Branaire-Ducru St. Julien 2005

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Bordeaux, the world’s most price inflated wine. But also one of the most underappreciated. How is this so? If you are not in the ranks of the most famous producers, then your wine languishes, often written off by status seekers and wine geeks alike. I rarely drink Bordeaux because the wines I love tend to be very expensive and I lean to rarer, stranger varieties for my value wines. Sometimes, though, preference leads to a splurge.

Elegance over Power

Branaire-Ducru is, of course, amongst the highly ranked and well appreciated Chateaus of Bordeaux. That said, while it sits amongst the elite, it remains an under the radar producer within that category and as such, the quality of the wines tend to be less divergent from price point than other ‘elite’ producers.

Case in point was this 2005, which sells for the same price as the 2010 when other producers are inflating their wine prices even from 2005 highs. Branaire-Ducru is all about elegance. It is not a powerhouse and it is not obvious, which is perhaps why it goes underappreciated by the Parker-followers. It is a wine that focuses on texture, elegance, seamlessness and length, but less so aromatics and and not at all power. This is a classic St. Julien in its aromas of black and red fruits, cedar and graphite. But you pay the price of entry for the beauty of this wine’s understatedness, and its total completeness. I very much appreciate this wine of finesse that prefers subtle red meats vs. intense T-Bones or Rib-eyes, for which I’d choose a Brunello, Napa cab or power-driven producer from, say, Margaux.

$210 at Kits Wine


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