Robert Parker 95
Proprietor Patrick Maroteaux, president of Unions des Grands Crus Classes, is pulling out all the stops to make Branaire as alluring as several of the Leovilles and Ducru Beaucaillou. 2003 and 2004 may be the finest back-to-back vintages ever produced at Branaire. Even better than the 1982, the profound 2003 Branaire Ducru boasts a saturated plum/purple color as well as an extraordinarily complex nose of black currants, blackberries, espresso roast, white chocolate, minerals, and truffles. It displays amazing freshness and definition for such a complex, complete, and full-bodied wine. A brilliant effort in the vintage, it will undoubtedly close down in several years and need more time, but perhaps its low acidity and huge, extravagant fruit-forwardness will keep it drinking well over the next two decades. A brilliant wine!
Anticipated maturity: 2006-2026
Smudgy garnet. Smells warm and southern and spicy. A bit dry/hard in the middle and the tannins firm on the end. (JH)
Anticipated maturity: 2009-2014