NEW 2022 BORDEAUX EN PRIMEUR RELEASE - Chateau Branaire-Ducru, Saint-Julien

NEW 2022 BORDEAUX EN PRIMEUR RELEASE - Chateau Branaire-Ducru, Saint-Julien

2022 Château Branaire-Ducru, Saint-Julien

£237 per 6 bottle case in bond

On the basis of sticking to my approach of sending out the wines that seriously impressed me, even if prices have increased, here is Château Branaire-Ducru 2022.  For reference, it is up 27% on last year, not that I think the £51.50 extra should dissuade anyone as the 2022 is a truly great vintage for the estate. In fact, I thought this was the finest wine from the estate that I recall tasting en primeur. I can only say it as I see it and I think it looks compelling at £237 per 6 in bond.
Amongst others, William Kelley concurs - please read his note below mine and note his comment on pH; many were much lower this vintage, meaning the freshness in the Branaire is more akin to a classical Bordeaux vintage, not one that is characterised by heat and drought which would normally suggest low acidity in the resultant wines. And with reference to my earlier note (Château Kirwan), this wine also has over 30% of Merlot and more than 5% Cabernet Franc which seem to have excelled in a vintage such as 2022.

2022 Château Branaire-Ducru, Saint-Julien
£237 per 6 bottle case in bond

95-97 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
A brilliant wine that's the finest young vintage I've tasted at this Saint-Julien estate, the 2022 Branaire-Ducru wafts from the glass with aromas of violets, blackberries, sweet cassis, licorice and pencil shavings, followed by a medium to full-bodied, layered and multidimensional palate that's succulent, sapid and perfumed, framed by supple tannins and concluding with a long, mouthwatering finish. It's a blend of 60.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31.5% Merlot, 5.5% Cabernet Franc and 2.5% Petit Verdot that checks in at a healthy pH of 3.65. Why is it so good this year? In addition to the quality of the vintage, the new gravity-flow winery means fruit can be handled more gently, and picked more precisely, sub-block by sub-block, as the team now have fully 63 vats at their disposal, almost double their capacity through 2020. Given the Maroteaux family's sensible approach to pricing, this is likely to number among the must-purchase wines of the 2022 vintage, and it comes warmly recommended.

95-97 points, Neal Martin, Vinous
The 2022 Branaire Ducru was harvested from 12-24 September at 34.5hL/ha, the blend representative of their vineyard plantings. This feels refined and focused on the nose with plush red berry fruit, dried rose petals and orange rind scents. Classic Branaire. The palate is fresh on the entry with pliant tannins. It's very well structured to the degree that it conveys a sense of symmetry. Lightly spiced toward the finish with notes of graphite lingering on the aftertaste, this represents an excellent Branaire Ducru that will age over many years and will surely appeal to those seeking more classical Saint-Julien. Tasted three times and was more impressive each time. Branaire-Ducru continues its upward trajectory under proprietor François-Xavier Maroteaux. 14.3% alcohol. Drink 2030-2065
94-96 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous

The 2022 Branaire-Ducru is a powerhouse, almost unnaturally so for this Saint-Julien, which is usually a more understated wine. A blast of dark plum fruit makes a pretty strong first impression. Licorice, cloves, spice, menthol and chocolate fill out the layers. Readers should expect a concentrated, virile Saint-Julien with compelling aromatic presence. In this warm, low-yielding vintage, Branaire is quite the brooding powerhouse. It will be interesting to see if more finesse develops in time. Impressive. Tasted two times. Drink 2030-2052
96 points, Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux
This is an estate that can be so understated as to almost miss its complexity, but this vintage, with its excess and exuberance, does a wonderful job of drawing it out. The concentration is impressive, but there you'll also find a softness and balance that is juicy and enticing. Great job Branaire Ducru. Francois Xavier Maroteaux owner. I honestly think the best example of this château that I have ever tasted En Primeur (and god I hate it when critics say that).
95-97 points, Jeb Dunnuck,
An absolute gem of a Saint-Julien, the 2022 Château Branaire-Ducru clocks in as 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Pure cassis, black raspberries, spicy wood, and dried flower notes all define the aromatics, and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a silky, elegant, beautifully balanced mouthfeel, and terrific tannins. In addition, it has a sense of freshness and purity that keeps you coming back to the glass. It's clearly the finest wine I've tasted from this château, which going forward merits serious attention.

Please let us know of your interest.

All the best,


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