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Château Branaire-Ducru 2009, Saint-Julien


Chateau Branaire-Ducru 2009 is a dense purple wine that has the tell-tale notes of blueberries, flowers and pencil shavings, and its broad, aromatic nose is intense and totally captivating. Powerful, rich, and full, but less tannic than the 2005 and more opulent, this is a dazzling Branaire-Ducru to drink over the next 20 years.

Country: France
Region: Bordeaux
Subregion: Saint-Julien
Vintage: 2009
Colour: Red
Grape Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc
ABV: 13.5%
Bottle Size: 75cl
Closure: Natural cork
Style: Opulent and dazzling
Drink With: Roast duck breast with blackberry sauce

At the start of the 2009 growing season the vine’s growth was delayed thanks a cold winter and a cool spring. Once the weather warmed up temperatures remained stable for the rest of the year, contributing to the faultless development of the grapes. Flowering went well, securing satisfactory yields of 47 hl/ha. The summer was particularly sunny and a little warmer than average, yet without extreme peaks of temperature that would have burnt the grapes. The autumn was noticeably warmer than normal. Between mid-June and mid-September, the very low rainfall allowed a progressive hydric stress, giving the vines the opportunity to build an interesting tannic profile, and a short period of rain from 15th to 20th September helped the development and ripening of the skins. After this, fine weather returned for one month, allowing for the perfect maturation of the grapes that were picked between September 22nd and October 8th. The blend of the Grand Vin is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.

From Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
Only time will tell whether the 2009, another great effort from Château Branaire-Ducru, will eclipse the 2005 and 2003. Certainly at 13.6% alcohol it is the most powerful Branaire ever made, and the final blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot showcases what a great vintage 2009 is for Cabernet Sauvignon. An inky/blue/purple color is followed by raspberry, boysenberry, crushed rock, graphite, and floral notes, and an opaque, broad, dense, substantial, impressively structured wine without any hardness. It requires 4-5 years of cellaring, and should last four decades or more. 96 Points