Stone fruit. Dry. Pear and cassis. Maybe plum. Who knows? — 2 years ago
I have a six-pack of this 05. I thought after 10 years in bottle, it would be interesting to check in on its evolution. While tasty, I’ll wait another 8-10 to open another. Even after 2-3 hours in the decanter, it’s still a very young adolescent. On the nose, slightly sour blackberries & dark cherries, dark currants, baked black plum, haunting blue fruits, anise, whiff of spice, steeped tea, dry stones, dry crushed rocks with dry top soil, caramel, vanilla with fresh & dry red florals. The body is thick & full. Tannins are starting to round out. It’s velvety on the palate. The fruits are; bright, fresh & ripe and really show the greatness of the 05 vintage. Dark currants, blackberries, dark cherries, baked black plum, haunting blue fruits, baked strawberries, cherries, raspberries on the long set, dark spice, clay & loamy dry top soil with crushed rocks, dry stones, cigar with ash, graphite, dry stems, slight herbaceous character, mint, used leather, clove, caramel, vanilla, fresh & dry red florals with violets. The round acidity is about perfect. The structure and length are still strong. The balance is in harmony. As for the long finish, it’s lush, ruby, rich and well polished. Photos of; Chateau Brane Cantenac, large wood vats, Henri Lurton and Estate vines. Producer notes and history...Chateau Brane Cantenac began in the early 17th century. At the time, the estate was known as Domaine Guilhem Hosten. Even that far back, wine was produced from the property. In fact, the wine was so highly regarded it was one of the more expensive wines in Bordeaux. It sold for almost as much money as Brane Mouton. This is interesting because of who went on to buy the vineyard in the 1800’s. The Baron of Brane, also known as “Napoleon of the Vineyards”, purchased the Chateau in 1833. At the time of the sale, the estate was called Chateau Gorce-Guy. To get the funds needed to purchase the Margaux vineyard, the Baron sold what is now called Mouton Rothschild, which was at the time of the sale, known as Chateau Brane-Mouton. Not such a good move with hundreds of years in hindsight! In 1838, the Baron renamed property taking his name and the name of the sector where the vineyards were located and called it Chateau Brane Cantenac. The Chateau later passed to the Roy family, who were well-known in the Margaux appellation in those days, as they owned Chateau d’issan. Moving ahead to 1920, the Societe des Grands Crus de France, a group of merchants and growers that owned several chateaux located in the Medoc including; Chateau Margaux, Chateau Giscours, and Chateau Lagrange in St. Julien, purchased Chateau Brane Cantenac. Five years later, M. Recapet and his son-in-law, François Lurton, took over Brane Cantenac along with Chateau Margaux. Lucien Lurton (the son of François Lurton) inherited Brane Cantenac in 1956. Today, the estate is still in the hands of the Lurton family. Brane Cantenac is owned and run by Henri Lurton. After being given the responsibility of managing Brane Cantenac, it was under the direction of Henri Lurton that large portions of the vineyard were replanted. Vine densities were increased, the drainage systems were improved and the plantings were also, slowly changed. The vineyard of Brane Cantenac is planted to 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4.5% Cabernet Franc and .5% Carmenere. Carmenere was used for the first time in the 2011 vintage. The only other Chateau I know that still uses Carmenere is Clerc Milon. The 75 hectare Left Bank vineyard of Brane Cantenac is essentially unchanged since it earned Second Growth status in the 1855 Classification. At least that is the case with the 45 hectares used to produce the Grand Vin of Brane Cantenac. Those 45 hectares are planted surrounding the Chateau. Those vines are located just in front of the Cantenac plateau and are the best terroir that Brane Cantenac owns. They have other parcels, which are further inland and much of those grapes are placed into their second wine, Le Baron de Brane. Those additional hectares can be divided into 3 main sections. Behind the Chateau, they have 15 hectares of vines on gravel and sand, 10 hectares across the road with sand, gravel and iron and a 13 hectare parcel with gravel called Notton, which is used for their second wine. The vineyard is planted to a vine density that ranges from 6,666 vines per hectare on the plateau and up to 8,000 vines per hectare for the vines located behind chateau, in their sandier soils. The higher levels of vine density are always found in the newer plantings. The terroir of Brane Cantenac consists of deep gravel, sand and clay soil. Experiments in the vineyards are currently looking at becoming more organic in their vineyard