Branaire-Ducru’s low-yielding 35-year-old vines, married with traditional vinification with a modern twist produces wines of power, elegance and subtlety.
Château Branaire-Ducru is a 4th growth Bordeaux very much on the up in recent times, since Patrick Maroteaux bought this Saint-julien château in 1988. Patrick’s wise investment has made Branaire-Ducru an estate to watch, with its prices remaining very reasonable – easily out-performing its neighbour Beychevelle. When Patrick sadly passed away, his son, François Xavier Maroteaux stepped into his shoes and has continued his father’s great work.
The 2018 Branaire-Ducru is fabulous. Bright, lifted and impeccably precise, the 2018 is one of the best recent Branaires I can remember tasting. The 2018 is distinguished by its vertical lift, striking aromatic intensity and exceptional balance. Lavender, rose petal, gravel, mint and sweet red/purplish berry fruit are all given an extra kick of textural richness. More than anything else, I was blown away by the wine's density and precision. The 2018 is dazzling. There's not much else to say. Well, except the obvious question, which is why is Branaire not at this level every year?
93/100 - Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Tasted April 2019)