2003 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien
Extremely perfumed, with currants, blackberries, and flowers on the nose. Full bodied, with a solid core of beautiful fruit and super chewy, yet polished tannins. This is a brick house. Pull the cork after 2016.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This fully mature, gorgeous 2003 Branaire Ducru possesses silky tannins, lots of cedary, spice box, floral, black cherry, forest floor and velvety leather-like notes, full body, and an opulent, complex yet elegant style. A beauty of complexity, richness and finesse, it should continue to drink well for another 5-6 years. (RP)
Opulent aromas of blackberry, olives and toasted oak follow through to a full-bodied palate, with big chewy tannins and a long, long finish. Big and muscular wine.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby-red. Intense mocha and sweet spice notes complicate ripe dark cherry and macerated plum aromas on the very ripe, deep nose. Large-scaled and plush, with ripe but not cooked red and black fruit flavors. Surprisingly lively acidity and seamless tannins give the wine good support. Finishes creamy and long, with a repeating note of mocha. For the most part I am not a fan of the 2003 Bordeaux owing to the furnace-like summer, but the Branaire-Ducru is a knockout and owner Patrick Maroteaux has always told me he thinks it's one of the best wines he has ever made. Not surprisingly in 2003, the grapes were harvested much earlier and faster than usual, between September 9 and 24.
One of the great estates of southern Saint-Julien, producing wines whose regularity in succeeding vintages is remarkable. For 2003, Branaire has produced a dark wine, with dry, powerful tannins coming from very ripe fruit. The wood is dry and toasty, leaving a general impression of a wine that will age at a stately pace.