management. Today, more than 25% of Brane Cantenac is farmed using organic farming techniques. It is expected that over time, the amount of hectares farmed with organic methods will be increased. Brane Cantenac has gone through 2 relatively recent modernization’s in 1999, when they added began adding the first of their smaller vats to allow for parcel by parcel vinification and then again in 2015 when they completed a much more complete renovation of their cellars and vat rooms. While Brane Cantenac is a traditional producer, they are no stranger to technology as they were one of the first estates to embrace optical grape sorting machines. In very wet vintages, they can also use reverse osmosis. To produce the wine of Chateau Brane Cantenac, the wine is vinified in a combination of temperature controlled, traditional, 22 oak vats, 18 concrete tanks and 20 stainless steel vats that vary in size from 40 hectoliters all the way up to 200 hectoliters, which allows for parcel by parcel vinification. 40% of the fermentation takes place in the oak vats. The oldest vines are vinified in vats that are selected to allow for separate parcel by parcel vinification. The younger vines are vinified more often together in the same vats. However, the Carmenere is entirely micro-vinified, meaning that those grapes were completely vinified in barrel, using micro-vinification techniques. This can also happen because the amount of grapes produced is so small. Some vats can be co-inoculated, meaning they go through alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation simultaneously. At Chateau Brane Cantenac, malolactic fermentation takes place in a combination of French oak tanks and barrels. The wine of Brane Cantenac is aged in an average of 60% new, French oak barrels for 18 months before bottling. The initial 2 months of aging is done with the wine on its lees, which adds more depth to the wine. There second wine is Le Baron de Brane. Le Baron de Brane is not new. In fact, previously, the second wine went under the name of Chateau Notton, which took its name from one of the main parcels where the grapes were planted. During the late 1950’s and into the 1960’s, having a second wine was important as the estate declassified 3 vintages, due to extremely poor, weather conditions in 1956, 1960 and 1963. Production of Chateau Brane Cantenac is about 11,000 cases per year. — 3 years ago
Nice classic-ish Bordeaux. Decanted for 1.5h. Overall just missing an extra level - either slightly restrained still, or perhaps past its prime. Lots of classic pepper and earth and subtle red fruit on the nose. Tannins are relatively integrated but perhaps very slightly “chunky”. Acid is there on the finish, which is decently long. Nice with grilled lamb kebabs. Overall solid but definitely underperformed expectations especially for an SJ (favorite left bank appellation). — 2 months ago
Oak. Ample aroma overflowing out from my glass, black currant. Leather, spicy, enough concentration with ripen black fruits. This is near Tarbot, far from Lagrange. @800/100ml(4000), T Enoteca, 190310 — 2 years ago
Enough ripen fruity aroma. Black currant and, French oak flavor. Still have a bit strong acid. Compared with Lagrange, quite deep and concentrated. @4500, Evax - Stanley, 170928 — 4 years ago
Tasted at Chateau
72% CS, 26% M, 2% PV
Deep inky purple with sign of browning on the rim.
Lovely signature Lagrange Cabernet perfume but with serious complexity developing.
Structurally strong. Med plus bodied, med plus tannin. Creme de cassis, red cherry, seabreeze framed by polished nutty new oak
Waiting for things to fall into places. Right now this has all the potentials. 10 years minimum. 90+ — 4 years ago
85 bought in error from HDH (was listed as st julien) raisiny and funky — 4 months ago
Tasty for my bday 2019 w grant, kara, & Grace at steak & vine in lagrange — 2 years ago
On the nose, bright, ripe, ruby; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, blue fruit mix, strawberries, creamy raspberries, plums, cranberries, black tea, loamy soils, dry clay, dry stones, limestone minerals, saddlewood, crush dry rocks, dark moist soils, dark chocolate, vanilla, field of violets, lavender and fresh red florals.
The palate is medium-full yet a little lean. The fruits are elegant, ruby, ripe; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, blue fruit mix, strawberries, creamy raspberries, plums, cranberries, black tea, loamy soils, dry clay, dry stones, limestone minerals, used leather, cedar, crush dry rocks, dark moist soils, dark chocolate, vanilla, field of violets, lavender and fresh red florals. The acidity is very good. The length, balance and length are nice. The structure a little lean. It a well polished rich fruit finish, but is a little short.
