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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

Château Branaire-Ducru

16 notes Sort by: Vintage - Name - Rating

2017 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 93

Tobacco, cassis, flowers and a hint of mocha dance in the nose. On the palate, the medium-bodied wine is fresh, bright, sweet and soft. There is an extra bit of lift in the red fruits but the tannins are gentle enough to soften the brightness while adding structure and backbone for aging. Produced from a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 6.5% Petit Verdot and 4.5% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 13.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.65. Harvesting took place September 13 to October 4.

2024 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 95

The wine is all about its balance between the purity in the red fruits, depth of flavor, sweetness and length on the palate. The salty chalky finish, with all of its ripe, delicious red fruits shows well. Elegant, lively, silky and stylish, with nothing out of place, give this beauty 10-12 years of age and enjoy it over the next 2 decades after that.

1138 Views   Tasted

It is hard to say what worked better here, the soft, silky tannins, the freshness in the fruit, the purity in the berries or the elegant stylings. The cassis and boysenberry fruits make an impression on the nose and the palate. This should age for decades.

4198 Views   Tasted 95

Elegant, polished, bright, fresh and clean, with a purity of fruit that stands out. Everything here is in balance from the silky tannins to the sweetness in the bright, red fruits. The wine lingers and expands.

6095 Views   Tasted 94

Spicy boysenberry and sweet cassis with licorice and a kiss of oak on the nose, this wine displays elegance and a natural goodness of fruit. Oddly it gives the impression of fading in the mouth but it’s all an illusion as the essence rushes back in and lingers. Produced from a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 13.49% alcohol with a pH of 3.59. Harvesting took place from September 28 to October 19, which is the latest as well as the longest harvest in the history of Branaire Ducru.

5521 Views   Tasted 94
2015 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 95

Blackberries, cassis, thyme, tobacco and cedar notes help define the nose. There is a sweetness and purity to the ripe red fruits that shine through. On the palate as the wine lingers, elements of juicy, blackberries poke through, giving you a melange of silky textured fruits in the finish. This is so soft, you can drink it now, but if you can wait 6-10 years, the wine will offer a much more interesting experience.

3246 Views   Tasted

The wine expresses its elegant, refined character with ease. There is a sweetness and purity to the deep red fruits. The added cedar, tobacco and floral elements are coupled with soft, silky tannins and a finish, that focuses on the fresh character of the fruit.

2779 Views   Tasted 94

Elegant and refined, with purity and freshness, the wine keeps getting better and should age quite nicely.

2779 Views   Tasted 93

Tobacco, cedar and plump red and black fruits start off the nose. Ripe, soft tannins, purity of fruit and perfect balance are the hallmarks of this wine. Clarity and sweetness of the fruit, the freshness and elegance with the ability to age make this a strong vintage for Branaire Ducru. Produced from a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, this wine reached 13.3% alcohol with a pH of 3.64. The harvest took place from September 18 to October 4. 92 - 94 Pts

2966 Views   Tasted 93
2014 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 92

Elegant, refined, fresh and with purity of fruit and ripe tannins, the fruit here is crisp, sweet, ripe and vibrant.

3305 Views   Tasted

With the blossoms of a black raspberry bramble with a quick sift of white pepper, mocha and earth in the perfume, this wine is all about its elegant tannins, the finesse, freshness and purity of the sweet black and crisp, spicy red fruits. Produced from a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. The wine reached 13.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.63. 92-93 Pts

3536 Views   Tasted 93
2013 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 90

Elegant in style, with fresh, sweet, red fruits from start to finish. The wine is medium bodied, already open and drinking well, ending with a soft, likable, fresh cherry tinged finish.

