2015 Château Branaire Ducru St. Julien 4th Growth

The 60 hectare vineyard of Branaire Ducru is planted to 65% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. This represents a slight increase in the amount of Merlot in the vineyard. In size, the vineyard is quite to close to what it was at the time of the 1855 Classification.

The terroir is deep gravel with clay soils. The peak elevation reaches up to 14 meters. The best terroir is located near the chateau, closest to the Gironde river.

They also have blocks further inland, with a small section of vines placed close to Chateau Lagrange and Chateau Talbot. The vineyard can be divided into 15 different blocks with 70 different parcels of vines.

Tasting Notes

Blackberries, cassis, thyme, tobacco and cedar notes help define the nose. There is a sweetness and purity to the ripe red fruits that shine through. On the palate as the wine lingers, elements of juicy, blackberries poke through, giving you a melange of silky textured fruits in the finish. This is so soft, you can drink it now, but if you can wait 6-10 years, the wine will offer a much more interesting experience.

Vinous Media 95 points - The 2015 Branaire Ducru is a gorgeous, totally sexy wine. Rose petal, lavender, mint, sweet red berry and gently spiced notes give the wine much of its gracious, lilting personality. Precise and nuanced to the core, the 2015 Branaire is all class. It's easy to overlook Brainaire in the context of Saint-Julien, where most of the other important wines are much more powerful. Branaire always speaks with a hushed, discreet voice. Readers who appreciate finesse will find much to admire here. The 2015 is a wine of pure and total sensual pleasure. In 2015, the blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, aged for 18 months in French oak, 60% new. Don't miss it. Tasted two times.

Wine Advocate 90 points - "Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Branaire-Ducru has an earthy nose over a core of red and black currants with hints of tapenade, pencil shavings and sage. The medium-bodied palate is firm and chewy, with just enough fruit and a lively finish."

James Suckling 93 points - "More open than many 2015 St.-Juliens at this stage in spite of the firm, dry tannin structure behind the bright cassis. The tannins need some integration, but with some patience (from 2021 or 2022), this will become a rather fine wine."

Wine Spectator 94 points - "This pumps lush fig, boysenberry and blackberry confiture notes along, pushed by a rather polished but ample structure. Lots of anise and violet details cascade in on the finish, giving this extra aromatic dimension. Best from 2020 through 2038."