2020 Château Brane-Cantenac, Margaux, Bordeaux

2020 Château Brane-Cantenac, Margaux, Bordeaux

Product: 20208003243
 
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2020 Château Brane-Cantenac, Margaux, Bordeaux

Description

Cabernet Sauvignon 70%, Merlot 26%, Cabernet Franc 2%, Petit Verdot 1%, Carmenère 1%

This is a wonderful amalgam of the vintage signatures and the Henri Lurton style. The flavours are pure and full, but there is restraint, too. The fruit is sweetly ripe, with cassis. The palate imprint is not at all heavy; there is a fine line of precision, and a final focus on bright, pure ripe fruit. There is a suggestion of vanilla and the tannins are correct, with just enough tension. The 1% Carmenère is notable, a Bordeaux rarity nowadays. Henri trusts it to add complexity and spice.

We recently spoke to Henri Lurton for some insight into the unique terroir of Brane, and the nature of the 2020 vintage. You can read the interview here.

Drink 2027-2045
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Critics reviews

Jane Anson94/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous94-96/100
Neal Martin, Vinous95-97/100
Wine Advocate91-93/100
Jancis Robinson MW17/20
James Suckling96-97/100
Michael Schuster93-94/100
Jane Anson94/100
Violet-edged, lovely vibrant colour. A low-yield wine that has kept an impressively fresh core, with expressive fruits and a vibrant grip through the centre of the wine. Powerful, tight tannins and the concentration becomes clearer in the glass, a ton of bilberry, sage and rosemary aromatics, with a generous helping of graphite and crushed stone. All of these wines are going to need very careful ageing - although the reasonable alcohols should help. A yield of 31hl/ha. 18 months ageing in a mix of new oak barrels and amphoras. 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenère completes the blend. Tasted twice.

Drink from 2028 to 2044

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous94-96/100
The 2020 Brane-Cantenac is deep, fleshy and savory. Strong Cabernet accents open first, leading to a core of inky dark fruit, lavender, spice, mint and chocolate. There is some new oak that needs to integrate, but time should take care of that. I especially admire the sense of classicism and energy here. This is a superb showing from Brane-Cantenac and the team led by Henri Lurton.

Drink from 2028 to 2050

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous95-97/100
The 2020 Brane-Cantenac was picked September 14–28 and includes 13% vin de presse. It has exactly the same blend as last year since Henri Lurton and his team did not limit the Grand Vin to the 30-hectare plateau, a similar approach to Pichon-Baron when they reorganized their own vineyard. I allowed my sample an hour to open (during which I was discussing the wine with Lurton over Zoom). It has a beautifully defined bouquet of blackberry, wild hedgerow, fresh mint and light bay leaf scents. I have sometimes found a little greenness on the nose, but there is none in 2020. The palate is very well balanced with finely chiseled, precise tannins and beautifully judged acidity. Harmonious and poised, this is an absolutely fantastic Brane-Cantenac, in my mind superior to the previous two vintages, exuding wonderful mineralité on the finish. A must-buy.

Drink from 2027 to 2057

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate91-93/100
The 2020 Brane-Cantenac is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Carménère and 1% Petit Verdot. It weighs in with 13.7% alcohol and a pH of 3.71. Deep purple-black colored, it has a beautifully expressive nose of fresh redcurrants, blackcurrant jelly, kirsch and rose oil, plus hints of tobacco leaf, wild sage and crushed rocks. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly styled with a plush texture and plenty of freshness supporting the red berry and earthy flavors, finishing fragrant.

Drink from 2024 to 2040

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
Jancis Robinson MW17/20
Cask sample taken 19 April. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% each of Petit Verdot and Carmenère. Cabernet Sauvignon was picked 17 to 28 September, Merlot 14 to 18 September, Cabernet Franc 18 to 25 September, Petit Verdot 21 to 22 September, Carmenère 30 September. Deep, dark purple. Very fragrant with hints of bergamot. Decidedly aérien on the nose and then super-gentle on the palate. Much lighter than most of its peers but by no means vapid. The tannins are almost negligible – apparently – but they dig in on the end of the palate. Very long. A decidedly graceful wine.

Drink 2026 - 2042

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021) Read more
James Suckling96-97/100
Extremely floral and beautiful with blackberry and blackcurrant aromas that follow through to a full body with a solid core of fruit and loads of dark fruit, sweet tobacco, bark and earth. Chewy, fine tannins. Perhaps the best of the trilogy years.

James Suckling (April 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster93-94/100
Dense, lightly “dry” blackcurrant Cabernet, markedly and very finely mineral; rich, full, concentrated but absolutely without excess, lightly oaky in aroma and texture, deep and subtly juicy, darkly ripe Cabernet fruit, long and close-grained to taste, very mineral, with a feel of effortlessly contained richness and wonderful black fruit and mineral persistence. And for all the ripe fruit, a delicious freshness, too. Classically proportioned, complete and beautiful.

Drink 2028 - 2040

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Chateau Brane-Cantenac

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.

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Margaux

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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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.

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