1528 Views   Tasted

From blending 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 13% alcohol. The grapes were harvested between September 30 and October 15, and the wine is aging in 60% new French oak barrels. Garnet in color with a touch of vanilla, fresh herbs, spicy blackberry, smoke and floral notes. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied and offers bright red berries and fresh cassis, ending on a light, spicy fruit note. This should be accessible on release. 90-92 Pts

1600 Views   Tasted 91
2012 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 91

Already showing some interesting secondary notes of tobacco, earth, black cherry and mocha in the nose, this medium bodied, feminine, fresh, soft textured wine can be enjoyed young, and it has the potential to age as well.

2810 Views   Tasted

From an assemblage of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. The wine reached 13.3% alcohol with a pH of 3.66. The wine will be aged in 60% new French oak. Ruby in color, the wine offers flowers, jammy raspberries, vanilla and earth. Medium bodied, fresh and dominated by sweet raspberries and cherry, this is an elegant Branaire Ducru to enjoy while waiting for the 2009 and 2010 to mature. 90-92 Pts

2259 Views   Tasted 91
2011 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 91

Forward and fresh, with a medium bodied, open, black raspberry, earth, spice and espresso bean nose, the clean finish delivers an elegant, polished display of fresh dark cherries. You can drink this young, or age it for a few years. This is another wine that is better than you might think for the vintage.

4082 Views   Tasted

From an assemblage of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.08% alcohol. Yields were about 10% lower in 2011 than what the estate produced in 2010. With mocha, black cherry, truffle, smoke and earthy aromas, this medium-bodied, soft-textured Branaire Ducru is dominated by cherries and finishes with a fresh, sweet chocolate and black raspberry finish. 91-93 Pts

2830 Views   Tasted 91
2010 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 95

Young, fresh, vibrant and a bit tight, as you would expect, yet, it is hard not to notice the soft, ripe, smooth tannins, sweet, fresh, dark red fruits, concentration of flavor and the sense of purity in the finish. Give this another 5 years and it should be showing a lot of what it has to offer.

5570 Views   Tasted

Licorice, oak, truffle, black cherry and plum, soft tannins, round fruit and freshness in the finish. This is a contender for the best wine made at Branaire Ducru since Patrick Maroteaux bought the property in 1989.

6194 Views   Tasted 94

It's fun drinking these young wines. It's not close to mature, but it's not shut down either. The showy, tobacco, cigar box, blackberry and mocha aromas, coupled with soft, refined dark berries on the palate let you know this is going to be a treat in a decade or so when it matures.

6001 Views   Tasted 94

Deep ruby in color, the wine is filled with earth, tobacco, blackberry, mocha and anise. The wine is fresh, soft, polished and sweet, delivering, pure blackberry, black cherry with just a hint of truffle in the finish. With the ripe fruits and soft, tannins, the wine can be enjoyed young, yet it can age for two decades or more. According to the owner, Patrick Maroteaux, this is the best he's produced yet.

10177 Views   Tasted 94

Starting to shut down and tighten up, with coaxing, the wine offers fresh blackberries, earth, mocha and stone aromas. The tannins and polished, ripe and round. Medium/full bodied, Branaire Ducru is never about power, it's about finesse and elegance. This could be the best vintage for Branaire Ducru yet. At least that is what the owner Patrick Maroteaux suggests. It will be fun tasting this against the 2009 in the years to come.

7062 Views   Tasted 94

Floral, coffee, tobacco, mocha and blackberry notes lead to a powerful vintage for Branaire, with a beautiful sense of purity to the fruit, freshness and the structure to age and develop well. Patrick Maroteaux feels this blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23.5% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2.5% Cabernet Franc is the best vintage yet for his chateaux, he could be right.

5491 Views   Tasted 94

Flowers, bitter chocolate, smoke, blackberry and wet earth aromas open to a concentrated, tannic, fresh, sweet, ripe, concentrated, fresh, mocha and black cherry, supple textured finish.

