Château Branaire-Ducru 2011, Saint-Julien , Bordeaux France

Château Branaire Ducru’s history goes back to 1680. In those days, Branaire Ducru was a part of the massive Beycehvelle estate. When the owner of Beychevelle passed away, he left behind a huge Bordeaux vineyard that was seriously in debt. To pay the bills, the vineyard was broken up and sold to pay their debts. Several new estates were created in St. Julien including Château Branaire Ducru. The 60 hectare vineyard of Branaire Ducru rests on deep quaternary gravel soil with clay. The vineyard is planted to 70% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. On average, the vines are close to 35 years of age. They are planted to a density that ranges from 6,700 and 10,000 vines per hectare. At Branaire Ducru, fermentation takes place in temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks. The vats vary in size, based on the size of each vineyard parcel. Each vat is filled using a gravity based system. Alcoholic fermentation takes place between 26 to 28° Celsius. The average length of maceration lasts about 21 days. Malolactic fermentation takes place in tank. The wine of Chateau Branaire Ducru is aged in new, French oak ranging from 60% to 65% for between 16-20 months, depending on the quality and style of the vintage.