Vinous called this "quintessential Saint Julien, a very fine Branaire Ducru". The property dates back to 1680, but it was new owners in 1988 that have made the real difference. Awarded 91-93, the 2017 is superb, elegant and complex. A top Branaire.
Lying in the south of Saint Julien, opposite Château Beychevelle and close neighbours to Second Growths Ducru Beaucaillou, Gruaud Larose and Léoville Barton, Branaire Ducru is a very fine Fourth Growth. Since 1988, it has been owned by the Maroteaux family – Patrick and now his son François – who have made significant investment to upgrade vineyards and build a new winery and chai for ageing. Despite this, its wines remain well priced. Decanter wrote, "it has taken the enthusiasm and passion of Maroteaux to nudge it closer to its super-second neighbours," calling the first wine "the epitome of an elegant, fresh Saint Julien." Using a large portion of Cabernet Sauvignon, and ageing in 60% new oak, this is a serious wine punching high.
"Harmonious bouquet with brambly black fruit, melted tar and tobacco scents, not powerful but precise"
Neal Martin Vinous, 91-93 points
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