Château Branaire-Ducru - Saint-Julien 2016


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.

"The best vintage of this wine since 2009! Effusive, fresh redcurrant and cassis aromas give this St.-Julien terrific drive and energy, the elegant, dry tannins beautifully married to the medium body, right through the long, agile finish. Drink or hold." - 95 points, James Suckling

"The 2016 Branaire-Ducru is powerful, dense and explosive to a degree that is surprising for a wine that is typically much more sensual. There is lovely definition throughout, but readers will have to be patient to catch the 2016 at its very best. Hints of leather, smoke, tobacco and dried flowers begin to open up in the glass, but the 2016 is quite reticent at this stage. In two tastings I found the 2016 unusually closed. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see what time brings." - 93 points, Antonio Galloni Vinous

"The 2016 Branaire-Ducru is a real classic, and in the fullness of time, it will likely rival or even surpass the more charming, demonstrative 2019. Unwinding in the glass with deep aromas of dark berries, cassis, loamy soil, pencil shavings and cigar smoke, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with a taut, structured profile and a long, penetrating finish. The only missing ingredient here is time." - 94+ points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


Producer: Château Branaire-Ducru

Country: France

Region: Bordeaux

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

Appellation: Saint-Julien

Vintage: 2016

Size: 750ml