Branaire cramp

[label]Château Branaire Duluc-Ducru 1989 St-Julien Beychevelle (Bordeaux) – This requires a long note. Heavy, tobacco and dark fruit skins with chunky oak tannin and walnut skin. Then: green pepper, red pepper…maybe turning to peppercorns (but freshly-cracked). And now, here’s bitter chocolate. There’s no generosity to this wine…it’s hard and severe, and somewhat overly acidic…and yet it’s classic in its own way. The complexity is undeniable, but it’s just no fun. Anyway, that’s the decanted, briefly aired, and then poured note. With extensive airing, however, things change a bit. The pointed acidity still renders the wine a touch sour, but overall matters have softened, with a more balanced nature and the chocolate turning to espresso. Much nicer, though still fairly firm. (9/07)

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