2018 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1407916 94-97 points Wine Spectator

 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. (JM)  (3/2019)

95-96 points James Suckling

 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.  (4/2019)

94-96 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is a dense wine that is built by firm tannins, bright acidity and great fruitiness. Its structure is fully integrated into the blackberry fruits that give a rich wine that has a fine future. (RV)  (4/2019)

93-96 points Vinous

 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? (AG)  (4/2019)

92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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. (LPB)  (4/2019)

93 points Decanter

 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. (JA)  (4/2019)

Jancis Robinson

 Black-cherry rim with opaque core. Scented with cassis and ripe damson fruit, quite open on the nose. Lively on the palate too, really fruity, balanced by fine layers of dry but not drying tannins. Oaky, chewy, rich, but smooth on the finish with aromatic fruit through to the finish. (JH)  (3/2019)

K&L Notes

92-94 points Neal Martin in Vinous: "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." (11/2019)


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Price: $59.99

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This product is expected to arrive for shipment or pickup by Friday, December 31, 2021.

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By: Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/6/2019 | Send Email
Loaded with red fruits, hints of cola and spice, long and sweet core of middle fruit, long, fleshy and silky. This is going to be one of my "must buys" from this vintage. Excellent!

By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/1/2019 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full
Xavier Maroteaux has fashioned a delicious wine in 2018. Tasted three times- 58% CS, 33%M, and mix of PV and CF to finish. Elegant wine with ripe roses on the nose and palate. Lush wine with sweet, ripe tannins. Fresh and full with some tannin evident. Fabulous wine in 2018.
Drink from 2025 to 2045

By: Ralph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/1/2019 | Send Email
In my opinion Saint-Julien is definitely a sweet spot in the 2018 vintage. Branaire is an absolute beauty! Prue, plump red fruit with great freshness, elegance and most importantly great tasting and a complete wine. This wine hits all the marks of greatness and is a 3 Star wine and one of the best wines of the vintage. It will drink a bit earlier and give more pleasure than most wines in 2018. Ralph Sands

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/30/2019 | Send Email
Tasted at Branaire Ducru during En Primeur week. Immediately out of the barrel this is a pretty wine, with rich, mouth-watering red fruit flavors of cola berry and cherry with herbs and licorice and a very subtle toast. It has perfectly integrated, approachable tannins and a very long fresh finish. 14.3% abv

By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/16/2019 | Send Email
I've always admired Branaire Ducru, but I've never been captured by a vintage of their wine in the same way as their splendid 2018. A core of bright red fruit and hint of cherry cola carries to a resounding finish. It is intense, full, but always refined. Tasted on four occasions, it never ceased to be one of the best wines in the room and is one of the great highlights of a superlative St-Julien vintage.

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 Médoc 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.
Sub-Region:

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.