Château Branaire-Ducru is situated on the opposite side of the road from Château Beychevelle in the south of the St-Julien appellation. Patrick Maroteaux has owned the property since 1988 and he has invested heavily in new plantings as well as installing a spanking new cuvier and an ultra-modern chai.
Branaire-Ducru's 60 hectares of vineyards are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (22%), Cabernet Franc (5%), and Petit Verdot (3%). The wines are matured in oak barriques (65% new). The proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend is even higher than that in the vineyards: 80-85% in most years, which is one of the highest in the Médoc.
Branaire-Ducru produces a pure and classic St-Julien which is elegant, ripe, supple, and well-balanced. It is classified as a 4ème Cru Classé.
Notes and Reviews
Robert Parker (94)
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.
Stephen Tanzer – International Wine Cellar (92)
Good medium ruby. Deep, smoky aromas of cassis, raspberry, leather, chocolate, and roasted oak. Sweet, supple, and thick but not at all heavy. A very concentrated wine with lovely sweetness of fruit and terrific mouth coverage. Really spreads out on the back end, which features broad, ripe tannins and terrific length.
|Grape Varieties||Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot|
|Age of Vines||35 years old|
|Vinification||Fermentation in stainless-steel vats at 26-28c followed by 3 weeks' maceration by parcels.|
|Elevage||16-20 months in oak barrels (60-65% new oak)|
|Soil Type||Deep quaternary gravels with clay in the subsoil|