1982 Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru), France, Bordeaux, Saint Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1982
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

Spectacular showing for this wine.  Opened, allowed to breathe for ten minutes then decanted for sediment and allowed to breath for another twenty minutes.  Totally exceeded expectations.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose is everything one could want from aged Bordeaux.  Cassis, black cherries, tobacco, slight leather, hints of funk and spice.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, this is complex, layered and contemplative.  Layers of cassis, black cherries, funk and earth.  Great balance.  Long finish.  More elegant than a powerhouse, but it can hold its own as well.  This bottle seemed at

1983 Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru), France, Bordeaux, Saint Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1983
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

What a treat.  The cork was popped, waited ten minutes and decanted for sediment.  This is classic old Bordeaux.  Deep ruby in color with some bricking at the rim.  The nose is great with cassis, cherries, tobacco, some funk and dried cherries.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, this is complex and delicious.  Most likely past prime but not a whole lot.  This bottle had been purchased on release and properly cellared.  Flavors of cassis and cherries layered with dry earth and funk.  Great balance.  Nice finish.  Drink now if you own any.  A bottle like this will work with dinner but it

2005 Château Branaire-Ducru, France, Bordeaux, Saint Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This was popped and allowed to breathe for 20 minutes.  Certainly way too early but it was quite enjoyable nevertheless.  Consumed next to the 82, 83 and 09, for my tastes, this was the least great showing, but in time, will be the best wine.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, spice and freshly turned earth.  Powerful as it opens in the glass.  Wonderful texture.  On the palate, this is delicious if tight.  Cassis, slight black cherry with a hint of minerality.  Long finish.  This needs another ten to twelve years and should drink well for 30 after th

1961 Château Gruaud Larose, France, Bordeaux, Saint Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1961
Grade: 

This has a different shaped ullage so saying low-shoulder fill is quite accurate.  The fill was about four inches down from the top of the cork.  The cork was removed and the bottle blew off stink for a bit and then we tried it.  It did get a bit better over the subsequent 20 minutes before dying a quick death.  Garnet in color, mostly clear and a bit flat.  On the nose there is dust, saddle leather, dusty attic and just a hint of dried cranberries.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, there is just a hint of cherries with leather and earth.  A bit tart.  Clipped finish.  There are surely people

1986 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, France, Bordeaux, St. Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1986
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$240.00USD

A dangerous vintage for this wine as they had winery wide issues with cork taint in the late 80's.  This bottle, however, showed very well.  Pop and pour, it took about 30 minutes to really get going.  After that it kept opening in stages for the next couple hours.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cassis, leather, a slight horse note and with air, cigar box.  On the palate, this is fresh and drinking well.  Tannins are pretty much resolved.  Layers of fruit and earth unwind in the glass.  Good finish.  I would drink these sooner than later

2016 Château Branaire-Ducru, France, Bordeaux, St. Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

In a recent blind tasting of 2016/2017 Bordeaux's, this and the 2017 version were my top two wines.  All of the notes can be found on this site.  While the tasting did not include any first growths, it does point out that this Chateau is producing outstanding wines and at reasonable prices.  While today I preferred the 2017, in the long run, the 2016 is the better wine.  It is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Opaque and bright.  The nose is complex with cassis, black cherries, leather, tobacco and spice

2017 Château Branaire-Ducru, France, Bordeaux, St. Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

Although this is highly rated and not inexpensive, this continues to be one of the most under rated wines from Bordeaux for my tastes.  It is classic left bank and affordable and will age quite well.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  On the nose, this is dusty with cigar box, cassis and cherries.  Full bodied.  A nice juicy/glycerin mouthfeel.  Very plush on the mid-palate and then a long finish.  Lots of cassis and black cherry fruit with underlying clean earthiness.  This should continue to improve for five to ten more years and srink for another ten to fifteen after

2005 Château Gruaud Larose, France, Bordeaux, St. Julien, Wine review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$115.00USD

This showed well if a bit less than hoped.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has nice cassis fruit with some underlying baking spices.  On the palate, this is a bit thin but nice cassis fruit.  Sinewy texture.  Tannins seem resolved.  Drinks easy but tasty.  Moderate finish.  This seems like it is at peak and probably should be consumed in the next five to ten years.  It will go well with stews or chili.  

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