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Château Branaire-Ducru - Saint-Julien 2015


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#33 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2018

Château Branaire-Ducru is located in the heart of the Medoc, between Margaux and Pauillac in the Saint-Julien appellation area. It is surrounded by the other great Classified Growths that populate this outstanding terroir.

The vines grow in a mixture of gravel and pebbles, deposited there by the River Garonne in the Quaternary Period. From the top of their hillocks, called “mounds”, they overlook the vast Gironde Estuary, locally referred to as “the river”.

The vineyard is made up of around fifteen different micro-terroirs and covers 60 hectares (nearly 150 acres) that lie from East to West across the Southern part of the appellation area.

The average age of the vines is 35 years. They grow in quaternary silicious and gravel alluvium, which makes this terroir one of the warmest in the region.

As a result, our Cabernet Sauvignon grapes achieve perfect phenolic ripeness here, while the Merlot flourishes on beds of clay.

Having recognised the unrealised potential of this viticultural sleeping beauty, Patrick Maroteaux and his family bought Château Branaire-Ducru in 1988. They decided to write a new chapter in the history of this fourth grand cru classé of 1855 and embarked on massive refurbishment and work involving all the components that contribute to the production of great wine: the vines, the vathouse and cellars, as well as the Château itself, which is the most visible representation of an estate.

Patrick Maroteaux also became an ambassador of Bordeaux and Branaire-Ducru, presiding over the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux from 2000 to 2008, and the Saint-Julien appellation from 2004 to 2017. François-Xavier Maroteaux took over the management of the estate in 2017. The history continues.

The Cabernet Sauvignon accounts for 65%, the majority of the vines. It is truly a star variety that contributes multiple layers, structure and great presence on the palate, while remaining fresh and fruity with an intense range of aromas.

28% of the vines are Merlot, which is the good companion variety that makes our wines round and supple. The 3% share of Cabernet Franc builds on the wine’s floral notes.

And last but not least, 4% of Petit Verdot, the characteristic Medoc variety, add spicy hints to the finest blends.

95 points Vinous: "The 2015 Branaire Ducru is a gorgeous, totally sexy wine. Rose petal, lavender, mint, sweet red berry and gently spiced notes give the wine much of its gracious, lilting personality. Precise and nuanced to the core, the 2015 Branaire is all class. It's easy to overlook Branaire in the context of Saint-Julien, where most of the other important wines are much more powerful. Branaire always speaks with a hushed, discreet voice. Readers who appreciate finesse will find much to admire here. The 2015 is a wine of pure and total sensual pleasure. In 2015, the blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, aged for 18 months in French oak, 60% new. Don't miss it. Tasted two times." 

Producer: Château Branaire-Ducru

Country: France

Region: Bordeaux

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc

Appellation: Saint-Julien

Vintage: 2015

Size: 750ml