5822 Views   Tasted 95

Sporting a deep ruby color, the smoke, boysenberry, blackberry, truffle, mocha scents form an enticing perfume. Polished, elegant, fresh and filled with deep, ripe, pure fruits. The wine is expansive and mouth filling, finishing with a long, boysenberry, cocoa and black cherry finish. This wine has improved since last tasted in April. This is the best vintage of Chateau Branaire Ducru that Patrick Maroteaux has made at the property. 94-95 Pts

6319 Views   Tasted 95

Branaire Ducru From an assemblage of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23.5% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2.5% Cabernet Franc, (Similar to the 2009) the wine sports a deep ruby tint. Jammy black raspberry, spice and hints of toasty oak start off the perfume. In the mouth, fresh cassis, mocha, olives and spice combine with strong, ripe tannins, ending in a blackberry filled finish. The wine reached 13.8% alcohol, which is higher than they recorded in 2009. Due to the high level of acidity, there is no sensation of heat. According to the owner, Patrick Maroteaux, one of the keys to the success in 2010 is due to their new method of handling the press wine. This includes ageing the press wine in one year old barrels and utilizing more selection in the press wine. 40% of the press wine was allocated to the Grand Vin. The remainder was included in the second wine. 93-94 Pts

6294 Views   Tasted 94
2009 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 95

Elegant, refined, fresh, pure and precise, the wine pops right from the initial sniff and sip. The freshness in the juicy sweet, ripe, earthy red fruits, with their cocoa accent hits the spot. And the long, polished, refined, silky, red berry finish just doesn't want to quit. While you can pop a cork now, I'd wait at least 3-5 years for the wine to fill out and really shine!

1155 Views   Tasted

Full bodied, and holding most of what it has in reserve, the wine has rich textures, ripe, elegant, pure fruits, balancing acidity and a long finish. Hang on to your bottles for at least another 5-6 years, as this is going to develop nicely.

6285 Views   Tasted 94

Young, as expected, but it's impossible not to enjoy all the fresh, sweet, ripe fruits, soft textures and the elegance, paired with freshness in the finish. A few hours in the decanter, or more cellar time will be amply rewarded.

7974 Views   Tasted 94

Young and full of promise, the wine is polished, plush and supple. The fruits are ripe, fresh, vibrant and spicy.

7717 Views   Tasted 94

This polished, sexy, silky wine delivers beautiful, fresh black and red fruits, spice, mocha, licorice and earth. Forward in style, this will have an incredibly long drinking window.

9795 Views   Tasted 94

Forest floor, earth, sweet ripe blackberry, plum, earth, cedar and tobacco scents get your attention with little effort. Soft, ripe, silky tannins, purity of fruit and concentration are the hallmarks of this wine.

11390 Views   Tasted 95

Blackberry, blueberry, licorice, caramel, smoke, spice and mocha. With soft, round, fleshy textures and ripe, silky tannins, the feels great on your palate. The best Branaire Ducru yet. But it might be surpassed by the 2010. We’ll have to wait and see. Regardless, it’s going to be fun to compare the two vintages over the next few decades. Branaire Ducru remains the best buy in St. Julien for its combination of price and quality.

12848 Views   Tasted 94

2009 Branaire Ducru is dark, with scents of boysenberry, dark chocolate, spice, cassis, and mocha. This elegant wine feels round in the mouth, finishing with flavors of licorice, black and blue fruit, and spice. This is a polished style of St. Julien. This outstanding wine is probably not going to reach the same level as the sublime 2005. Nonetheless, the 2009 Branaire Ducru is one of the better values for serious wine in 2009. 93-95 Pts

11793 Views   Tasted 94
2008 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 92

Elegant, refined and subdued, it takes some coaxing before the wine begins to open and show off its mocha, earth, spice, tobacco, cigar wrapper and cassis filled charms. Give this another 5 years for the remaining tannins to soften and this will be an even better treat. If you cannot wait 5 years, 2 hours in the decanter will work.

2783 Views   Tasted

Cassis, cocoa powder, chocolate, earth and cinnamon make up the intriguing perfume. Elegant, supple and already approachable, the wine ends with a strong, sweet cassis and spice filled finish.

