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

SKU #1299098 96 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark The core of this red is loaded with pure plum, blueberry and black currant fruit flavors. The polished structure is integrated, with alluring ganache, anise and sweet tobacco notes throughout, all in a polished and balanced frame. A very classy red that isn't shy about its power but pushes its purity to the fore. Best from 2024 through 2039. (JM) Inner quote mark (3/2019)

95 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark The best vintage of this wine since 2009! Effusive, fresh redcurrant and cassis aromas give this St.-Julien terrific drive and energy, the elegant, dry tannins beautifully married to the medium body, right through the long, agile finish. Drink or hold. Inner quote mark (2/2019)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark The estate, at the southern end of Saint-Julien, has produced a wine that is both structured and stylish. This bold, ripe wine shows opulent black fruits and generous tannins. Juicy and structured, it has good aging potential. Drink from 2025. *Cellar Selection* (RV) Inner quote mark (5/2019)

94 points Decanter

Outer quote mark You can immediately see the quality and the depth of the 2016 vintage in the complexity of the expression and construction. Bottled in early July, extremely rich and full of black brambly hawthorn-edged fruits. The quality of the tannins is extremely impressive, there are lots of them, and they build over the course of the palate, but they are not constraining, and have a fine texture. After five minutes in the glass the blackcurrant fruit starts to come out. The tannins close in again on the finish, suggesting there is a long life ahead. A vintage that is so good for St Julien, not to be missed. (JA) Inner quote mark (12/2018)

92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark 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) Inner quote mark (4/2017)

93 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2016 Branaire-Ducru is powerful, dense and explosive to a degree that is surprising for a wine that is typically much more sensual. There is lovely definition throughout, but readers will have to be patient to catch the 2016 at its very best. Hints of leather, smoke, tobacco and dried flowers begin to open up in the glass, but the 2016 is quite reticent at this stage. In two tastings I found the 2016 unusually closed. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see what time brings. (AG) 93+ Inner quote mark (1/2019)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Concentrated purplish crimson. Intensity and a real St-Julien edge and balance to this wine on the nose. Juicy and polished. Lively and transparent. Great texture and future. 17/20 points. (JR) Inner quote mark (10/2018)

K&L Notes

93 points Neal Martin for Vinous: "The 2016 Branaire Ducru has a fragrant bouquet of plush blackberry and graphite aromas, hints of bilberry and briar developing in the glass. The medium-bodied palate is quite succulent and multilayered, offering supple tannin and gentle grip on the finish. Real potential here. One of the best Branaire Ducru in recent years. Chapeau!" (01/2019)

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Price: $64.99
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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.

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.

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

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!

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