An exceptionally dense, fine red wine from Saint-Julien
Classified Fourth Growth, Chateau Branaire Ducru is produced in the Saint-Julien appellation. The 59 hectare vineyard has vines planted, that are on average 35 years old. The soil is composed of gravel crusts (gravel and pebbles). The wine matures in barrels for 16-20 months, with 60-65% new barrels. Chateau Branaire Ducru 2016 is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.
2016's peculiar weather conditions made it possible to produce a quality wine. The fresh and wet spring allowed the vines to absorb plenty of nutrients. June's dry and sunny weather were ideal for bringing the vines to the flowering stage. Dryness influenced the grapes to develop a rich color and well-structured tannins. Rain from September 13th to the 16th of allowed the berries to complete their ripening, just before the harvest.
Chateau Branaire-Ducru 2016 has a nose that is expressively complex, full of ripe fruit. The aromas are rich, precise, and refreshing. The tannins are dense and silky. The finish is impressively long and precise. An exceptionally dense fine wine that is part of the best vintages in the property's history.
Parker : 92-94 / 100
J. Suckling : 95 / 100
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The 2016 Branaire-Ducru is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc picked from 28 September until 19 October at 50 hectoliters per hectare, one of the longest harvest periods at the estate. 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. The palate is structured and masculine, exerting a firm grip in the mouth, spicier than its peers with cracked black pepper complementing the black fruit, tobacco and smoke towards the structured finish. There is great length here, very persistent in the mouth, a little rougher in texture than others, but that will be smoothed out during élevage and in bottle. Give this Branaire-Ducru five or six years in bottle because it has great potential, one of the best produced at the estate in recent years. (NB This sample was taken from a new barrel, though the final blend will be 60%.)