2012 Ch. Branaire-Ducru, St Julien, Bordeaux

2012 Ch. Branaire-Ducru, St Julien, Bordeaux

Product: 20128003230
Prices start from £184.00 per case Buying options
2012 Ch. Branaire-Ducru, St Julien, Bordeaux

Description

There is a perfumed nose here, with linear aromas and a real scent of pure Cabernet Sauvignon fruit. The subtleties of accompanying grapes ably fill in the gaps to make a wholly complete wine, with ripe and grippy tannins supporting the juicy fruit flavours. The wine has real depth, energy and length. It is a very good effort indeed. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Laura Atkinson, Private Account Manager
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About this WINE

Chateau Branaire-Ducru

Chateau Branaire-Ducru

Château Branaire-Ducru is situated on the opposite side of the road from Château Beychevelle in the south of the St-Julien appellation. Patrick Maroteaux has owned the property since 1988 and he has invested heavily in new plantings as well as installing a spanking new cuvier and an ultra-modern chai.

Branaire-Ducru's 60 hectares of vineyards are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (22%), Cabernet Franc (5%), Petit Verdot (3%). The wines are matured in oak barriques (65% new). The proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend is even higher than that in the vineyards - 80-85% in most years, which is one of the highest in the Médoc.

Branaire-Ducru produces a pure and classic St-Julien which is elegant, ripe, supple and well-balanced. It is classified as a 4ème Cru Classé.

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St Julien

St Julien

St Julien is the smallest of the "Big Four" Médoc communes. Although, without any First Growths, St Julien is recognised to be the most consistent of the main communes, with several châteaux turning out impressive wines year after year. 

St Julien itself is much more of a village than Pauillac and almost all of the notable properties lie to its south. Its most northerly château is Ch. Léoville Las Cases (whose vineyards actually adjoin those of Latour in Pauillac) but,  further south, suitable vineyard land gives way to arable farming and livestock until the Margaux appellation is reached.  

The soil is gravelly and finer than that of Pauillac, and without the iron content which gives Pauillac its stature. The homogeneous soils in the vineyards (which extend over a relatively small area of just over 700 hectares) give the commune a unified character.

The wines can be assessed as much by texture as flavour, and there is a sleek, wholesome character to the best. Elegance, harmony and perfect balance and weight, with hints of cassis and cedar, are what epitomise classic St Julien wines. At their very best they combine Margaux’s elegance and refinement with Pauillac’s power and substance.

Ch. Léoville Las Cases produces arguably the most sought-after St Julien, and in any reassessment of the 1855 Classification it would almost certainly warrant being elevated to First Growth status.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Léoville Las CasesCh.Léoville Barton, Ch Léoville Poyferré, Ch. Ducru-Beaucaillou, Ch Langoa Barton, Ch Gruaud Larose, Ch. Branaire-Ducru, Ch. Beychevelle

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

Wine Advocate90/100
Wine Spectator 90-93/100
jancisrobinson.com17/20
Decanter17/100

Critic reviews

Wine Advocate90/100
Deep ruby/purple, with sweet cranberry, mulberry and raspberry/blueberry fruit, this is always a distinctive St.-Julien and the 2012 has managed to avoid any of the hollowness or harsh tannins that can afflict some of the Mdocs. It is elegant, well-made and an outstanding effort in this vintage. Drink it over the next 15 or more years.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 30/04/2015 Read more
Wine Spectator 90-93/100
Light, racy and pure, with red currant and cherry pit notes driving a solid hint of rooibos tea on the finish. The finely beaded acidity keeps this going. Not big, but persistent and showing considerable finesse.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 8 2013 Read more
jancisrobinson.com17/20
Dark crimson. Sweet, fragrant, rather floral nose. Opulent. Not at all typical of the vintage! Round and flattering. Some real energy here but not that true to type, though there are some nice dry appetising tannins on the finish.
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com, 23 Apr 2013 Read more
Decanter17/100
Bright Cabernet fruit, a polished smoothness to match the slight greeeness, needs time and will show elegance and class.
Steven Spurrier, Decanter, April 2013 Read more