8533 Views   Tasted 93

08 Château Branaire Ducru consists of 68% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot, 5% cabernet franc, and 2% petit verdot. Deep ruby with hints of purple at the rim, the wine features a delicate perfume of boysenberry, tobacco, mocha, and earth. Elegantly styled with ripe tannins, and softly textured, the wine finishes with polished, blackberry flavors. 91-94 Pts

6561 Views   Tasted 92
2007 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 89

Elegant, soft textured, medium bodied and fully mature, the wine offers a nice mix of tobacco, wet earth and red fruits with a dash of spice box. Successful for the vintage, this is not a wine to hold for further development.

2774 Views   Tasted
2006 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 92

Showing signs of maturity in the color, tobacco, cedar wood, red and black fruits, this is starting to show well. Yet, there are still tannins to be resolved. The elegance associated with the chateau is clearly evident, but the tannic structure is still in forefront. Give this another 5 years in the cellar, or a few hours in the decanter.

3511 Views   Tasted

Spice, mocha, coffee, anise, caramel and cassis aromatcs were easy to locate. This tanninc, full bodied wine ends with a long, chocolate, blackberry filled finish.

8906 Views   Tasted 92
2005 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 94

Between 60-90 minutes of air brought out the soft, silky tannins, nuances of tobacco, cassis, blackberry, spice and wet earth. Elegant, fresh and refined, this is coming on strong. Another few years in the cellar and this promises to be even better!

4970 Views   Tasted

Opened in honor of Patrick Maroteaux, who passed away, November 19. Still showing a nice depth of color, the wine offers cassis, cedar, thyme, smoke, and spice on the nose. Decanted for 1 hour, and enjoyed over the next 90 minutes, the wine continued improving and filling out with time. Freshness meshed with sweet, juicy ripe cassis and a beautiful purity of fruit on the palate. There is still a bit of firm tannins remaining, that will continue softening with time. Give this another 5 years and it could merit a better score.

6213 Views   Tasted 93

Still young, it's easy to see how much this has to offer. The nose is starting to develop secondary characteristics, the tannins are beginning to soften and the textures continue adding more silk in the mouth. Give it another 3-5 years and this should be even better.

5360 Views   Tasted 93

Cedar wood, flowers, tobacco and dark red fruits are hidden and require coaxing in the nose. On the palate, the wine is silky, elegant and fresh. This is still quite young and shows a lot of promise. The wine is however, clearly letting you know, there is a nice future ahead if you give it another 3-5 years of bottle age.

6230 Views   Tasted 93

Absolutely charming and surprisingly open with its tobacco, cassis, coffee bean, licorice, blackberry, earth and cocoa scents nose. Silky and polished on the palate, there is a lot of room for improvement as it's still a very young wine.

9472 Views   Tasted 94

Tobacco, earth, cigar box, black cherry aromas lead to a wine that is on a more rapid path of development than anticipated. While not mature, this polished, rich style of Branaire Ducru is already starting to be fun to drink. I’m holding mine, but to quote the owner, Patrick Maroteaux, "It’s still young, but it would not be criminal to have it at a dinner now.”

10578 Views   Tasted 94

Deep ruby in color, this wine opened with tobacco, smoke, earth, fresh berries, soil and forest scents. Concentrated with ample fresh fruit, coupled with a solid structure, this has the potential to bome one of the longest lived vintages of Branaire Ducru. The round textured wine ends with fresh berries, cassis and spice. I'm waiting another 5 years before opening my case.

15934 Views   Tasted 94

You can smell, taste and feel the perfectly ripe fruit this wine is made from. Add a kiss of blackberry and cassis, sweet oak and mocha and you're off to the races. This full bodied wine offers a juicy mouth full of Cabernet. Elegant tannins, concentration and depth of flavor keeps everything in balance. This is without a doubt the best Branaire Ducru ever made. Give it 12 years in the cellar, if you can keep your hands off it.

