Branaire, which has been ratcheting up the quality level over the last 5-6 years, made such a great 2003, I am hesitant to suggest the 2005 is as good, or even better. It will undoubtedly come down to consumer’s personal preference, with the 2003 more exotic and flamboyant, and the 2005 more structured or “classic.” In any event, the 2005 is one of the top Branaires ever made. Its inky/ruby/purple color is followed by sweet aromas of spring flowers interwoven with black cherries, cranberries, cassis, plums, and hints of forest floor, wet rocks, and new oak. With wonderful purity, full body, terrific fruit intensity, a beautiful, expansive texture, and a stunning 45-50-second finish, it should be at its peak between 2011-2030. RP Jr. 94-96
Very pretty flowers, berry and cherry on the nose, with just a hint of currant. Full-bodied, with big velvety tannins and a medium finish. Lots of fruit and focused character. We will see if it equals the 2003. J.S. 92-94
Deep crimson. Very successful wine with intense liquorice/ brambly/ plum aromas. Lovely fruit sweet wine with brambly/cassis/ aniseed flavours, fine chocolaty/grainy tannins and savoury/cedar nuances. Very classical wine. 2018-2028. AC 94-96
Small but mighty, the appellation of St.-Julien, on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has long enjoyed a reputation for exceptional quality and consistency. Compared to its neighbours in Bordeaux, St.-Julien produces the highest proportion of classified-growth wines, with more than three-quarters of the vineyards devoted to top-ranked producers. They include several “Super Second” chateaux and many other outstanding classified growths and Cru Bourgeois. Saint-Julien wines are beautifully balanced, with a great richness, depth of colour, and elegance. Cabernet Sauvignon prevails, with Merlot and Cabernet Franc used for blending in the classic Bordeaux style.
Chateau Branaire Ducru
Chateau Branaire Ducru is a fourth growth (4ème Cru Classé) estate in St-Julien. The Chateau has 60 ha of vineyards planted to Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (22%), Cabernet Franc (5%) and Petit Verdot (3%). The Grand Vin has one of the highest proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend among all the wines of the Médoc. A second wine called Duluc de Branaire Ducru is produced from the estate’s younger vines.