March 21, 2020 - 2009 Château Branaire-Ducru was classy and evolving, and showed great balance among flavours of ripe dark fruits, oak, mint and earthiness. The developing Saint-Julien was medium ruby in colour with noticeable fine sediments. Freshly uncorked, it showed an array of ripe black fruits, blackberries, mulberries and dark plum. Two hours of aeration allowed complexities of ecaulyptus, toast, vanilla, earth and forest floor to unpack. On the palate, it was dry and full-bodied, balanced by medium-high levels of acidity and gripping tannin. Flavours of saline minerality, dried blackberries, tobacco, mint and Oriental spices lingered in a long satisfying finish. It could be enjoyed now in its early maturity, or comfortably aged for at least five years to gain more tertiary notes. The blend composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc.
Château Branaire-Ducru is one of my favourite wineries in Saint-Julien for the balance, complexity, wide availability and relative affordability. When I was studying my undergraduate degree in Hong Kong, I occasionally bought the second label Duluc de Branaire-Ducru from the supermarket and savoured it at the hostel. The approachability of the second label, as well as the interplay of blackberry, red plum and oak spices were just on point.
March 21, 2020 - Should probably wait a year or two before opening the next bottle. Not very expressive at the moment.
February 5, 2020 - My first bottle of this case. Dark garnet. Nose of blackberry, blueberry, mint, cedar, and graphite. Medium palate of blackberry, cassis, and anise. Excellent length. Refreshing acidity. Youthful tannins. Integrated oak. Delicious wine.
January 9, 2020 - Was ranked #3 by group at '09 vs. '10, although it was my 1st place wine. Excellent, rich fruit with grand balance and smooth middle. The integration seems complete with a wonderfully long finish. It was decanted for 2.5 hrs before tasting and had another1.5 hours before it was really singing.
December 28, 2019 - Popped, poured and consumed over the course of dinner and the following 2 hours. This bottle was clearly not ready for prime time drinking, and I will do my best to not open another until 2025. Primary notes of black fruits, hints of vanilla, mocha and earth. Lacking in depth and texture at this moment, a bit stern on the mid palate. Fingers crossed that 5-10 more years in the cellar brings out some magic!
December 25, 2019 - Blackberry, gravel, hints of cassis, cigar box; decanted for two hours: a little thin, linear, fruitful, young though tannins are not harsh, a bit too new world, will surely improve with age but unclear how much
November 20, 2019 - Decanted and drank over two hours. Unmistakably Cabernet based , concentrated dark red and purple fruits, hints of cocoa, silky and a medium length finish. Great qpr.
November 8, 2019 - Bordal chez Albert (Vega, Ausone, Haut-Brion, Mouton...) (Chermignon): Aveugle. La couleur la plus sombre et le nez le plus épanoui...durant 1 heure, a ensuite viré vers des arômes plus médicinaux.
En bouche, puissant, solaire mais quelque peu en manque d’équilibre.
Pas mon vin.
October 13, 2019 - Occasional dinner group: Bordeaux 2009 and some ringers (By SS @ De Ertepeller in Papendrecht): Beautiful and concentrated bouquet with dark berries, good oak and chocolate. On the palate dark berries, still locked, young, concentrated and lush, but also firm acidity and sticky tannin. This wine needs at least another 3 – 5+ years. For now 92 – 94+.
October 7, 2019 - Beautiful mature Bordeaux with nice depth and soft tannins.