2010 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival)
*Cellar Selection* This rich, full wine shows the chateau to be at the top of its form. It’s finely balanced, pushing both its fruit and acidity, with the tannins taking the supporting role. With its power leashed, this shows the stylish side of Saint-Julien, although it will certainly age for many years.
A layered young red with lots of black olives and berries on the nose. Full body, with velvety and chewy tannins. It all comes together at the end with a lovely sweet fruit. Try after 2017.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This wine is more backward than I would have normally expected, but nevertheless, it is very impressive. The 2010 Branaire-Ducru displays an inky bluish purple color and loads of mulberry, raspberry, black currant, graphite and floral notes in its intense aromatics. Medium to full-bodied , with sensational ripeness, purity, texture and length, the tannins are slightly more prominent than I remember from barrel, but they are sweet and ripe (as opposed to astringent and bitter). This beautiful wine needs 4-6 years of cellaring and should keep 25-30 years.
Very polished and stylish, with a velvety feel to the layers of crushed plum, currant and blackberry, while bittersweet cocoa and black licorice glide in on the gorgeous, black tea-infused finish. Features a lovely allure rather than raw power, making this possibly the prettiest St.-Julien of the vintage. There's plenty in the tank for cellaring as well. Best from 2014 through 2030.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby-red. Floral aromas of fresh red cherry, redcurrant, violet, gunflint and minerals. Suave on entry, then pliant and sweet, with a plush texture and a smoky quality to the redcurrant, blackberry and floral flavors. The spicy, aromatic, persistent finish is marked by ripe tannins. This struck me as a less opulent Branaire-Ducru than usual, but I liked its overall balance and light touch.
Cedary, meaty nose but opens up to more fragrant cassis. Powerful but remarkably fluid and fresh on the palate. Lighter than some at this stage but harmonious. Elegant, cool finish. 17.5/20 points.
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23.5% Merlot, 4.5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. "Producer Patrick Maroteaux continues to fine-tune and turn out a succession of brilliant wines from this chateau," comments Robert Parker, "which sits across the famous Medoc Route du Vin from Beychevelle." (02/2013)