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Matt Richman

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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Matt Richman » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:18 am

According to Parker, Branaire was as good or better than either in 2000 and 2003 and was equalled by Grand Puy in 2005 but was handily ahead of Lynch


Charlie Parker? Or Parker Posey?

Because they are the only Parkers I have any faith in.
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alex metags

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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by alex metags » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:15 am

"This wine is obviously not from a first-growth vineyard - nor even a second. It is not a great wine. The quality, the - the - what do you call it? - the radiance, the power, is lacking. But a third growth - that it could be. And yet I doubt it." Maybe I'm the only one who always thinks about the Roald Dahl story "Taste" whenever I drink Branaire Ducru, which isn't often. Anyone try the 1934? :)
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Bill Spohn » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:21 am

Matt Richman wrote:
According to Parker, Branaire was as good or better than either in 2000 and 2003 and was equalled by Grand Puy in 2005 but was handily ahead of Lynch


Charlie Parker? Or Parker Posey?

Because they are the only Parkers I have any faith in.



RP used to be fairly reliable on Bordeaux and Rhones, until recent years when high marks meant they were more like American over the top in your face wines. I don't 'do' points but many do and I just wanted to point out that Branaire, by that mesure seemed to be creeping up the ladder.

BTW, it is pointless to talk about what growth a wine is based on a 160 year old scale that mostly measured sale prices at the time. Some have fallen, some have risen, many have totally disappeared in the interim. I do enjoy Dahl's story though! Anyone that hasn't experienced should go straight here and at least watch it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhqBzQN0fFQ
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Harry Cantrell

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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Harry Cantrell » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:53 pm

2003 was a WOW wine for me by Brainaire Ducru. So much so that I bought a few bottles and a magnum (rarly buy Magnums). About 2000 it seemed to turn corner for me into my like zone.
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Patrick Martin » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:07 pm

I like Branaire, but I too have never been really wowed by it. The 82 (now fading), 89, and 96 are all very nice.

The 2000 and 2003 didn't impress me the few times I've had them, but they may have been too young. The 02 is a bit four-square but a good wine a for the price ($22 on release).

I did notice, as others have mentioned, that the critics (especially Bob and Suckling) have really ramped up the love for Branaire since the 2003 vintage. Sounds like they all love the 2010, "best ever from here". Did the wine maker, consultant and/or ownership change in the last decade?
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Covert » Mon May 20, 2013 10:28 am

Diane (Long Island) wrote:My 1 experience is with the 2000, which I enjoyed. It's a 4th Growth, yet I read more about the other Ducru (Beaucaillou) and 5th Growth producers such as Pontet Canet, Grand Puy Lacoste, and Lynch Bages, and I've had more experience with those. I am considering bringing my last bottle of the 2000 Branaire Ducru to dinner to share with a friend who drinks wine, enjoys it, but is more taken with the study of it. Is it not considered a top producer?


Diane, Branaire is my favorite Bordeaux, if somebody put a gun to my head. Sure, Latour or Lafite or Petrus, are probably “better,” but I can’t relate to them as much because I can’t afford them. I have always felt a touch of magic in bottles of Branaire, and the property is my size. It seems St.-Julien has a corner on magic.

And I’ve had my own romantic interludes with the property. I am relatively new to Bordeaux appreciation and didn’t drink my first Branaire before 2000, as I remember. I think I told this admittedly lame story on WLDG at the time: I was at a San Diego trade show discussing with a colleague the purchase of several bottles which had cost over $100 each when a pretty lady of color (I’m Caucasian), who had been eavesdropping, proclaimed she would give her body to any man who bought her a $100 bottle of wine.

I thought she was cute and spunky so I invited her to join me for dinner, and took her to a quaint little restaurant on the edge of Balboa Park. I ordered a bottle of 1995 Chateau Branaire Ducru (which of course was way young) because it was a Bordeaux, which I had started liking generically, and because it cost $95.
I was blown away by what I now refer to as the wine’s classicism. It was absolutely lovely. The lady was duly impressed at the cost of the bottle, and I hoped at my grace in not having gone a mere $5 more. But she did not seem to be captivated by the wine itself.

