Search: (advanced)

External search
Google (images)
Wine Advocate
Wine Spectator

Show more

From this producer
Show all wines
All tasting notes
  Home | All Cellars | Tasting Notes | Reports | UsersHelp | Member Sign In 

 Vintage2003 Label 1 of 109 
ProducerChâteau Branaire-Ducru
VarietyRed Bordeaux Blend
AppellationSt. Julien
UPC Code(s)3277034830638

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2009 and 2023 (based on 87 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Branaire (Duluc Ducru) on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 91.9 pts. and median of 92 pts. in 242 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by aagrawal on 6/27/2015 flawed bottle: Dinner (The Palace, Mission, SF): Corked! Musty nose and short, clipped palate without any fruit. (476 views)
 Tasted by Bob Sacamano on 6/24/2015 & rated 92 points: Decanted 1hr, consumed over two. Very green and herbal nose dominated by notes of mint, wet stone and loam. Balanced profile, with medium body, tannin and acid. The fruit seems to on the way out, however, leaving this somewhat austere. Overall a good, complex wine that is probably at its peak. (749 views)
 Tasted by La Cave d'Argent on 6/20/2015 & rated 92 points: This opaque red/garnet wine (a blend of 72% Cabernet sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 4.5% Petit Verdot and 3.5% Cabernet Franc) offers a nose of ripe black fruit, Asian spices, truffles and tobacco. Medium-to-full-bodied and with low acidity, it is packed with ripe plum and black currant fruit and shows no sign of alcoholic heat. The tannins are substantial but are nicely integrated at this point, as is the wine's oak. Layered and solid in the middle, it closes with impressive length. This well-cellared bottle shows no rough edges. Comparably cellared bottles should provide pleasure for at least another 7-8 years. Drink now-2023. (592 views)
 Tasted by MPAN on 5/7/2015 & rated 92 points: Medium red; open nose, pepper, cedar, forest floor; tight with some tannins, very long pronounced aftertaste, which really lifts the wine; very nice (1757 views)
 Tasted by larsum on 4/12/2015 & rated 92 points: Bought KOGS september -14, thereafter stored in my cellar. Dark, purple-reddish at the brim. Opened and aired for 3 hours and then additional 3 hours during dinner. Cautious nose, primary fruit on the palate, medium long aftertaste, the airing helped the wine to open up but was still closed and subdued in comparison with the -98 Domaine de Chevalier we had at the same dinner. A perfectly stored bottle will gain more complexity for 5 up to maybe 10 years. (1984 views)
 Tasted by grossie on 4/9/2015 & rated 93 points: First night this was very tight and uncharming. It woke up considerably by night two and showed a rich sweet dense fruit with a feminine side. Delicious wine now with decanting, but would be best served by resting another few years. (2146 views)
 Tasted by hoservin on 4/5/2015 & rated 91 points: Aerated with a Vinturi and decanted for two hours. Nose of blackberry, black cherry, currant, milk chocolate and spice. Cherry, chocolate, leather, crushed stone, dried herb and fine tannins on the palate. Leads to a medium to long, soft, dry finish. Medium to full bodied. Paired with grilled lamb. (1961 views)
 Tasted by Grinner on 3/7/2015 & rated 93 points: PHMG WAG Blind Pairs: Old World vs. New (Lyon Den): Truly classic Bordeaux with cassis, wet stone, mocha, and cigar box sitting on some dusty tannins. Ripe AND grippy! Fun! No drop on day 2. (2324 views)
 Tasted by sastewart on 2/15/2015 & rated 93 points: Opened another bottle after first was corked. Decanted 3 hours, pretty nose of flowers, crushed rock and a touch of cedar. Medium bodied, beautiful dark fruits nicely balanced, more secondary notes of cedar and leather- 5 years left? 93 points (2005 views)
 Tasted by sastewart on 2/15/2015 flawed bottle: Corked. (1680 views)
 Tasted by Matt T on 2/8/2015 & rated 93 points: Excellent, well-balanced Bordeaux. This definitely reflects a riper vintage with lots of chocolate, raspberry, and cherry elements, but it has good balance. Some unresolved tannins. This could probably use another couple years until it reaches peak, but is awfully close. Drank over three nights and it showed the best on night two. (1900 views)
 Tasted by Wine Poor on 2/2/2015 & rated 91 points: We enjoed this with Groundhog. This again was classic Bordeaux. Nicely matured, and an hour in the decanter helped it along. This time we noted some leathery taste as well. Actually, we had this with leg of lamb, but it was Groundhog Day, so... (1865 views)
 Tasted by fatfishzsy on 12/30/2014 & rated 93 points: 瓶醒1.5小时入杯,香气很好,有复杂度,入口单宁略弱,酸度一般,感觉结构不够强。但是能持续5个小时,依然保持。 (2294 views)
 Tasted by Wine Poor on 12/24/2014 & rated 91 points: Classiic Bordeaux. Cassis on the nose and palate. Dry tannins that remain after a couple hours breathing time. Great with roast beef. (1844 views)
 Tasted by Mindmuse on 12/16/2014 & rated 92 points: Really good, but overshadowed by some other great stuff this night. I would say you could drink now or hold this longer. (1977 views)
 Tasted by _Xenon on 11/29/2014 & rated 95 points: Perfectly open drinking window (with buffer for the next years as it does not yet have any sign of fatigue / brown edges). This is a wonderful wine! Tannins are fully integrated. Expressive notes of milk chocolate, march pane, vanilla, whereas notes of toasted oak are set to a minimum. Medium fruit, medium to full body. To me this is my wine of the year and I am glad to have some more in my cellar.

