Chateau Branaire Ducru Saint Julien [Pre-arrival] 2022
JS96-97: The fine and intense tannins are very impressive because they fold beautifully into the wine, with blackcurrants, black cherries, hints of chocolate and hazelnuts. It's full-bodied with tight and focused fruit and a long and classy finish. Fantastic definition to this. Fresh. 60.5% cabernet sauvignon, 31.5% merlot, 5.5% cabernet franc, and 2.5% petit verdot.
JD95-97: 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.
WA95-97: 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.