The 2018 Bordeaux’s are nearly here and with the tarriffs on pause, this is a great time to grab them.
Branaire Ducru is perhaps one of the best examples and might honestly be the best value across the classified appellations of Bordeaux. Whether the wine experts agree, there is no doubt that this wine is exceptional at multiple 97 points and $54.99!
Wine Spectator (94-97 pts.)
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.
James Suckling (97 pts.)
Very attractive aromas of currants, tile and sandalwood with black and red currants. It’s full-bodied with a tight, dense center-palate that remains closed in and tight. Yet there is underlying seriousness and length to this. Perhaps the greatest Branaire-Ducru ever made. Try after 2026.
Wine Enthusiast (94-96 pts.)
This is a dense wine that is built by firm tannins, bright acidity and great fruitiness. Its structure is fully integrated into the blackberry fruits that give a rich wine that has a fine future.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (92-94 pts.)
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.
Jeb Dunnuck (94 pts.)
A beautiful Saint-Julien, the 2018 Château Branaire-Ducru reveals a deep purple color as well as ample, earthy cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with sous bois, earth, lead pencil, and cedar. With that classic Saint-Julien pure fruit, sumptuous aromas and flavors, sweet yet present tannins, and a solid spine of acidity, it’s going to need 5-7 years to hit maturity yet should keep for 20-25 years or more. I don’t think it’s going to match the blockbuster 2009 (it’s more in the pretty, elegant style of the 2016), but it’s a gorgeous, elegant wine you will love to have in the cellar.
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