10513 Views   Tasted 95

Plush, stylish, balanced and charming. Packed with elegant, ripe, black fruit, mocha and spice. I like this better than their 2003.

4840 Views   Tasted 94
2004 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 90

Straddling the edges between classic, firm and elegant, the wine is medium bodied, and restrained, with a strong, cedar and leafy component that completes with the tobacco, red berries and spice on the nose and palate. 1-2 hours of air adds to the wine.

3931 Views   Tasted

Fresh, elegant, polished and focused on the sweet, ripe, red fruit side of the style range. There is enough ripe berries, earth, mocha and cherries to keep you interested as the wine remains in your glass.

3580 Views   Tasted 90

Earth, spice, cassis, truffles and tobacco define the wines aromatics. This elegant wine is already open and will offer pleasure for another decade or more.

9818 Views   Tasted 90

This is already showing some lightening at the edges. Scents of jammy dark berries, spice and chocolate tints come forth with only a bit of swirling. The style has more firmness than 03 or 05. The finish shows a hint of under ripeness from the vintage. This is a Branaire to enjoy today and over the next decade.

5236 Views   Tasted 90
2003 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 94

An hour of air and the wine truly blossomed. Texturally, the wine was supple and fresh. The fruit was perfectly ripe, the flavors were bold and finish offered the right mix of purity, pleasure, length and style. This is drinking really well today. If you've been sitting on your bottles, now is a good time to pop a cork.

3233 Views   Tasted

A fully developed nose shows tobacco, cigar box, cassis, earth and blackberries on the nose. There is a little grain in the tannins that takes just a bit away from the deep layers of black cherry fruit. Still, this is a very good wine.

4940 Views   Tasted 93

Tobacco, spearmint, spice, cassis and earthy notes are the first thing that hits you. On the palate, the wine is silky, plush and round. There is good sweetness to the soft, polished black cherry core of fruit. This is drinking great today. While there is no hurry to drink it, if you have a bottle, pop a cork.

6039 Views   Tasted 93

As this continues to approach its 10th birthday, it just keeps getting better and better. With 20 minutes of decanting, truffles, cocoa, black raspberry, earth and spice too no effort to find. Soft, lush textures and a fresh, lush, plummy, spice and mocha finish were just what the doctor ordered. If you are sitting on a case, do not wait, pop a bottle. If you want to age it, it's only going to improve from here.

7751 Views   Tasted 94

Another great performance from this wine. Inch by inch, or should I say, sip by sip, it keeps adding subtle nuances and more silk to the texture along with licorice, cassis, earth and fresh blackberry. While not mature, with 30 minutes to an hour of air, this is a lot of fun to drink.

8934 Views   Tasted 94

Truffle, earth, black cherry jam, licorice, mocha and chocolate scents lead to a plush, polished, sexy, forward wine that is a lot of fun to drink today and over the next 15 or more years.

8791 Views   Tasted 94

Truffle, jammy cassis, strawberry pie, cedar, tobacco, smoke and spice fill out the perfume. Full bodied, round and opulent in texture, this sultry St. Julien ends with a cassis, licorice and coffee flavored finish. 2-3 more years of sleep, will add a lot to this wine.

8266 Views   Tasted 94

This wine sports a very deep ruby color. Dark black fruit flavors mark the perfumes core. The plush, round mouth feel, complicated with ripe blackberry and spicy red fruit accents in this finish turn this wine into a tasty treat for the senses.

4852 Views   Tasted 93

Sweet entry with a spicy, black fruit nose that finishes with clean, chocolate covered cherry and cassis flavors. This feels very fresh and clean. The finish lasts almost forty seconds.

4586 Views   Tasted 93
2002 Château Branaire-Ducru  (St. Julien) 90

Developing nicely, but there is a touch of green along with the blackberry, cassis, black cherry, earth and tobacco notes. At 10 years of age, this medium/full bodied wine with a slight hint of austerity in its normally elegant personality is starting to drink well.

3294 Views   Tasted