Chateau Branaire-Ducru (Futures Pre-Sale) 2019
Rich, intense color. An expressive nose, a sophisticated combination of pure black and red fruits. The palate is wonderfully smooth with powerful intensity, maintaining its fineness and elegance. A beautiful acidity, propelling the wine on a long finish.
Blend: 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc
The Barrel Sample for this wine is under 14% ABV.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Dark-berry and blue-fruit character to the firm, chewy tannins that are polished and solid. Medium to full body. Wood and walnut undertones now. Impressive.
Barrel Sample: 95-96
This is a richly perfumed wine that has bold tannins and dense black fruits. There is a fine line of juicy acidity cutting through all the richness to lend freshness against all the concentration. This is for long-term aging.
Barrel Sample: 94-96
Beautiful blue fruits, tobacco, damp earth, and floral notes all emerge from the 2019 Château Branaire-Ducru. It's medium to full-bodied, flawlessly balanced, has silky tannins, and shows the quality of the vintage perfectly. A blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, it will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and cruise for two decades or more. It reminds me of the 2009.
Barrel Sample: 94-96
Floral-studded nose along with cassis fruits, this is an enjoyable Branaire Ducru that is easy to recommend. Lighter-framed than some in the appellation with its characteristic fine tannins making this a medium-term drinker within the St Julien context. Plenty of juice running through the palate, enjoyable baked earth and menthol notes and a kick of salinity on the finish.
Barrel Sample: 93
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.
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.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.