An exceptionally dense and fine red wine from Saint-Julien
A 4th classified growth of 1855, the Château Branaire Ducru is a red wine produced in the Saint-Julien appellation. The 59-hectare vineyard is home to vines aged 35 years on average, planted on gravel crusts (gravel, pebbles). The wine is matured in barrel for an average of 16 to 20 months, with 60 to 65% new wood. The blend of the 2016 vintage contains 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.
The fantastic climatic conditions of the 2016 vintage made it possible to produce a top quality wine. The fresh and humid spring resulted in a magnificent balance in vine vigour. The dry and sunny weather in early June allowed for a beautiful flowering. The dryness of the summer brought about significant water stresses, giving the grapes a rich colour and tannins. The three rainy days between the 13th and 16th of September led to an optimal ripening of the grapes just before the harvest. The climatic conditions during harvest, between September 28th, and October 19th were also fantastic.
Deep in colour, the Château Branaire Ducru 2016 offers a complex and expressive nose that develops fragrances of ripe fruit and is rich, clear and fresh. Even in the mouth, the wine is juicy from the attack. The tannic structure combines great finesse with a high density. The finish is long and clear. An exceptionally dense and fine wine, and part of one of the best vintages in the history of the estate.
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%.)