Chateau Branaire-Ducru, Saint Julien, Bordeaux, 2018

$85.99

James Suckling 97pts: Very attractive aromas of currants, tile and sandalwood with black and red currants. It’s full-bodied with a tight, dense center-palate that remains closed in and tight. Yet there is underlying seriousness and length to this. Perhaps the greatest Branaire-Ducru ever made. Try after 2026.

Wine Enthusiast 95pts: A deceptively smooth texture and black fruits hide a wine that has great density and richness. Firm tannins lie beneath the ripeness. They will allow this wine to age, giving future concentration and depth. Drink the wine from 2027. Cellar Selection

Wine Spectator 94pts: Pure and driven, with expressive cassis and plum puree aromas and flavors carried by a graphite edge and backed with applewood, licorice root and tobacco notes. Lovely energy throughout. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2037.
Jeb Dunnuck 94pts: A beautiful Saint-Julien, the 2018 Château Branaire-Ducru reveals a deep purple color as well as ample, earthy cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with sous bois, earth, lead pencil, and cedar. With that classic Saint-Julien pure fruit, sumptuous aromas and flavors, sweet yet present tannins, and a solid spine of acidity, it’s going to need 5-7 years to hit maturity yet should keep for 20-25 years or more. I don’t think it’s going to match the blockbuster 2009 (it’s more in the pretty, elegant style of the 2016), but it’s a gorgeous, elegant wine you will love to have in the cellar.

RP93Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2018 Branaire-Ducru has a medium to deep garnet-purple color and an upfront, expressive nose of baked black plums, boysenberries and Morello cherries with an undercurrent of dried mint, spice box and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate packs a very pleasant fruit wallop, featuring juicy black fruits and a firm, grainy frame, finishing long with lovely purity.

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