The next day I met a very lovely Native American woman, at the same show, who also expressed in interest in wine. I have to admit I thought it clever to dine with two raven-haired something-Americans back to back, so for as much this reason as not, I invited the woman to join me at the same restaurant, whereupon I ordered a second bottle of the 1995. Again I was delighted, but again the woman was more interested in her food and conversation.

On the third night I invited my Boss, who is a wine connoisseur, to join me in hopes of finally achieving consanguinity with regard to my appreciation, but I was foiled again. He liked it but admitted to enjoying California Cab more.

Later that same year, I dove into Bordeaux by purchasing thousands of dollars’ worth of mixed 1997 Bordeaux. Because Parker promised immediate drinkability, I figured I could accomplish a mammoth horizontal tasting to understand the region. Of all the properties, from both banks, I liked the Branaire the best and ordered an additional case of it. I mourned the downing of the last one.

I bought the 1998, the penultimate one of which I drank this past weekend, and found it to be a little foursquare for a usually elegant Branaire, and the 1999, which are indeed elegant. In 2004 I bought a case of 2000 Branaire, and presented one bottle to a Bordeaux knowledgeable lady, named Diane, at a dinner she hosted, explaining that I thought it would be a great wine to open in another six years or so. I read in her expression that she wasn’t impressed. I haven’t as yet opened one of the eleven left, but should do so at some point soon, for science. I am sure I will love them.

Lastly, my favorite short story of all time, “Taste,” by Roald Dahl, first published in the March 1945 issue of Ladies Home Journal, featured a bottle of 1934 Chateau Branaire. If you have never read this story, I think you would like it, and it would further endear you to the wonderful little property.
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Charles Weiss

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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Charles Weiss » Mon May 20, 2013 6:28 pm

Diane (Long Island) wrote:My 1 experience is with the 2000, which I enjoyed. It's a 4th Growth, yet I read more about the other Ducru (Beaucaillou) and 5th Growth producers such as Pontet Canet, Grand Puy Lacoste, and Lynch Bages, and I've had more experience with those. I am considering bringing my last bottle of the 2000 Branaire Ducru to dinner to share with a friend who drinks wine, enjoys it, but is more taken with the study of it. Is it not considered a top producer?


An interesting thread with lots of discussion about what "top producer" means.

I've not tasted lots of vintages, but multiple bottles of the 1982 Branaire-Ducru are among the best Bordeaux I've had (not a lot of first growths). And I brought my last botttle to a geek dinner last year by special request.

What puzzles me is that you've tasted this wine, say you've enjoyed it, so I guess the question is whether its cache is good enough for the company rather than whether the wine good enough on its own merits?

Charles
Last edited by Charles Weiss on Mon May 20, 2013 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Covert » Mon May 20, 2013 8:26 pm

Diane (Long Island) wrote:My 1 experience is with the 2000, which I enjoyed. It's a 4th Growth, yet I read more about the other Ducru (Beaucaillou) and 5th Growth producers such as Pontet Canet, Grand Puy Lacoste, and Lynch Bages, and I've had more experience with those. I am considering bringing my last bottle of the 2000 Branaire Ducru to dinner to share with a friend who drinks wine, enjoys it, but is more taken with the study of it. Is it not considered a top producer?


I get carried away with story telling, and sometimes skirt the point. I would like to follow up in the vein Mr. Weiss addressed. It is a matter of definition, but I would say, yes, Branaire is a top producer by most definitions. Compared with the wines around the world it is probably in something like the top one-thousandth in quality, I would imagine, and it is a Les Grands Crus classés en 1855. Robert Parker rates the 2000 Branaire at 94 points, which is not shabby. I would not be ashamed to take it anywhere.

I forgot to mention the 1996, which has wonderful earth in addition to all the classy elements I find with the property. I know you like other 1996 St.-Juliens. You might love the 1996 like I do. I have two bottles left!
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Richard Fadeley » Mon May 20, 2013 10:57 pm

I've met the director of Branaire, Patrick Maroteaux, several times and you will not find a more dedicated producer than he. This is not to qualify his wines, but they are well made. Like others have said, based on price and proper handling they should be consistent with other classified wines. That has been my experience, proper aging and decanting assumed. Let you palate be you guide.
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Jacques Levy

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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Jacques Levy » Tue May 21, 2013 10:08 am

Harry Cantrell wrote:2003 was a WOW wine for me by Brainaire Ducru.


