Branaire Ducru 2018

St Julien, Fourth Growth

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138 Bottle (12 x75cl) Case 12 £460 per Case Cases -  Bottles [Add to shopping basket]
Tasting Notes

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.

Score: 97

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com Maturity: 2026+ 03 February 2022

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.

Score: 97

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com Maturity: 2026+ 01 January 2021

This is a fantastic Brainaire with deep and dark fruit, such as blackberries and blackcurrants. Lots of raspberries, too. Full-bodied with firm and creamy tannins and a super long finish. We will see if it’s better than 2016, but on its way.

Score: 95 - 96

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com 11 April 2019

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.

Score: 96

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2048 25 August 2021

The 2018 Branaire-Ducru is fabulous. Bright, lifted and impeccably precise, the 2018 is one of the best recent Branaires I can remember tasting. The 2018 is distinguished by its vertical lift, striking aromatic intensity and exceptional balance. Lavender, rose petal, gravel, mint and sweet red/purplish berry fruit are all given an extra kick of textural richness. More than anything else, I was blown away by the wine's density and precision. The 2018 is dazzling. There's not much else to say. Well, except the obvious question, which is why is Branaire not at this level every year? The 2018 is 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Tasted three times.

Score: 93 - 96

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com 01 April 2019

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.

Score: 93

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023 - 2045 18 August 2021

The 2018 Branaire-Ducru was picked from 19 September until 10 October at 53hl/ha and it is currently being aged in 60% new oak. Now this has a really fine bouquet, classic in style but with more fruit intensity than the 2017: blackberry, bilberry, cedar and a touch of singed leather. It is very Saint-Julien. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannin. Notes of blackcurrant, raspberry, black pepper and cedar with fine acidity and more substance on the finish compared directly with the preceding vintage. Having visited this property for 20 years, I can safely say that this is the most impressive Branaire-Ducru that I have encountered at this stage.

Score: 92 - 94

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2022-2042 01 November 2019

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.

Score: 94

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com Maturity: 2026 - 2051 18 July 2021

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.

Score: 93

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2023 - 2043 11 July 2021

The deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Branaire-Ducru begins just a tad reduced with broody tar, rubber and fried herbs scents giving way to a fragrant core of warm cassis, blackberry pie and blueberry coulis with touches of smoked meats and tobacco. Full-bodied, firm and rugged in the mouth with brawny, muscular fruit and a sturdy frame of grainy tannins, it finishes long and savory.

Score: 92 - 94

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com 23 April 2019

A little subdued, this has firm tannic hold, clear raspberry, blackberry and cassis fruits, along with hawthorn, brambles and touches of black pepper. Young and will go the distance, though lacks a little magic.

Score: 92

Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026-2040 01 November 2020

Branaire-Ducru has managed to produce an exceptionally balanced and refined St-Julien in a year when that was not the easiest task. Depth and complexity is clear, although it's just a little held back right now. The architecture is such that there are walls to scale and depths to plumb, but with less generosity overall. 53hl/ha yield.

Score: 93

Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2027-2040 15 April 2019

This is well-packed, with blueberry, açaí and blackberry fruit flavors and licorice snap and fruitcake notes. Long and refined despite the copious fruit, showing polish and poise through the finish.

Score: 94 - 97

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator 28 March 2019