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.  

1996 Croix de Beaucaillou, France, Bordeaux, St. Julian, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1996
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This is the second wine of Beaucaillou.  I have always thought that as second wines go, this is one of the best.  This is drinking beautifully right now.  Purple/ruby in color.  No real sign of it being 23 years old.  The nose is dusty with cassis, slight cedar and just a bit of tobacco.  There is also some volatile acidity.  On the palate, this is surprisingly fresh and lively.  It has a lovely texture.  Plenty of cassis fruit.  Medium tannins.  Some depth.  Moderate finish.  This drinks more youthfully than expected.  If this bottle is representative, this should easily go another ten to

2003 Château Branaire-Ducru, France, Bordeaux, St. Julian, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2003
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$74.00USD

This took about an hour to open and then was drinking great.  It is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 4.5% Petit Verdot and 3.5% Cabernet Franc.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, cigar box and cherries.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  Ripe fruit.  Lighter tannins.  Flavors of Cherries with some cassis, chocolate and clean(er) barnyard.  Good finish.  This is about at peak now but should be here for at least another five to seven years.  It will go well with roasted meats or fowl. 

1982 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, France, Bordeuax, St. Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1982
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$320.00USD

Pop and pour, this probably should have been decanted.  It took some time to open up.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has cassis, pencil lead, cedar and tobacco.  Cherries come out with air.  This has a slight funk at first but cleans up with air.  A wonderful velvety texture.  Complex and deep.    Lot of cassis and cherries on the palate.  Some cherry cough syrup.  Tart acidity which begs for food.  Long finish.  This seems to finally be at peak though no hurry.  At least a decade more at this level.  This will go well with meat or fowl dishes though not too spicy.  

2000 Château Léoville Poyferré, France, Bordeaux, Saint Julian, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2000
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$185.00USD

Great wine and in a great place.  Still has plenty of life left but fantastic right now.  Purple in color, although a bit dull at the ruby rim.  The nose is fantastic; cassis, cigar box, cherries and dust.  With air it brings some funk in a beautiful way.  On the palate, cassis, dry earth and slight spice.  Complex and tightly layered it unwinds quickly in the glass.  Long finish.  This would be ideal with heavier or meat based dishes.  Truly a contemplative wine and everything you could hope for back when this wine was released.  

1983 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, France, Bordeaux, Saint Julian, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1983
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

This was pop and gently poured around the table.  Ruby/brown in color.  The nose is dusty at first.  With air some cassis and celery come out.  With more air, the cassis takes over along with some cigar box, but after a bit, it starts to fade albeit slowly.  On the palate, it starts out slightly bitter but with air gets a bit riper.  Not the deepest or most complex wine but still drinking nicely.  Certainly past prime at this point but with something to offer.  A nice contrast to slightly more youthful wines.  At 35 years from birth, pretty impressive.  

1995 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, France, Bordeaux, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1995
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

Decanted for sediment and served.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is earthy with cedar, spice, cassis, and slight celery note.  Much more developed and intense on the palate.  Cassis and slight tobacco.  Good finish.  Classic Bordeaux.  Served with hearty foods and meats.  This producer had some issues in the late 80's but since the mid-90's they have been doing a great job.  

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