bay leaves, graphite, black olives, and cedar. The medium-bodied palate is taut and muscular, delivering crunchy black and red fruit layers with a fine-grained texture and bags of freshness, finishing on a lingering mineral note.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, June 2023

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

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, May 2021

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

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2021

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.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2021

(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.

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine, May 2021
Read more tasting notes...

A polished, creamy red with blue fruit, such as blackcurrants, and pretty, ripe and fine tannins that fill your mouth.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2021

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

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, May 2021
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.