- Château Branaire Ducru
- St Julien
- Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
- Case size
- En Primeur
Goedhuis, May 2021,
58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc A favourite estate of ours at Goedhuis. Francois-Xavier Maroteaux and his team are rightly proud of their finished wine in such a difficult year. Dark cassis and blackcurrant leaf fragrance. The structured depth, typical from this terroir, is rounded off by the deep richness of the Merlot, which he quotes as being exceptional in 2020. Full of drive and energy. Superb.
Neal Martin, May 2021,
The 2020 Branaire Ducru has a tightly wound bouquet of blackberry, wild hedgerow, freshly tilled loam and distinct sea spray scents, all well defined, albeit 15–20 minutes after opening my sample bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins, and very cohesive, displaying a keen thread of acidity. Unlike previous vintages, there is impressive density on the midpalate where it once was a little lean, and plenty of energy and tension conveyed by the finish. Excellent. 2028-2048
Antonio Galloni, June 2021,
The 2020 Branaire-Ducru is utterly magnificent. A wine of extraordinary depth and dimension, the 2020 possesses tremendous intensity right out of the gate. Inky dark fruit, chocolate, new leather, licorice, cloves and lavender build as into the explosive, palate-staining finish. I don't think I have ever tasted a Branaire quite like this. Drink 2030 - 2050
Wine Advocate, May 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. Drink 2024-2042
James Suckling, April 2021,
A polished, creamy red with blue fruit, such as blackcurrants, and pretty, ripe and fine tannins that fill your mouth.
Decanter, May 2021,
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. Drink 2027 - 2042.
Matthew Jukes, May 2021,
This is a fine vintage for Branaire but it is an atypical one, too. Usually velvety and charming, the classic Branaire flavours are here but they are tense, angular and rather introverted. The acidity is bitingly fresh and the tannins are lined up ready for combat, but these two elements do not dare to interfere with the fruit. The oak is lovely, too, and so I am confident that this will be a hugely enjoyable wine down the line, but you will have to wait not only for the tannins to soften, but also for the fruit it drop its shoulders, too.
Jeb Dunnuck, May 2021,
The 2020 Château Branaire-Ducru is vivid purple in color, with a classy, slightly exotic nose of blueberries, plums, violets, and orange blossom, and a kiss of marine-like iron emerging with time in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated, and focused on the palate, it’s not massive by any means yet shines for its balance, purity, and length.
Wine Cellar Insider, May 2021,
Cedar, tobacco, red and black currants, mocha, spice and smoke come through loud and clear in the nose. Soft, silky and supple, the fresh red fruits are already quite expressive creating a refined, medium/full-bodied, silky, wine with purity, character and precision. This will drink well with 7--8 years of aging and will age and develop quite nicely. 93-95
Château Branaire Ducru
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.