Château Branaire Ducru, 4eme Cru Classé, St Julien, 2018

  Château Branaire Ducru

A few négociants had already expressed their enthusiasm for Branaire 2018 before we had tasted it. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to the hype. This is another solid effort, but it doesn't have any magic for us. There's a slightly strange aniseed aroma on the nose, then hints of toast, gravel and wild bramble fruit. This is firm, but quite well concentrated with a well-judged finish and admirable length. Another dependable effort that should provide good mid-term drinking.

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Branaire Ducru

Château Branaire-Ducru, located in the commune of Saint Julien, is surrounded by illustrious neighbours such as Beychevelle, Ducru-Beaucaillou and Gruaud Larose. Originally a part of Chateau Beychevelle, the property was acquired by Jean-Baptiste Braneyre and became known as Chateau Branaire in 1680. It was owned by various members of the 'de Luc' family for well over a century until 1875 when Gustave Ducru became the sole owner. The modern era for Chateau Branaire-Ducru began in1988 when the estate was purchased by the Maroteaux family. The wine is aged for 20 months in 50% new oak and is typically rich, brooding and powerful style of Bordeaux.

Appellation: St Julien

St-Julien may not have any first growths like its neighbour Pauillac but has a raft of high-performing Châteaux in its ranks, second through to fourth growths, Including Ducru-Beaucaillou, Léoville Las Cases, Léoville-Poyferré, Léoville-Barton. Gruaud-Larose and Talbot. For many St-Julien is quintessential claret, robust, powerful but refined subtle and poised. Gravelly soils dominate, hence wide plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot.

Grape Blend: Cab. Sauvignon | Merlot | Cab. Franc | Petit Verdot

The full complement of permitted Bordeaux varieties (excluding the rarely used Carmenere & Malbec) and the classic left bank Bordeaux blend. The Cabernets and Merlots usually dominate the blend with small percentages of Petit Verdot blended in for colour, structure and complexity. Several producers outside of Bordeaux have tried to emulate this with a Bordeaux style blend of their own, a particularly successful example being Cain Cellars in the Napa Valley and their splendid Cain Five.