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Duluc de Branaire-Ducru, Saint-Julien 2014 - Bordeaux , France

$71   $85

This is great……and here’s why!
Wine Spectator's 'Top 100' (2015 and 2016 vintage)

Jancis Robinson “Good concentrated crimson....The nose seemed particularly gentle and well-integrated...”

Decanter "As soon as Patrick Maroteaux arrived, he created the second wine Duluc, named after the family who owned Branaire in 1855 and who built the current château. The first vintage was in 1988 (they started leaving serious amounts out of the blend for the first wine in 1987, but it wasn't commercialised at the time) and this is the current vintage on sale, as they hold it back from en primeur. The nose is a little subdued, but it opens very prettily and holds itself well through the glass, clear balance, touches of black spice, subtle cinnamon and pepper, takes its time to open but it gets there, revealing black fruits, cassis and hawthorn bush."

Decanter "There is a touch of caramel on the nose, the oak is in evidence, alongside lovely raspberry fruit tempered by a Médoc swish of menthol. 20% new oak. (2015 vintage)

50% Cabernet Sauvignon 47% Merlot 3% Petit Verdot

Château Branaire-Ducru is an award winning winery founded in 1725, and producing only 20,000 cases of award winning wine each year. Château Branaire-Ducru wines were placed by Wine Spectator in the 'Top 100' for both 2015 (#33) and 2016 (#16). Owned by the Maroteaux family, and previously overseen by the late Patrick Maroteaux, a well-known figure in Bordeaux and former president of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, who apprenticed the young (and now famous) Philippe Dhalluin who would later be appointed the director for wine-making at Chateau Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac.

The Château Branaire-Ducru vineyard is located on an historical terroir, on the gravelly ridges of the municipality of Saint-Julien-Beychevelle. The balance of the parcels of each grape variety is preserved because the property, which maintains the age of its vines at 35 years. The requirement and the expression of a “house style” apply to both its 'first' and 'second' label, Vines are conducted in the same way and the grapes are vinified according to the same criteria. It is only after repeated tastings of all the vats and appreciation of their deep character that the final selection is decided. When tasting, this second wine reveals itself as a true competitor to many first wines, thanks to its impressive structure and aromatic balance.

Saint-Julien is a small but important red wine appellation of the Haut-Médoc district on the Left Bank of Bordeaux in south-western France. Its reputation is based on its status as a reliable source of consistently elegant, age-worthy wines.
Sandwiched between the more famous appellations of Pauillac and Margaux, Saint-Julien is sometimes unfairly overlooked because it does not have a first growth chateau in the 1855 Bordeaux classification.

Bordeaux, in the southwest of France, needs little introduction as one of the world's most famous, prestigious and prolific wine regions. Its three trump cards are diversity, quality and quantity. The majority of Bordeaux wines (nearly 90 percent of production volume) are the dry, medium- and full-bodied red Bordeaux Blends that established its reputation. The finest (and most expensive) of these come from the great châteaux of the Haut-Médoc and the Right Bank appellations Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. The legendary reds are complemented by high-quality white wines, both dry styles (particularly from Pessac-Léognan) and the sweet, botrytized nectars of Sauternes.

A Bordeaux Blend is any combination of those grape varieties typically used to make the red wines of Bordeaux. Cabernet Sauvignon is widely accepted as a compulsory component of any Bordeaux Blend along with Merlot. In fact, the majority of Bordeaux Blend wines are often made exclusively from a blend of these two varieties. The remaining components are Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.