2014 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien

SKU #1293532 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* Spicy, rich and full of ripe fruit, this wine has great potential. It is structured and dense while bringing out a stylish elegance. Blackberry fruit dominates the tannins to create a wine that has both concentration and fine fruit. Drink from 2022. (RV)  (2/2017)

93 points James Suckling

 This is a slightly shy mid-weight wine that is anything but a flashy one. If you have some patience though it has plenty of subtlety and sophistication. Drink in 2021.  (2/2017)

93 points Vinous

 The 2014 Branaire Ducru is soft, polished and super-inviting. Succulent red cherry, plum, lavender, spice and mint give the wine its attractive, open-knit personality, while silky tannins add to an overall impression of sensuality. The 2014 should drink well with minimal cellaring. Today, it is among the most accessible of the Saint-Juliens. (AG)  (2/2017)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Very pure and expressive, featuring lovely violet and cassis aromas and flavors that stream forth, backed by light anise and graphite hints. Maintains a fresh feel through the finish, with light minerality engaging with the fruit. Best from 2019 through 2028. (JM)  (3/2017)

90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Château Branaire-Ducru is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc picked between 24 September with the early-ripening Merlot, and finishing on 11 October. The yields came in at 40 hectoliters per hectare and Patrick Maratoux explained the importance of waiting for the correct maturity of each parcel. It has a tightly wound bouquet with black cherries and orange peel aromas, focused if not quite as complex as say, Château Beychevelle. The palate is medium-bodied, sinewy in the mouth with tensile tannins. This is a wine that seems to be making a huge effort in this vintage, but I would like to see more finesse manifested on the finish by the time it is in bottle. You know, I think that will develop. That 12 to 13% vin de presse lends this Branaire Ducru impressive sustain on the finish and I suspect that it will coalesce throughout the barrel ageing in two-thirds new oak (though the sample shown at the château was 100% new oak). (NM)  (4/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 Mid crimson. A touch less ripe than the Beychevelle but more graphite than leafy. Excellent balance between profound, dark fruit, smooth, compact tannins and fresh acidity. Medium weight and elegant already. (JH)  (10/2016)

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Staff Image By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/22/2017 | Send Email
A very classic 2014 Bordeaux with a relative lighter body, cassis, plums and a touch of coffee. It's old school as usual, and its structure tells me it will need time in the cellar.

Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/10/2017 | Send Email
This is supple, rich and red fruited with scents of cedar, forest floor, mint and oak. There is good weight and ripeness to the black cherry fruit in this elegant, gentle and round wine which finishes with a fresh walnut note. This is tasty and already complex.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Saint Julien

- St. Julien, the smallest of the four famous appellations of the Haut Medoc, is known for highly extracted, finely structured, Cabernet-based reds. It is nestled between Pauillac to the north and Margaux to the south. Like St. Estephe, there are no first growths in this area. Leoville-las-Cases, Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton, Ducru Beaucaillou, and Gruard Larose are the second-growths of St. Julien followed by Lagrange which is the only third-growth. Beychevelle, Branaire Ducru, St. Pierre, and Talbot, which are all fourth-growth wines, round out the grand cru classe chateaux. In the last several vintages, wineries from this appellation have been out-performing their traditional rankings making many of the wines from this region some of the best values in red wine today.