Chateau Branaire Ducru 2016

SKU
BDCS201610 UCAU
The 2016 Branaire-Ducru is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. "The nose is quite intense with black fruit infused with pencil shaving and a touch of tobacco, unashamedly classic in style, a little distant compared to some other Saint Juliens but undeniably well defined and full of character." Neal Martin
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  • "It is richly structured, concentrated and ready for long-term aging." Wine Enthusiast
  • "A very pretty expression of St.-Julien." Wine Spectator
  • "This is clearly the best wine I have tasted from Branaire-Ducru." James Suckling
  • 1 or more bottles
    $30.79
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  • 97*
  • 97*
  • 96*
  • 95*
  • 94

Details

Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low (Low)
    High (High)
  • Aroma
    • Blueberry
    • Boysenberry
    • Herbal
  • Palate
    • Blue Fruits
    • Cassis
    • Graphite

Food Pairings

  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Wine Enthusiast

    97*
    "Barrel Sample. Superbly ripe and juicy, this is a solid, powerful wine that also is packed with black currant fruits. It is richly structured, concentrated and ready for long-term aging. 95-97 points."
  • Wine Spectator

    97*
    "A fresh bay leaf note leads off, followed quickly by pure, enticing layers of cassis, blackberry and black cherry fruit that emerge steadily through the long finish. Offers lovely mouthfeel and purity. A very pretty expression of St.-Julien. 94-97 points."
  • James Suckling

    96*
    "This is clearly the best wine I have tasted from Branaire-Ducru. Exquisite depth and richness are on offer, yet this is always framed and focused. Layers of fruit and tannins. So deep and long. Incredible quality. 95-96 points."
  • Antonio Galloni

    95*
    "Branaire-Ducru is gorgeous in 2016. A rush of inky blue/purplish fruit, licorice, violet, lavender and dark spices give the wine its rich, textured feel. Gracious and nuanced, in the classic Branaire style, the 2016 possesses lovely depth and sensuality, with no hard edges and terrific overall balance. Time in the glass brings out the wine's more floral and spiced notes. Above all else, Branaire is a wine of finesse despite its considerable intensity. It is also arguably the most polished of the Saint-Juliens. Tasted two times. 92-95 points."
  • Decanter

    94
    "Always a supremely elegant, measured take on St-Julien that delivers in spades in 2016. Plush damson fruit comes through with just the right level of extraction. Beautifully rich, ripe fruit is joined by touches of oak at exactly the right moment. An exceptional showing from Branaire that rises above its 2015. Drinking Window 2027 - 2045 Tasted by Jane Anson"

Other vintages

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Locations

France

Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux produces some of the most highly sought after and revered wines in the world. Located close to the coast, in the south-west of France the town and is divided by the Gironde River. Wines to the west of the river are referred to as left bank, and are Cabernet dominant. To the East of the river, on the right bank Merlot is the dominant grape variety. Throughout the 57 appellations, over 10,000 wine-making châteaux grow the red grapes; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. These are commonly blended and collectively referred to as clarets. Smaller amounts of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc is also grown in Bordeaux.

In 1855, due to the high export demands of Bordeaux wines, Emporer Napoleon III requested an official Bordeaux classification system, based on market costs of the wines at the time. The Chateaux were classified in to five ‘growths’ from first growth to fifth growth and cru Bourgois. Also in 1855 The Sauternes and Barsac classification covered the sweeter wines, with Chateau d’Yquem the only Superior First Growth, followed by Premiers Crus and Deux Deuxièmes Crus.

Medoc

Home to over 650 vineyards and spanning over 4,900 hectares, Bordeaux’s Médoc wine region comprises four of the most distinguished wine villages in the area: Saint-Estephe, Saint-Julien, Pauillac, and Margaux. The peninsula of Médoc is home to coastal lagoons, sand dunes, and pine forests. It is known to have formed into a peninsula over time as the Garonne and Dordogne rivers carried in large quantities of mineral rich silt and light reflective, well drained gravel, which turned out to be perfect for harvesting red wine grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The main aromas of the beautifully refined red wines from this area are: spices, oak, red fruit and vanilla.

The region of Médoc is divided into three areas: the Landes du Médoc, the Bas-Médoc, and the Haut-Médoc. The Landes du Médoc is located in the entire western half of the peninsula. Although there are no vineyards here, the land is still important because its pine trees protect the grape vines from the harsh cold winds blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. The Bas-Médoc( lower-Médoc) runs downstream on the estuarine side of the peninsula. The wines produced here are usually more affordable than those produced in Haut-Médoc. Haut-Médoc (upper-Médoc) is the most well-known of the three sections. The wines produced here are some of the most expensive wines worldwide and were famously ranked in The Médoc Classification of 1855, which is to this day in use.

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About the brand Chateau Branaire-Ducru

Located on the Saint-Julien-Beychevelle plateau, Château Branaire-Ducru comprises of fifty hectares of exceptional terroir. Unique in their mineral makeup, the soils of the estate make up the cornerstone of their wines’ exceptional quality. Classified as one of Medoc’s Grand Crus since 1855, the Chateau’s prestige is based upon their unwavering quality of fruit, steadfast attention to detail in the vineyard and winery and the outstanding wines they’ve produced for decades. The majority of plantings are devoted to Cabernet Sauvignon, with this varietal making up 70% of the estate, followed by Merlot (22%), Cabernet Franc (4%) and Petit Verdot (4%). The vines average 35 years of age and are all harvested by hand. Château Branaire produces two wines, the Grand Vin and a second wine. The grand vin Château Branaire (often referred to as Château Branaire Ducru) averages about 15,000 cases per year. Branaire uses a novel (for the area) gravity-flow style winery to minimize damage to the grapes as they are processed. The wines go through primary fermentation for about three weeks in temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats. About 1/3 of the production undergoes malolactic fermentation in new oak barrels. Once fermentation is complete the wines are transferred into oak barrels (50% new oak) for 18–24 months of aging. The estate also produces about 7,000 cases of the second wine, Duluc de Branaire-Ducru.

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