Branaire-Ducru seems to exist in another era. The team rarely changes and the working practices are tried and tested.
Each parcel, each variety, is vinified according to its individual requirements; this micromanagement is made possible by 28 temperature-controlled, stainless steel vats in different sizes. And, while nobody is ruling out further technical innovations in the vat room, they would only happen if they served the long-established Branaire style, with its purity of fruit, freshness and structural elegance.
In any event, 2018 will have been an "instructive" vintage for winemaker Jean-Dominique Videau and his team. The unusual conditions have refined their understanding of their vineyards: "We are pondering how we can help each parcel adapt to these very dry Septembers."
The 2018 is a very expressive wine of great nobility, with a freshness underlying its impressively mature tannins. This is a classic, linear wine, very accessible... in other words, typically Branaire!
Surface : 59 hectares
Soils : deep quaternary gravels with clay in the subsoil
Grapes : 70% cabernet sauvignon, 22% merlot, 5% cabernet franc, 3% petit verdot
Age of the vines : 35 years
Density : 6700 and 10 000 vines per hectare
Vinifications : Stainless steel tanks with temperature control. Size of tanks adapted to size of
Tanks ﬁlling using gravity. First modern winery using gravity ﬂow system in 1991.
Fermentation temperature : 26-28 °C
Maceration length: 3 weeks, determined by tastings and adapted to each tank.
Ageing : 16 to 20 months on oak barrels with 60 to 65% of new oak
Production : 300 000 bottles per year