Photos of; the Chateau, Owner Patrick Maroteaux (may he RIP), Estate grapes and their barrel room.
Producer notes & history...Branaire Ducru has a long history has a long history that dates back to 1680. In those days, Branaire Ducru was a part of a larger Beychevelle. When the owner of Beychevelle passed away, he left behind a huge Bordeaux vineyard that was seriously in debt. To pay off the debt, the vineyard was broken up and sold. Several new estates were created in Saint Julien, which include Chateau Branaire Ducru. Jean-Baptiste Braneyre created the estate in 1680. As was was tradition in Bordeaux, the owner gave the estate his name, which is where the first part of the properties name came was given. Braneyre was later altered to Branaire. Braneyre bought the land we know as Branaire Ducru because of the terroir. He understood that Cabernet Sauvignon grew best on the deep gravel soils found in the Medoc. With that, we have the birth of Branaire Ducru. Or, at least the Branaire part. The middle name was gained through marriage. Marie Braneyre married Pierre de Luc which as you can guess, gave us the Branaire Duluc (the name of their 2nd wine). Almost 100 years later, the first winery at the property was constructed in 1824. It took almost 200 years for the Ducru portion of the wines name to make its way to the label. In 1875, with no direct descendants, Gustave Ducru, a more distant relative took over the property and added his name to the label making it, Chateau Branaire Ducru.
Patrick Maroteaux bought Branaire Ducru in 1988 from the Tapie family who had owned It since 1919. Prior to his ownership of Branaire Ducru, Patrick Maroteaux had no prior experience in the wine business. His background was in banking and then a president of the massive sugar company, Eurosucre. Patrick Maroteaux also served as the President of the UGCB, Union of Grand Crus Bordeaux, and as the President of the Saint Julien appellation.
Since his purchase, Patrick Maroteaux has focused much of his efforts on performing extensive work in the vineyards and in the cellars. He also began reducing the yields. Additionally, he increased the size of their vineyards by 10 hectares. Patrick was also modernized their winemaking techniques.
In fact, Patrick Maroteaux was one of the first producers in the Left Bank to being filling his tanks entirely by gravity. He did this beginning with the 91 vintage. This was done with the help of Philippe Dhalluin.
Philippe Dhalluin left Branaire Ducru in 2004 and took the same position as the director for wine making at Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Philippe Dhalluin was replaced by Jean Dominique Videau.
Chateau Branaire Ducru is a family business. The son of Patrick Maroteaux, François Xavier Maroteaux has carried the family business and joined the estate. Sadly, on November 19, 2017, Patrick Maroteaux passed away at the age of 67. His son, François Xavier Maroteaux took over the full time responsibilities of managing the property.
All the new technical improvements at Branaire Ducru quickly paid off for Patrick Maroteaux. Beginning with the 2000 vintage, Branaire Ducru became one of the top Saint Julien wines. It’s also one of the better values for high quality Bordeaux.
The 60 hectare vineyard of Branaire Ducru is planted to 65% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. The vineyard is very close to the size it was during the time of the 1855 Classification.
The terroir is deep gravel with clay soils. The best terroir is located near the chateau, closest to the Gironde river. They also have blocks further inland, with a small section of vines placed close to Chateau Lagrange and Chateau Talbot. The vineyard can be divided into 15 different blocks with 70 different parcels of vines. On average, the vines are close to 35 years of age. However, the estate has older vines as well. The oldest vines date back close to 90 years of age. The vineyard is planted to a vine density that ranges from 6,700 to 10,000 vines per hectare. The higher levels of vine density are for the newer plantings. The goal of the property is to continue increasing the vine density in all of their better terroirs.
Branaire Ducru, fermentation takes place in 28 temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks. The 28 vats vary in size. The vats range in size from as small as 30 hectoliters and up to 210 hectoliters. Each vat is sized for the needs of each specific vineyard parcel. Each vat is filled using the gravity based system.
Branaire Ducru is aged in 60 to 65% new, French oak barrels for between 16-20 months. The amount of new oak varies depending on the quality, character and style of each vintage. On average, the annual production is about 25,000 cases depending on the vintage. — 3 years ago