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
Multi-dimensional nose, offering keen fruits, a mineral note and smoky oak. Luscious, alluring, with red berry fruits, refreshing acidity and balance.
5/5 stars, Medoc 2005, Decanter Wine Awards, July 2008.
Opened in honor of Patrick Maroteaux, who passed away November 19. Still showing a nice depth of colour, the wine offers cassis, cedar, thyme, smoke, and spice on the nose. Decanted for an 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 five years and it could merit a better score.
93 points, Wine Cellar Insider, November 2017.
Still young,it's easy to seehow much this has to offer. The nose is starting to develop secondary characteristics, the tannins 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.
93 points, Wine Cellar Insider, April 2016.
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.
93 points, Wine Cellar Insider, June 2015.
Absolutely charming and surprisingly open with its tobacco, cassis, coffee bean, licorice, blackberry, earth and cocoa scented nose. Silky and polished on the palate, there is a lot of room for improvement as it's still a very young wine.
94 points, Wine Cellar Insider, November 2014.
Deep ruby in colour, 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 become one of the longest-lived vintages of Branaire Ducru. The round textured wine ends with fresh berries, cassis and spice. I'm waiting another five years before opening my case.
94 points, Wine Cellar Insider, June 2010.
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.
95 points, Wine Cellar Insider, June 2009.
Plush, stylish, balanced and charming. Packed with elegant, ripe, black fruit, mocha and spice. I like this better than their 2003.
94 points, Wine Cellar Insider, January 2008.
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.