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Château Branaire Ducru 2000, St Julien

Finding great 2000 Bordeaux at reasonable price is difficult nowadays.

At peak now, this rare claret is still fresh and vibrant with it bright and clear deep purple color/tight rim. Oozing dense layers of blackcurrant, florals, spices (wood and fruit) and integrate oak, it has, on palate, an elegant texture filled with cedar, tobacco, blackberry and cassis, ending with a nice refined quality to the sweet, dark, red fruits.

Château Branaire-Ducru is situated on the opposite side of the road from Château Beychevelle in the south of the St-Julien appellation. Since 1988, new plantings,spanking new cuvier, and an ultra- modern chai were in place. Since then Branaire-Ducru’s 60 hectares of vineyards(of 4th Growth St. Julien) originally from Château Beychevelle have been planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (22%), Cabernet Franc (5%), Petit Verdot (3%). The wines are matured in oak barriques (65% new). The proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend is even higher than that in the vineyards – 80-85% in most years (like this vintage 2000), which is one of the highest in the Médoc. Vines are by now over 40 years old.

We wish to make 3 points too:

  1. Branaire Ducru is still one of the best valued Left Bank in our view. It won’t break your bank.

  2. In Vivno, out of 384 voters, 98(almost 1/4) awarded the top 5-star and 227(58%) gave 4-star!!

  3. To Robert Parker, this wine is constantly improving. RP90 in year 2001, then RP92, RP93, and eventually RP94 in his written verdict on the wine in year 2010.

Notable scores are:

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

A beautiful wine from Branaire, the 2000 is close to full maturity, and should offer plenty of pleasure over the next 15-20 years. Its deep ruby/purple hue is accompanied by scents of boysenberries, black currants, and spring flowers. This medium to full-bodied, pure St.-Julien hits the palate with authority, displaying silky tannins as well as wonderful richness, depth, and texture. (6/2010)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Good medium ruby. Deep, smoky aromas of cassis, raspberry, leather, chocolate and roasted oak. Sweet, supple and thick but not at all heavy. A very concentrated wine with lovely sweetness of fruit and terrific mouth coverage. Really spreads out on the back end, which features broad, ripe tannins and terrific length. (5/2003)

92 points Wine Spectator

This is lovely, with pretty berry, floral and currant aromas. Full-bodied, with silky and caressing tannins and a delicious, fruity finish. Harmonious and enjoyable. This estate offers some of the best values going in grand cru Bordeaux. Best after 2009. (1/2003)

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