In the glass, the Château Branaire-Ducru 2010 has a saturated ruby red color, with a deep heart of cordovan, and flashes of crimson at the edge. Aromas of blackberry preserves, crème de cassis, fresh white tobacco, and fading chrysanthemums move in and out of the foreground, sometimes alternating with black licorice, Perigord truffles, and dark roasted coffee as the classic Saint-Julien nose evolves in the glass.
On the palate, the wine is opulent, pliant, and supple, with velvety sweet tannins, and a luxurious core of sun- warmed black fruit, melted dark chocolate, and freshly turned earth that echoes the evolving nose. This is a polished, elegant Saint-Julien to drink now through its anticipated maturity of 2025 – 2035.
About this wine producer: The name “Branaire-Ducru” is formed from the names of Jean-Baptiste Braneyre, who created the estate with a purchase of vineyards from Château Beychevelle in 1680, and Gustave Ducru, the owner of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, who acquired Branaire-Ducru in 1857. The estate was classified a fourth Grand Cru in 1855, and the wines were always well thought of. But it is the estate’s current proprietor, Patrick Maroteaux (a three-term President of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux), who has directed the steady, incremental improvement in the quality of the wine since his arrival in 1988, so that today, Branaire-Ducru is sometimes compared with its “Super Second” neighbors, Ducru-Beaucaillou and Leoville-Lascases. The wine is comprised of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot, hand harvested, fermented in steel tanks of varying size (depending on the size of each parcel), and matured in a mix of new and used barriques for 18 months.