Usually we have a white wine for the starter, but this time the decanter with the Branaire was standing beside us and the smell caught our attention, so we switched immediately to the red wine.

After enjoying grilled lamb chops with grilled sliced celery and my famous marsala sauce the decanter was empty much too fast!
BTW: Only limited decanting required. The wine shined immediately out of the bottle and did not gain the next two hours.

So if you want to convert someone to love Bordeaux, I would definetly recommend trying this wine! Loved it! (2425 views)
 Tasted by GlenviewGSW on 11/27/2014 & rated 92 points: Very well balanced Bordeaux. Drinking well at the moment the wine has a crushed stone minerality over a red fruit based frame. Cherry on the nose it has a silkeyness that went well with thanksgiving. (2213 views)
 Tasted by rjbr on 11/20/2014 & rated 95 points: This is realy good. It is drinking very well already . I dont know if it can get any better ... (2229 views)
 Tasted by todarm on 11/15/2014 & rated 89 points: Drank over 5 hours one evening. After 30 Minutes the wine was open with a black fruit, dry dusty Bordeaux nose and palate. The finish was fairly short, maybe 15 seconds. It stayed open for about two hours , but gradually closed down with a dry tannic finish.
Based on the color and tasting, I estimate the wine has several more years before it reaches its peak. (1953 views)
 Tasted by MRichman on 11/14/2014: Dark espresso, some baking spices, rubbery black fruit. A bit disjointed. Not too young. Has a lush, modern feel but a dark serious side. (1889 views)
 Tasted by ntanik on 11/9/2014 & rated 93 points: A lovely Saint Julien from this vintage.My first impression was that the wine was at its peak but after a couple of hours i believe that have life ahead.Nose is typical for bordeaux but very attractive and evolving every hour with truffle,tobacco,black cherries,earth and mocha.The colour is deep purple and that is another indication for a good future.Silky texture and well structured tannins accompanied by very good aftertaste.Mouth is also full of black fruits,truffle,spices,chocolate and i agree that there is little grain as other reviewers have noticed.Needs at least 30 minutes decanting and drinking well next 5-8 years. (1746 views)
 Tasted by NostraBacchus on 10/19/2014 & rated 93 points: Medium-ruby/purple color. Very nice nose of blueberries, cassis/black currant, elderberries, some smoke, elderflowers and earth. Similar flavors on the palate. Full-bodied and dense with medium to medium- acidity and medium+ tannin. Very good length. This is definitely on the same level as my last bottle (TN 4/20/2014). I was originally a little worried after a bottle that seemed to fade away a little (TN 6/9/2013), but looking back it was probably just bottle variation. (2652 views)
 Tasted by _Xenon on 10/19/2014 & rated 95 points: Oh what a wonderful, sexy bottle of wine. Smelling and drinking this brings back my believe in 'ripe' Bordeaux wines, which I have almost lost. The nose is clearly Bordeaux, but how great!

