2020 Château Branaire-Ducru, St Julien, Bordeaux

2020 Château Branaire-Ducru, St Julien, Bordeaux

Product: 20208003230
Prices start from £186.00 per case Buying options
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2020 Château Branaire-Ducru, St Julien, Bordeaux

Description

Cabernet Sauvignon 58%, Merlot 32%, Petit Verdot 7%, Cabernet Franc 3%

This is a beautifully polished example, as is standard now from this property. Yields here do not seem to have been overly affected; they are a relatively healthy 40 hl/ha. There is plenty of Merlot in the blend, expressed in a pure form, with notes of sloe berry. On the palate, the oak handling is stylish and nothing is overplayed. The finish has a twist of bitter cherry, adding further dimension and freshness to an elegant, considered wine.

Drink 2026-2042

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Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Find out more.
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Case format
Availability
Price per case
6 x 75cl bottle
Berry Bros. & Rudd BB&R 88 cases £186.00
En Primeur Limited availability
En Primeur Limited availability

Critics reviews

Jane Anson93/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous94-96/100
Neal Martin, Vinous92-94/100
Wine Advocate91-93+/100
James Suckling93-94/100
Jeb Dunnuck92-94/100
Michael Schuster91-93/100
Jane Anson93/100
Blueberry, blackberry, damson and hawthorn, this has juice and tannins with an elegance and really excellent St-Julien character; A lovely Branaire, well placed. Unfussy, this is still not overly exuberant but it has a real sense of sappiness, lift and sinew. 3% Cabernet Franc completes the blend.

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous94-96/100
The 2020 Branaire-Ducru is utterly magnificent. A wine of extraordinary depth and dimension, the 2020 possesses tremendous intensity right out of the gate. Inky dark fruit, chocolate, new leather, licorice, cloves and lavender build as into the explosive, palate-staining finish. I don't think I have ever tasted a Branaire quite like this.

Drink from 2030 to 2050

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous92-94/100
The 2020 Branaire Ducru has a tightly wound bouquet of blackberry, wild hedgerow, freshly tilled loam and distinct sea spray scents, all well defined, albeit 15­–20 minutes after opening my sample bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins, and very cohesive, displaying a keen thread of acidity. Unlike previous vintages, there is impressive density on the midpalate where it once was a little lean, and plenty of energy and tension conveyed by the finish. Excellent.

Drink from 2028 to 2048

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate91-93+/100
The 2020 Branaire-Ducru displays a deep garnet-purple color and pronounced blackcurrant cordial, plum preserves and boysenberries scents, plus hints of sautéed herbs, unsmoked cigars and graphite. The medium-bodied palate has a lot of verve, delivering appealing tension among the tightly wound black fruits and grainy tannins, finishing with an herbal lift.

Drink from 2024 to 2042

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
James Suckling93-94/100
A polished, creamy red with blue fruit, such as blackcurrants, and pretty, ripe and fine tannins that fill your mouth.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck92-94/100
The 2020 Château Branaire-Ducru is vivid purple in color, with a classy, slightly exotic nose of blueberries, plums, violets, and orange blossom, and a kiss of marine-like iron emerging with time in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated, and focused on the palate, it’s not massive by any means yet shines for its balance, purity, and length.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster91-93/100
Pleasing nose, softly, freshly rich, subtly gravelly; very nicely balanced, medium-full, fresh to lively in acidity, very fine in tannin, a touch of the slightly “crisper” 2020 St-Julien style; but lovely red- and black-fruit flavor, mineral-infused, a gentle flesh at the core, a very restrained mid-weight style, with a beautiful texture, gravel-marked, and with excellent length. Beautiful wine, fine St-Julien.

Drink 2030 - 2050

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Château Branaire-Ducru

Château Branaire-Ducru

Classified as a fourth growth in 1855, Ch. Branaire-Ducru makes pure and classic St Julien. The estate has recently passed from father to son: the widely respected Patrick Maroteaux – who had served at various times as president of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux and the St Julien appellation – sadly passed away in 2017. His son François-Xavier has picked up the baton and continues his father’s legacy. The Maroteaux family bought the property in 1988 and have invested considerably in the vineyard and winery since. Superstar consultant Eric Boissenot advises here, as he does with many of the Left Bank’s top estates, including the Médoc’s four first growths.

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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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