2016 Chateau Branaire-Ducru Saint Julien

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Winemaker Notes: 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% PetitVerdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.

#16 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2019


Wine Spectator - "The core of this red is loaded with pure plum, blueberry and black currant fruit flavors. The polished structure is integrated, with alluring ganache, anise and sweet tobacco notes throughout, all in a polished and balanced frame. A very classy red that isn't shy about its power but pushes its purity to the fore. Best from 2024 through 2039."

Wine Enthusiast - "The estate, at the southern end of SaintJulien, has produced a wine that is both structured and stylish. This bold, ripe wine shows opulent black fruits and generous tannins. Juicy and structured, it has good aging potential. Drink from 2025. "

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - "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. Rating: 92-94"

Decanter - "You can immediately see the quality and the depth of the 2016 vintage in the complexity of the expression and construction. Bottled in early July, extremely rich and full of black brambly hawthorn-edged fruits. The quality of the tannins is extremely impressive, there are lots of them, and they build over the course of the palate, but they are not constraining, and have a fine texture. After five minutes in the glass the blackcurrant fruit starts to come out. The tannins close in again on the finish, suggesting there is a long life ahead. A vintage that is so good for St Julien, not to be missed. Drinking Window 2026 - 2042"

Jeb Dunnuck - "The 2016 Château Branaire-Ducru checks in as a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc. This medium to full-bodied, downright pretty Saint-Julien has a complex, layered style in its mulberries, blackberries, saddle leather, and forest floor aromatics, with hints of graphite developing with time in the glass. Possessing terrific tannins, nicely integrated acidity, and a great finish, I’d certainly be happy to have bottles of this in the cellar. Give it a few years and it promises to shine for 20-25 years. Rating: 92+"

James Suckling - "Attractive aromas and flavors of currants and walnuts with some chocolate. Medium body, medium round tannins and a savory finish. Just starting to come around now. Drink or hold."

Connoisseurs' Guide - "Striking in its aromatic generosity and richness yet not quite as forthcoming in flavor even though it shows great density and concentration on the palate, this solid, yet fairly tannic young Saint-Julien is a wine of promise far more than one of open and immediate appeal. That said, its promise is certain, but it will take some waiting – at least a half-dozen years is our guess – before proving that it is every bit as deep and involving as its altogether alluring aromas predict."

More Information
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Vintage 2016
Winery Chateau Branaire-Ducru
Grape Varietals Bordeaux Blend
Size 750 milliliter
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