2018 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien

SKU #1530990 97 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Very attractive aromas of currants, tile and sandalwood with black and red currants. It’s full-bodied with a tight, dense center-palate that remains closed in and tight. Yet there is underlying seriousness and length to this. Perhaps the greatest Branaire-Ducru ever made. Try after 2026. Inner quote mark (3/2021)

96 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2018 Branaire-Ducru is every bit as captivating as it was en primeur. Ripe, silky tannins give the 2018 a striking air of sensuality that only grows as the wine sits in the glass. Succulent red/purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal, mint, spice and gravel inflections all open more over time. Even with all of its natural radiance, Branaire remains a model of grace. It is unquestionably one of the under the radar wines of the year. (AG) Inner quote mark (3/2021)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark A deceptively smooth texture and black fruits hide a wine that has great density and richness. Firm tannins lie beneath the ripeness. They will allow this wine to age, giving future concentration and depth. Drink the wine from 2027. *Cellar Selection* (RV) Inner quote mark (3/2021)

94 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark A beautiful Saint-Julien, the 2018 Château Branaire-Ducru reveals a deep purple color as well as ample, earthy cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with sous bois, earth, lead pencil, and cedar. With that classic Saint-Julien pure fruit, sumptuous aromas and flavors, sweet yet present tannins, and a solid spine of acidity, it's going to need 5-7 years to hit maturity yet should keep for 20-25 years or more. I don't think it's going to match the blockbuster 2009 (it's more in the pretty, elegant style of the 2016), but it's a gorgeous, elegant wine you will love to have in the cellar. Inner quote mark (3/2021)

94 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Pure and driven, with expressive cassis and plum puree aromas and flavors carried by a graphite edge and backed with applewood, licorice root and tobacco notes. Lovely energy throughout. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. (JM) Inner quote mark (3/2021)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2018 Branaire-Ducru has a medium to deep garnet-purple color and an upfront, expressive nose of baked black plums, boysenberries and Morello cherries with an undercurrent of dried mint, spice box and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate packs a very pleasant fruit wallop, featuring juicy black fruits and a firm, grainy frame, finishing long with lovely purity. (LPB) Inner quote mark (3/2021)

92 points Decanter

Outer quote mark A little subdued, this has firm tannic hold, clear raspberry, blackberry and cassis fruits, along with hawthorn, brambles and touches of black pepper. (JA) Inner quote mark (11/2020)

K&L Notes

93 points Neal Martin for Vinous: “The 2018 Branaire-Ducru was picked from September 19 until October 10 at 53hl/ha and is currently being aged in 60% new oak. It has retained the sophisticated bouquet that I found last year, featuring beautifully defined blackberry and cedar and hints of iris flower and rose petals. The palate is well defined with good density and backbone, something that you could argue was missing from Branaire-Ducru in the 1990s and early 2000s. It gently fans out on the finish but never wants to create too much of a commotion – that’s not its style. This indicates a property that is finding a new lease on life. Excellent.” (03/2021)

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Price: $69.99

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