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2015 Chateau Branaire-Ducru
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The 2015 Branaire-Ducru is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 18 September until 8 October, with two or three intervals in between. Matured in around 60% new oak (although as usual my barrel sample was from a new oak barrel), it has a high-toned, black cherry and cassis scented nose that perhaps feels a little constricted by the new wood in this sample, though not necessarily once in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with a lightly spiced entry, white pepper and a touch of sage, gritty tannin, foursquare and a little conservative. There is commendable weight on the finish, if not quite the precision compared to its peers. I noticed this gaining more cohesion in the glass, which bodes well for once the Branaire-Ducru is in bottle. I expect this to rest at the top of my banded score.
Neal Martin - eRobertParker.com #224 (Apr 2016)
Pretty and aromatic, with flavors of kirsch and cherry preserves mixed with tobacco and bay notes. Stays energetic through the relatively sleek finish. Wins on purity.
J.M. - Wine Spectator
Very good vigour of fruit and typical of the restrained elegance of this fine fourth growth, with a little more natural richness this year. Purity and length for a fine future.
This is very structured and tight with chewy polished tannins and blueberry, blackberry. Full and savory. Should develop beautifully.
Concentrated tannins meet seamless line of juicy black currant on the palate. The structure is firm and tight, finishing with a lift of acidity.
The 2015 Branaire-Ducru is deep, fleshy and delicious. Radiant, open-knit and endowed with a total sense of class, the Branaire hits all the right notes. A striking mélange of dark red and purplish fruit, wild flowers, hard candy, mint, spice and new leather makes a strong opening statement. Sweet floral notes add lift on the finish. Branaire is one of the freshest, most perfumed Saint-Juliens of the vintage. As such, it is a wine of pure pleasure and sensuality, not to mention a terrific example of the year. Tasted three times.