The palate indicates that 2-3 more years of storage is no problem, but I doubt it will get better from today on. Just a wine to enjoy and celebrate now. Especially, as this is one of Bordeauxs best QPR of an 11 year old high class wine! Althouth its just a 4th grow..... (1915 views)
 Tasted by MarcS on 10/12/2014 & rated 93 points: Maybe lacks complexity, lacks herbal notes or nuances, but boy is this a sleek, beautiful, hedonistic wine. Chocolate, coffee, cassis, high quality oak, perfect for scratching your Bordeaux itch. Well structured and properly balanced, tannins are there but smooth, none of the clumsy or raspy tannins you sometimes get in 2003. Will open up more with age and perhaps add more secondary notes, but it's very ready to drink now. (2202 views)
 Tasted by stevenjstein on 10/4/2014 & rated 93 points: Drinking beautifully now. Great balance. Good red/black fruit, a bit of herbs and earth, backed by good structure. (2194 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Ian D'Agata
Vinous, Oct-13, IWC Issue #10158 (10/1/2013)
(Chateau Branaire Ducru Saint-Julien) Subscribe to see review text.
By Julia Harding, MW
JancisRobinson.com (3/21/2013)
(Ch Branaire Ducru St-Julien Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By Jancis Robinson, MW
JancisRobinson.com (10/1/2010)
(Ch Branaire Ducru St-Julien Red) Subscribe to see review text.
The World of Fine Wine, December 2007, Issue #18
(Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru)) Login and sign up and see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2006, IWC Issue #126
(Chateau Branaire Ducru Saint Julien) Subscribe to see review text.
By Jancis Robinson, MW
JancisRobinson.com (11/3/2005)
(Ch Branaire Ducru St-Julien Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2005, IWC Issue #120
(Chateau Branaire Ducru Saint Julien) Subscribe to see review text.
By Jancis Robinson, MW
JancisRobinson.com (4/7/2005)
(Ch Branaire Ducru St-Julien Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2004, IWC Issue #114
(Chateau Branaire Ducru Saint Julien) Subscribe to see review text.
By Jon Rimmerman
Garagiste (5/30/2008)
(lt Branaire-Ducru) Grab Bag

Dear Friends,

I suppose this could have been a second Friday Special (it seems we've had two lately) or a "free for all" special but let's call it a grab bag of interesting wine, most at prices that are eye-opening indeed.

All are directly from the source with perfect provenance.

Have a good weekend everyone - new TN's out next week and an update on the website chat room (we're getting close).

- Jon Rimmerman

2006 Anselmet "Muller Thurgau" (bianco)
This is an insane price - usually line-priced with the Chardonnay.

2004/2006 Anselmet "Petit Rouge" STRICT LIMIT 3/person
Think the Le Prisonnier is interesting? Try this...

2006 Anselmet "Tourette" STRICT LIMIT 3/person
(this is usually $20-30 more than the Petit Rouge)
Think the Petit Rouge is interesting? Try this...

