Adieu Patrick

The genial Patrick Maroteaux was a true gent of Bordeaux. He wasn’t born into a dynastic Bordeaux family, he came from Picardy in Northern France and had successful careers in both banking and sugar before he bought Branaire Ducru in 1988. Patrick appointed a young Philippe Dhalluin as technical director and invested heavily in both the vineyard and in the chateau. Under his tenure, Branaire enjoyed a run of successful vintages. They were never flashy or headline grabbing, but they never failed to deliver. I was fortunate enough to have lunch with Patrick at the Waterside Inn before his illness, and every wine was a joy to drink, they had aged gracefully, were perfectly mannered and rather handsome.

The 2017 was sadly Patrick’s last vintage. It is a fitting tribute to what he has achieved at Branaire over the last three decades. The chateau and the wine-making have modernised, but there still remains an authenticity and natural beauty to the wine.