2016 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1299098 95-97 points Wine Enthusiast

 Superbly ripe and juicy, this is a solid, powerful wine that also is packed with black currant fruits. It is richly structured, concentrated and ready for long-term aging. (RV)  (4/2017)

94-97 points Wine Spectator

 A fresh bay leaf note leads off, followed quickly by pure, enticing layers of cassis, blackberry and black cherry fruit that emerge steadily through the long finish. Offers lovely mouthfeel and purity. A very pretty expression of St.-Julien. (JM)  (4/2017)

95-96 points James Suckling

 This is clearly the best wine I have tasted from Branaire-Ducru. Exquisite depth and richness are on offer, yet this is always framed and focused. Layers of fruit and tannins. So deep and long. Incredible quality.  (4/2017)

92-95 points Vinous

 Branaire-Ducru is gorgeous in 2016. A rush of inky blue/purplish fruit, licorice, violet, lavender and dark spices give the wine its rich, textured feel. Gracious and nuanced, in the classic Branaire style, the 2016 possesses lovely depth and sensuality, with no hard edges and terrific overall balance. Time in the glass brings out the wine's more floral and spiced notes. Above all else, Branaire is a wine of finesse despite its considerable intensity. It is also arguably the most polished of the Saint-Juliens. (AG)  (4/2017)

94 points Decanter

 Always a supremely elegant, measured take on St-Julien that delivers in spades in 2016. Plush damson fruit comes through with just the right level of extraction. Beautifully rich, ripe fruit is joined by touches of oak at exactly the right moment. An exceptional showing from Branaire that rises above its 2015. (JA)  (4/2017)

92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Branaire-Ducru is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc picked from 28 September until 19 October at 50 hectoliters per hectare, one of the longest harvest periods at the estate. The nose is quite intense with black fruit infused with pencil shaving and a touch of tobacco, unashamedly classic in style, a little distant compared to some other Saint Juliens but undeniably well defined and full of character. The palate is structured and masculine, exerting a firm grip in the mouth, spicier than its peers with cracked black pepper complementing the black fruit, tobacco and smoke towards the structured finish. There is great length here, very persistent in the mouth, a little "rougher" in texture than others, but that will be smoothed out during élevage and in bottle. Give this Branaire-Ducru five or six years in bottle because it has great potential, one of the best produced at the estate in recent years. (NB This sample was taken from a new barrel, though the final blend will be 60%.) (NM)  (4/2017)

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Price: $57.99

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This product is expected to arrive for shipment or pickup by Friday, November 1, 2019.

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Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/10/2017 | Send Email
This powerful yet polished and beguiling wine is the best from this property in a long time. Raspberry, cherry and currant fruit form a creamy texture that glides across the gentle, rounded tannins in this sleek dark and packed wine. Hints of tobacco, spice and cocoa poke through the middle of effortless balance. Here the muscle is wearing cashmere.

Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/9/2017 | Send Email
Chateau Branaire-Ducru is consistently one of the best values in Saint Julien. I love it for its elegance and for its classic appeal. I confess I have quite a few bottles in my cellar from various vintages. I plan to add a few more from this remarkable 2016 vintage. Patrick Maroteaux and his team really outdid themselves, producing one of the best wines from this appellation. Wildly aromatic and deeply colored. Bright, fresh, and very lively with fine tannins. Perfectly ripe, sweet fruit. Balanced. Precise. Complete.

Staff Image By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/9/2017 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Half
64% Cabernet and it shows it with vivid red color and bright red berry aromas. Tons of fruit attacks the palate and great mid palate sweetnes. My notes say-Fruit-freshness-elegance. Round plush tannins and lovely texture and only 6% increase in price from the 2015 vintage. I much prefer 2016.
Drink from 2022 to 2040

Staff Image By: Jason Marwedel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/17/2017 | Send Email
This wine typifies the best of the 2016 vintage: purity, precision and elegance. This wine jumps from the glass with loads of black cherry, cola and flowers - while the palate displays layers of sweet supple fruit. Maintaining focus throughout, the tannins are soft and fine leaving you with a delightful spice note at the conclusion. So well constructed, it is an absolute classic!

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.