Chateau Branaire-Ducru (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
Chateau Branaire-Ducru (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front LabelChateau Branaire-Ducru (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Bottle Shot

Chateau Branaire-Ducru (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017

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750ML / 13.2% ABV
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750ML / 13.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Branaire-Ducru 2017 has a lovely character. The nose is already expressive, harmonious and complex with good evidence of red fruits. With an immediate presence the palate has fine, silky tannins. There is a wonderful freshness, due in no small part to the combination of moderate levels of alcohol and good levels of acidity, this freshness gives a lovely lift to theastonishingly long finish. The 2017 vintage which started in difficult conditions, has, in the end allowed us to make a wine of character, true to the style of Branaire-Ducru and redolent of the greatvintages.
Blend: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 4.5% Cabernet Franc, 6.5% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
V 94
Vinous
The 2017 Branaire-Ducru offers lovely depth and density. The characteristic dark red/purplish fruit character of Brainaire comes through beautifully. As always, Branaire is a wine of polish and finesse. Stylistically, the 2017 comes across as a smaller scaled and more accessible version of the 2015. If that sounds appealing, well, it is. The 2017 is really quite lovely. Tasted three times. – Antonio Galloni
Barrel Sample: 91-94
WS 93
Wine Spectator
The plum and cherry paste flavors show good energy, with floral lift and sleek graphite accents adding to the sense of range and definition. Well done.
Barrel Sample: 90-93
JS 93
James Suckling
This is very tight and focused with a precise depth of blackberry and blueberry fruit. Full body, melted tannins and a fresh and vivid finish. Shows a compacted style.
Barrel Sample: 92-93
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Crisp fruit and intense acidity are the hallmarks of this bright wine. Its tannins are a backdrop to the nervy fruit character and vein of minerality and refreshing acidity. Drink from 2023.
Barrel Sample: 91-93
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
The deep purple-colored 2017 Château Branaire-Ducru offers a fresh, focused, classic style in 2017. Beautiful spring flowers, black and blue fruits, and a kiss of minerality all emerge from this medium-bodied effort that has nicely integrated acidity, a balanced, clean texture, and plenty of mid-palate depth. My money is on this ending up being an outstanding wine.
Barrel Sample: 90-92
TA 91
Tim Atkin
Spicy, meaty savoury oak aromas, with some deep black fruit underneath. A little hollow in the mid-palate with spiky, spicy tannins and fresh acidity. Needs time to flesh out. Elegant style.
Barrel Sample: 89-91
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Branaire-Ducru gives up notes of baked black berries, red cherries and mulberries with touches of potpourri and smoked meats. Medium-bodied with a lively line lifting the good concentration of red and black fruits, it has a chewy frame and grippy finish.
Barrel Sample: 88-90
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Chateau Branaire-Ducru

Chateau Branaire-Ducru

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Chateau Branaire-Ducru, France
Chateau Branaire-Ducru Winery Image
Chateau Branaire-Ducru's 120 acres is located in the St. Julien region of France and has such famous neighbors as Cheateau Gruaud-Larose, Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou and Chateau Beychevelle.

The name, given by the former owner Monsieur Ducru, means "beautiful pebbles". One of the main features of the vineyard is its richness in pebbles which contribute to the greatness of so many wines of the Medoc.

Just before the war, the vineyard became run down and many Bordeaux critics felt it no longer deserved its rank as a Second Growth. During the Medoc Classification of 1855, the Chateau was rated as a Fourth Growth. In 1942 the Borie family purchased the vineyard completely revamped the vineyard and it began receiving top ratings amongst the Second Growths. Successive generations of the Borie family oversee all winemaking operations.

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An icon of balance and tradition, St. Julien boasts the highest proportion of classed growths in the Médoc. What it lacks in any first growths, it makes up in the rest: five amazing second growth chateaux, two superb third growths and four well-reputed fourth growths. While the actual class rankings set in 1855 (first, second, and so on the fifth) today do not necessarily indicate a score of quality, the classification system is important to understand in the context of Bordeaux history. Today rivalry among the classed chateaux only serves to elevate the appellation overall.

One of its best historically, the estate of Leoville, was the largest in the Médoc in the 18th century, before it was divided into the three second growths known today as Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases, Léoville-Poyferré and Léoville-Barton. Located in the north section, these are stone’s throw from Chateau Latour in Pauillac and share much in common with that well-esteemed estate.

The relatively homogeneous gravelly and rocky top soil on top of clay-limestone subsoil is broken only by a narrow strip of bank on either side of the “jalle,” or stream, that bisects the zone and flows into the Gironde.

St. Julien wines are for those wanting subtlety, balance and consistency in their Bordeaux. Rewarding and persistent, the best among these Bordeaux Blends are full of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, plum, tobacco and licorice. They are intense and complex and finish with fine, velvety tannins.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

BANF422635_2017 Item# 422635

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