Another excellent offering from arguably 2000s most successful commune. Full bodiedwith massive reserves of rich, slightly exotic late autumn blackberry fruit.Very well knit. The best Branaire for years.
A beautiful wine from Branaire, the 2000 is close to full maturity, and should offer plenty of pleasure over the next 15-20 years. Its deep ruby/purple hue is accompanied by scents of boysenberries, black currants, and spring flowers. This medium to full-bodied, pure St.-Julien hits the palate with authority, displaying silky tannins as well as wonderful richness, depth, and texture.
A saturated purple color offers up notes of graphite, plum, raspberry, and blueberry fruit in that distinctive Branaire style. Always a singular wine, even for St.-Julien, the wine boasts superb purity, rich, medium to full-bodied flavors, with loads of sweetness, some subtle toasty oak, and strength and richness that builds incrementally on the palate. A top-flight Branaire, this is the finest wine made at this property since the 1996 and 1982. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025.
Very good colour, silky and scented but an odd oak chip smell (not that I am suggesting for a moment it was caused by oak chips). Full but chunky with rather rustic tannins.
78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc. 52% in the grand vin. 48 hl/ha. Very good colour. Lovely ripe, concentrated, substantial Cabernet fruit on the nose. This iscontinued on the palate. Fullish body. Quite tannic. Not too sturdy. This is the best Branaire-Ducru for years, for as well as the usual volume, there is a level of finesse that the château doesn't normally attain. Very good grip. And this extra elegance. Long. Fine. From 2010.
Across the road from Beychevelle lies Château Branaire Ducru. Until 1988, the entire production was sold in France through the Nicolas chain of wine shops. A change in ownership fortunately also changed that policy and Branaire Ducru now takes its rightful place on the international marketplace. Like most Médoc wines, the core of the blend is Cabernet Sauvignon and intensive work in the vineyard ensures optimum ripeness. Château Branaire Ducru aims for a balance of elegance and complexity - a trend which has been apparent since 1989, the vintage after its current owner, Patrick Maroteaux, purchased the château.
St Julien is like the middle child of the Médoc - not as assertive as Pauillac or as coquettish as Margaux. It lies firmly between the two more outspoken communes and as a result produces a blend of them both. St Julien's wines have often been sought out by aficionados for their balance and consistency, particularly in the UK. Yet due to its middle child nature, it can occasionally be overlooked globally and as a result underrated by those markets outside the UK. Despite the fact that it has no first growths, it has several second growths including Léoville Las Cases, Léoville Barton, Léoville Poyferré and Ducru Beaucaillou as well as the celebrated châteaux such as Talbot and Beychevelle.