Chateau Branaire Ducru   Chateau Branaire Ducru

2018 Chateau Branaire Ducru

By Chateau Branaire Ducru

2018 Chateau Branaire Ducru from Chateau Branaire Ducru, St-Julien, Bordeaux

The 2018 vintage of Chateau Branaire Ducru from St-Julien emanates a particular brilliance that sets it significantly apart in the annals of this illustrious Bordeaux estate. In recent years, many connoisseurs have sought to diversify their portfolios with strategic acquisitions from the Bordeaux region, and the 2018 Chateau Branaire Ducru stands as a luminary candidate within this stratagem.


A Vintage of Serendipitous Weather Patterns

The year 2018 saw St-Julien graced by a harmonious alignment of climatic fortune – the scourge of early rains ameliorated by a triumphant summer that bestowed ripeness and texture upon the grapes. This vintage of 2018 Chateau Branaire Ducru is thus a product not only of its terroir but also the serendipity of the season.


The Quintessence of St-Julien in a Glass

The resultant wine is marked by an expressive bouquet that teases the olfactory senses with ripened cassis and succulent black cherries. As one delves deeper into the glass, complex undertones of cedar and tobacco emerge, underpinned by a subtle minerality emblematic of St-Julien’s gravels. On the palate, the tannins are finely grained, proselytising the virtues of patience, as they promise further integration over time.

The balance is nothing short of adroit – acidity intertwines with fruit and tannins in a trinity that signifies both youthful exuberance and ageing potential. Astute investors will find merit not only in its present charm but also in its capacity to evolve within the cellar.

In summation, the 2018 Chateau Branaire Ducru is a wise addition to a diversified fine wine investment portfolio. Its manifestation of St-Julien's unique contours through an exceptional year offers assurances in both enjoyment and potential return on investment. This vintage proudly heralds the estate's continued ascension in quality, sculpting another notch in Branaire Ducru's formidable lineage.

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Scores and tasting notes


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.—J.M.

James Molesworth - Wine Spectator - April 2019


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.

James Suckling - - April 2019


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? The 2018 is 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Tasted three times.

Antonio Galloni - Vinous - April 2019


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. 53hl/ha yield.

Jane Anson - Decanter - April 2019


The 2018 Branaire-Ducru has a medium to deep garnet-purple color and an upfront, expressive nose of baked black plums, boysenberries and Morello cherries with an undercurrent of dried mint, spice box and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate packs a very pleasant fruit wallop, featuring juicy black fruits and a firm, grainy frame, finishing long with lovely purity.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The Wine Advocate, 31 March 2021


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.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The Wine Advocate, 23rd April 2019

Vintage performance