2004 Anselmet "Henri" STRICT LIMIT 3/person
(this is usually $30-50 more than the Petit Rouge)
Le Prisonnier jr .

2004 Keasler Old-Vine Shiraz 3.0lt
VERY RARE - not available in the US

2005 Kaesler Old-Vine Shiraz 3.0lt
VERY RARE - not available in the US

2003 Branaire-Ducru (St. Julien) 1.5lt STRICT LIMIT 2 magnums/person

2003 Leoville Barton (St. Julien) (750ml) STRICT LIMIT 3/person

2006 FX Pichler Riesling Smaragd (mixed case)/case STRICT LIMIT 1/case person
2 x Steinertal , 3 x Oberhauser , 3 x Hollerin , 4 x Kellerberg

Thank you,

Jon Rimmerman
Seattle, WA

By Chris Kissack
Winedoctor, October 2005
(Chateau Branaire-Ducru St Julien) Not very expressive, but with sweet, blackcurranty fruit on the nose. Attractive palate. Restrained, elegant, with appealing texture. The acidity is a little low, and there is quite a show of tannins. Again this should show some improvement in the cellar.  15.5+ points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous and JancisRobinson.com and The World of Fine Wine and Garagiste and Winedoctor. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

Red Bordeaux Blend

Read about the grapes used to produce Bordeaux The variety Red Bordeaux Blend in CellarTracker implies any blend using any or all of the five traditional Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. As such, this is used worldwide, whether for wines from Bordeaux, Meritages from California and Canada, some Super-Tuscan wines etc.


Vins de France (Office National Interprofessionnel des Vins ) | Pages Vins, Directory of French Winegrowers | French Wine (Wikipedia)


Bordeaux Wine Guide

Vins Bordeaux (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux)

History of Bordeaux

History of 1855 Bordeaux Classification


Vins du Médoc (Conseil des Vins du Médoc) - Read More about the Medoc
The eight precisely defined appellations of the whole of the Médoc (from Blanquefort Brook to the north of the Bordeaux built-up area, almost to the Pointe de Grave) may claim the Médoc appellation. But there is also a specific territory in the north of the peninsula which produces exclusively wines with this appellation. In the great majority, the Médocs come from the north of the peninsula. The great individuality of this region is that the number of vines has increased more recently here than elsewhere, apart from a few isolated spots where vines have grown for many years. Today, the size of the small estate has brought about the development of a powerful co-operative movement. Four co-operatives out of five belong to the group called Unimédoc which ensures aging, bottling and marketing a large proportion of their wines.

St. Julien

Read more detailed information on St. Julien and its wines The seventeenth century pioneers Traces are to be found of a Saint-Julien de Rintrac, perhaps Saint-Julien's earliest name, as from the thirteenth century. But we have to wait until the seventeenth century pioneers, urban and rural aristocrats, discover the exceptional merits of these terroirs.
Traces of this system still exist today in the structure of estates within the appellation: by the side of the two villages of Beychevelle and Saint-Julien, the large estates are heavily preponderant, representing more than four fifths of the total surface of vineyards.

The terrain is practically identical over all the commune. Only the proximity of the estuary, sometimes close, sometimes further away, can cause slight variations in climate. In fact, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle's layer of gravel takes the form of a huge rectangle over 3 miles long and 2 miles wide. And the alluvial deposits are particularly well fragmented into ridges of Garonne gravel of the early Quaternary. Accordingly, the vines are safeguarded from stagnant water.

The wines from the Saint-Julien appellation may be recognized by their unparalleled bouquet, particularly harmonious and mild. They have a fine deep colour and combine the finesse of their aromas and a solid constitution. They have body, are very rich in flavour and have a delicious and delicate bouquet.

Production conditions (Decree dated November 14, 1936)
In order to have the right to the Saint-Julien appellation of controlled origin, red wines must:

- come from the commune of Saint-Julien and from precisely defined parcels in the communes of Cussac, and Saint-Laurent, "excluding the parcels situated on recent alluvium and sand on impermeable subsoils",
- satisfy precise production conditions: grape-varieties (Cabernet-Sauvignon, Cabernet-Franc, Carmenère, Merlot Noir, Petit Verdot, Cot or Malbec), minimum of sugar (178 grammes - 6.27 oz. - per litre of must) degree (an acquired 10°5) base yield (45 hectolitres per hectare).

© 2003-15 CellarTracker! LLC. All rights reserved. "CellarTracker!" is a trademark of CellarTracker! LLC. No part of this website may be used, reproduced or distributed without the prior written permission of CellarTracker! LLC. (Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. DB3) - Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook