2012 Ch. Brane-Cantenac, Margaux

2012 Ch. Brane-Cantenac, Margaux

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Chateau Brane-Cantenac | Code: 17237 | 2012 | France > Bordeaux > Margaux | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

BBR

17/20

DECANTER

17.5/20

JANCIS

17/20

PARKER

90-92/100

WS

90-93/100

DECANTER - Superb colour, fine floral bouquet, very smooth extraction of fruit and fine, classy, very Margaux texture and length.
Steven Spurrier, Decanter, April 2013

JANCIS - Dark crimson. Firm, fully ripe palate (contrasts with the lesser appellations of the southern Médoc). Spreads across the palate. Quite lip smacking and well judged. Not too sweet and, just, not too oaky. Broad.
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com, 22 Apr 2013

PARKER - A beauty from Henri Lurton, the 2012 Brane Cantenac exhibits classic notes of spring flowers intermixed with black raspberries, black currants and damp forest floor. This medium-bodied, sweet, ripe, quintessentially elegant, medium-bodied Margaux is nicely concentrated as well as sexy. Enjoy it over the next 10-12 years.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr 2013

WS - Plush, with a legitimate structure buried in the core of steeped plum and blackberry fruit. A warm stone note lurks in the background. Well-rendered.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 8 2013

The Story

Chateau Brane-Cantenac

Producer

Chateau Brane-Cantenac

Château Brane-Cantenac was for many years the home of Lucien Lurton - it is now owned and run by his son Henri. Its vineyards are located west of the village of Cantenac in the Margaux appellation. Brane-Cantenac's vineyards are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (40%), Cabernet Franc (4.5%) and Carmenère 0,5%,  and lie on fine, gravelly soils. Vinification includes up to 18 months' wood ageing, a third to a half in new `barriques'.

Brane Cantenac was perceived throughout much of the 70s and 80s as an underperforming property. Since Henri took over, there has been extensive investment in the cuverie and chai, as well as vastly improved vineyard management techniques. Consequently, the wines at Brane Cantenac now show more weight and concentration, although they still possess that haunting bouquet and quintessential elegance that characterise the wines of Margaux. It is classified as a 2ème Cru Classé.

Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

Region

Margaux

If Pauillac can be seen as the bastion of ‘traditional’ Red Bordeaux, then Margaux represents its other facet in producing wines that are among Bordeaux’s most sensual and alluring. It is the largest commune in the Médoc, encompassing the communes of Cantenac, Soussans, Arsac and Labaude, in addition to Margaux itself. Located in the centre of the Haut-Médoc, Margaux is the closest of the important communes to the city of Bordeaux.

The soils in Margaux are the lightest and most gravelly of the Médoc, with some also containing a high percentage of sand. Vineyards located in Cantenac and Margaux make up the core of the appelation with the best vineyard sites being located on well-drained slopes, whose lighter soils give Margaux its deft touch and silky perfumes. Further away from the water, there is a greater clay content and the wines are less dramatically perfumed.

Margaux is the most diffuse of all the Médoc appelations with a reputation for scaling the heights with irreproachable wines such as Ch. Margaux and Ch. Palmer, but also plumbing the depths, with too many other châteaux not fulfilling their potential. There has been an upward shift in recent years, but the appellation cannot yet boast the reliability of St Julien. However, the finest Margaux are exquisitely perfumed and models of refinement and subtlety which have few parallels in Bordeaux.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Margaux, Ch. Palmer, Ch. Brane-Cantenac, Ch. Rauzan-Ségla , Ch. Dufort-Vivens, Ch. Ferrière, Ch. du Tertre, Ch. Giscours, Ch. d'Angludet.

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