I agree, the 2003 is outstanding! Much better than the 2002 and one of the better wines from that vintage.

Patrick Martin wrote:The 2000 and 2003 didn't impress me the few times I've had them, but they may have been too young. The 02 is a bit four-square but a good wine a for the price ($22 on release).


Patrick, time to retaste.
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Patrick Martin » Tue May 21, 2013 9:18 pm

Jacques Levy wrote:
Harry Cantrell wrote:2003 was a WOW wine for me by Brainaire Ducru.


I agree, the 2003 is outstanding! Much better than the 2002 and one of the better wines from that vintage.

Patrick Martin wrote:The 2000 and 2003 didn't impress me the few times I've had them, but they may have been too young. The 02 is a bit four-square but a good wine a for the price ($22 on release).


Patrick, time to retaste.


Definitely, Jacques. On some level, the 2000 and 2003 were more closed than anything else (it's been 5-6 years since I've tried either), so I set them aside to sleep. Looks like I'll be grilling this weekend!

And welcome back to NYC, Jacques. Hope to see more of you!
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Jacques Levy » Wed May 22, 2013 1:22 pm

Thanks Patrick, with pleasure
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by David M. Bueker » Wed May 22, 2013 1:29 pm

Welcome back Jacques!

I've passed by a bottle of the 200 Branaire in the cellar several times over recent months. Maybe, just maybe sometime soon.
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Jacques Levy » Wed May 22, 2013 5:49 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:I've passed by a bottle of the 200 Branaire in the cellar several times over recent months. Maybe, just maybe sometime soon.


What year was that, David? (200 seems a bit old :D)
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by David M. Bueker » Wed May 22, 2013 6:06 pm

Oops. 2000
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Harry Cantrell » Wed May 22, 2013 10:21 pm

Wow. If I got a 2000 Bordeaux of any stripe as a gift I would NOT look askance at the gift giver, rather that person would be welcome anytime!
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Covert » Sun May 26, 2013 7:22 pm

I opened a 2000 last night. The tannins were drier than I would have liked in thinking about the wine down the road. I won't open another for at least five years; it wasn't mature enough for my tastes.
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Diane (Long Island) » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:09 am

Covert wrote:I opened a 2000 last night. The tannins were drier than I would have liked in thinking about the wine down the road. I won't open another for at least five years; it wasn't mature enough for my tastes.



I returned from Paris yesterday, and just read this note which has convinced me to leave my one remaining bottle alone for a few years. Thanks for that, Covert.
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Jenise » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:35 pm

Diane (Long Island) wrote:just returned from Paris yesterday


Wish I could say that. :)
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Charles Weiss » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:09 pm

Jenise wrote:
Diane (Long Island) wrote:just returned from Paris yesterday


Wish I could say that. :)


Better yet to be just on your way to Paris
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Covert » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:28 am

Diane (Long Island) wrote:
Covert wrote:I opened a 2000 last night. The tannins were drier than I would have liked in thinking about the wine down the road. I won't open another for at least five years; it wasn't mature enough for my tastes.



I returned from Paris yesterday, and just read this note which has convinced me to leave my one remaining bottle alone for a few years. Thanks for that, Covert.


You are welcome, Diane. Wow, Paris! Did you write up your trip on the Forum some place where I can read about it?
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Re: What do you think of Branaire Ducru?

by Diane (Long Island) » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:02 pm

Covert - I did not write a trip report. It was a few days in Paris before boarding a riverboat to Normandy. We visited some museums, did a bit of serious eating including an exquisite lunch at Taillevent to celebrate my birthday, where I drank Burgundy. The only bottle of Bordeaux I had was a 2006 St. Emilion - and a producer I never heard of, but it was the night before we flew home, and I ordered steak au poivre, and had to have Bordeaux.
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