For the grand cru classe that carries the name of the estate, we seek to bring out the lavish complexity, the secret, clever balance that characterizes great Saint-Julien wines.
95 Wine Enthusiast
This rich, full wine shows the chateau to be at the top of its form. It’s finely balanced, pushing both its fruit and acidity, with the tannins taking the supporting role. With its power leashed, this shows the stylish side of Saint-Julien, although it will certainly age for many years.
The 2010 Branaire-Ducru has a lovely mélange of red and black fruit, hints of dried blood and autumn leaves suggesting that this is moving into its secondary phase. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, a fine bead of acidity, good body and a fresh marine-tinged finish that is an absolute joy. There is an abiding symmetry about this wine and it is in for the long-haul. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners 10-Year On Bordeaux horizontal.
94 Wine Spectator
Very polished and stylish, with a velvety feel to the layers of crushed plum, currant and blackberry, while bittersweet cocoa and black licorice glide in on the gorgeous, black tea-infused finish. Features a lovely allure rather than raw power, making this possibly the prettiest St.-Julien of the vintage. There’s plenty in the tank for cellaring as well. Best from 2014 through 2030.
94 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
This wine is more backward than I would have normally expected, but nevertheless, it is very impressive. The 2010 Branaire-Ducru displays an inky bluish purple color and loads of mulberry, raspberry, black currant, graphite and floral notes in its intense aromatics. Medium to full-bodied , with sensational ripeness, purity, texture and length, the tannins are slightly more prominent than I remember from barrel, but they are sweet and ripe (as opposed to astringent and bitter). This beautiful wine needs 4-6 years of cellaring and should last 25-30 years.
94 James Suckling
A layered young red with lots of black olives and berries on the nose. Full body, with velvety and chewy tannins. It all comes together at the end with a lovely sweet fruit. Try after 2017.
Wow, this is still knitted in, hunkered down, you feel the tannic frame, cradling the intense fruit that majors on spiced damsons and blackcurrants. What a vintage, and still really nowhere near being ready. I would suggest drinking the 2011 right now if you want a younger Branaire, this needs another five or six years. But there is liquorice, slate, cigar smoke, still pretty austere today, not generous, and yet full of life and edges.