Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend

Château Brane-Cantenac

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend 2005

David T
9.5

This is the first 2005 I’ve opened that was truly impressive this young. It’s untypical for most Margauxs. Bright mid red fruits on the palate with elegance and dripping acidity. Impressive bottling!!! Wish that I had bought a case in futures vs. four bottles. FYI, I never buy more than 6 bottles of almost anything.

The nose reveals, ripe; dark cherries, blackberries, black plum, black raspberries, strawberries, cherries, baked plum, high glass blue fruit hues, dry cranberries and pomegranate. Vanilla, light cinnamon, hint of clove, dash of nutmeg, pinch of white pepper, very dark, rich soil, limestone, pee gravel, cherry cola, fruit tea, black/red licorice, dry top soil/clay, a faint whiff of mint, some red fruit liqueur notes, bright red florals, blue flowers and fresh dark and fresh slightly withering florals.

The body is medium to just barely pushing full. The tannins are well rounded, soft and a bit dusty. The wine gently glides beautifully over the palate. The red fruits shine. Dark cherries, strawberries, cherries, pomegranate, blackberries, black raspberries, plum and blue fruit hues on the long set. Vanilla, light cinnamon, hint of clove, dash of nutmeg, very dark, rich soil, limestone minerals, pea gravel, some crushed dry rock powder, cherry cola, dark fruit tea, black/red licorice, dry top soil/clay, a faint whiff of mint, some red fruit liqueur notes, used leather, saddle-wood to light cedar, light cigar with ash, bright red florals, blue flowers and fresh dark and fresh slightly withering florals. The acidity is like a rain shower. The structure, length, tension and balance are magnificent. The long, elegant, well balanced, polished finish is delicious and goes on and on. This wine has really hit its stride, yet will continue to improve for another 10 years and perhaps beyond. After two hours in the the decanter, the wine put on weight and showed more dark fruits on the long palate set.

Photos of, Chateau Brane Cantenac, Owner Henri Lurton, field-hand doing the back breaking work of picking and their oak vat room.

Producer history and notes...Chateau Brane Cantenac started out in the early 17th century. At the time, the small estate was known as Domaine Guilhem Hosten. The vineyards and estate was developed by the owner in the late 1700’s by the Gorce family.

Their wine was so highly regarded back then, it was one of the more expensive wines in all of Bordeaux, selling 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 to purchase the Margaux vineyard, the Baron sold what is now called Chateau Mouton Rothschild, which was at the time of the sale, known as Chateau Brane-Mouton.

In 1838, the Baron renamed property, taking his name and the name of the sector where the vineyards were located, calling it Chateau Brane Cantenac. The chateau later passed to the Roy family, who were well-known in the Margaux as they owned Chateau d’Issan as well.

Jumping to the next century, in 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 currently owned and more than ably managed by the capable, 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 to their current plantings.

The 75 hectare vineyard of Brane Cantenac is planted to 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Carmenere and .5% Petit Verdot. Carmenere was used for the first time in the 2011 vintage. The Petit Verdot was planted in 2008. 2017 is the first vintage where Petit Verdot was added to the blend.

The 75 hectare Left Bank vineyard of Brane Cantenac is essentially unchanged since it earned Second Growth status in the 1855 Classification of the Medoc.

At least that is the case with the 45 hectares used to produce the Grand Vin of Brane Cantenac. Those 45 hectares are planted close to and surrounding the chateau. Those vines are located just in front of the Cantenac plateau and are the best terroir that Brane Cantenac owns. This parcel is the heart and soul of their wine.

They have other parcels, which are further inland, but much of those grapes are placed into their second wine. Those additional hectares can be divided into 3 main sections.

Behind the chateau, they have 15 hectares of vines on gravel and sandy soils. They have 10 hectares across the road with sand, gravel and iron and a 13 hectare parcel with gravelly clay called Notton, which is used for their second wine. More than vineyards, the property maintains beautifully, manicured gardens and verdant parkland.

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. 12 of those hectares are farmed using biodynamic techniques as well.

3 hectares of vines they own in the Haut Medoc appellation are planted to white Bordeaux wine varietals due to the the cooler terroir in that part of the appellation. The soils are gravelly clay. The vines are planted to 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon.

Chateau Brane Cantenac 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 and Petit Verdot are entirely micro-vinified, meaning that those grapes are completely vinified in their own barrels, using micro-vinification techniques. This takes place with the Carmenere and Petit Verdot because the amount of grapes produced is so small. Some vats of Brane Cantenac can be co-inoculated, meaning they go though alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation simultaneously.

Malolactic fermentation takes place in a combination of French oak tanks and barrels. The majority of the Grand Vin goes through malolactic in barrel. The wine of Brane Cantenac is aged in an average of 60% new, French oak barrels for 17 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 is a second wine, Le Baron de Brane. The use of a second wine at Brane Cantenac 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. There is a third wine, Margaux de Brane, which is usually Merlot dominated.

Production of Chateau Brane Cantenac is about 11,000 cases per year depending on weather conditions.
— 2 days ago

Shay, Paul and 22 others liked this
David T

David T Influencer Badge

You simply cut that grizzle away like a surgeon.
Tom Casagrande

Tom Casagrande Influencer Badge

Some university should award you a doctorate for that note.
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Tom Casagrande 🤣 Thank you!

Guinaudeau

Acte 1 Red Bordeaux Blend 2009

Ron R
9.2

@Martin G Rivard take a bow. This is another awesome gift from my besty. A 6L to boot. Jen and James are celebrating their house-warming in NJ. I now have some little helpers in the area!
The wine was PERFECT. Nice cherry compote nose. Soft oak treatment, with touches of vanilla. Deftly balanced on the palate. Tannins are not quite resolved. Acid provides a nice lift. Such a linear expression of Bdx. Too large a format to consume on our own, hence my daughter and her husband benefited from Martin’s generosity. Cannot thank you enuf, bud!
— 2 days ago

Benny RJames AylingMo Salem
with Benny, James and 1 other
James, Peggy and 31 others liked this
Shawn R

Shawn R Influencer Badge Premium Badge

Wow 😲
Phil A

Phil A Premium Badge

@Ron R Ron Wow Life is good enjoy Cheers 🍷

Château Latour

Grand Vin de Château Latour Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 1996

So my wife’s bday dinner, was it this or 1990 which I know and adore. Dr Latour said let’s go more modern. 1996. Wow... from the moment I popped the cork, to the decant, to 3hrs in this was just adding weight and growing. Underbrush, Leather, with that Pauillac string of Graphite and crystalline red fruit. I think these are just starting to come into their window, but still a long way to go. Best bottle of 96 I have had and close to best bottle of the year. I can still taste it as I write these notes. A wine that will stop you in your tracks. Speechless. — 2 days ago

Sylvain, David and 23 others liked this
Phil A

Phil A Premium Badge

@Jeffrey Lew Happy Birthday to your wife and Cheers to you 🍷

Château Haut-Brion

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend 2001

David T
9.3

A continuation of our anniversary celebration @ Cole’s Steakhouse.

On the nose; cedar, saddle-wood, ripe & ruby; dark currants, blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, black plum w/ skin, blue fruit hues & strawberries. Limestone minerals, dry crushed rocks, dry river stone, anise, graphite, touch of smoke, tobacco with ash, dry stem, the slightest hint of green pepper & dry herbs with blue, red and dark fresh & withering red flowers.

The body is round, ruby and full. Classic Haut-Brion profile flavors. I don’t believe I would miss call this producer blind as its flavor profile & style is so distinct. The tannins are nicely round and soft, 60% resolved. The structure, tension, length and balance are well knitted together. It does lack some wow factor from their truly great vintages. However, there is plenty of life in this bottling and it has not achieved its peak. Probably, another 3-5 years from hitting its peak with another 8 years of good drinking beyond that. Ripe & ruby; dark currants, blackberries, black raspberries, dry black cherry & cranberries, black plum w/ skin, blue fruit hues & strawberries. Limestone minerals, mint, dry crushed rocks, dry river stone, saddle-wood, cedar, anise, graphite, forest floor, touch of smoke, volcanic ash, tobacco with ash, dry stem, the slightest hint of green pepper & dry herbs with blue, red and dark fresh & withering red flowers. The acidity is just about perfect. The ruby finish is elegant, well polished & balanced and last minutes. It continues to evolve & improve in the glass even after a hour long decant. Just missing a 9.4. Man oh man, I love well made older Bordeaux wines. My true love.

Photos of, Chateau Haut-Brion, field-hands harvesting that magical fruit, barrel room and their library cellar that I would love to raid 😜.
— 9 days ago

Ira, Severn and 23 others liked this

Château Léoville Poyferré

Saint Julien Red Bordeaux Blend 2015

A cold took away last weekends wine enjoyment. Back on the horse and wanted to try something different for me. This was really enjoyable, I know it’s a great vintage so was interested to see if all the high praise was justified. Lots perfumed floral notes on the nose with some tobacco and sweet spice and oak. The palate is surprisingly fruit forward with definite tannins that leave a dry but long finish. Probably needs time to smooth out and integrate more but drinks very well now and is further enhanced with food ( tonight’s meatloaf). Recommended and I’d love to fast forward a few years to see where it goes. — a day ago

Shay, Ron and 7 others liked this
Ron R

Ron R Influencer Badge Premium Badge

Drinking like a rockstar I see! 🙂 Great notes, too...

Château La Croix St. Georges

Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend 1990

A review of 9️⃣’s for fun 😁

The 2009 was made 9 years ago @ £39 & 19 years after the 1990 @ €90 😁 so I thought it would be fun to compare how my favourite Pomerol has evolved 😁

💵 Oh & Petrus next door to this Chateau is 90 times more expensive 🤣

🥊 So 90 vs 09

🏵 90 - 97-98 points
🏵 09 - 94-95 points

🍷 90 - Garnet opaque ruby w/ bricking
🍷 09 - Opaque ruby

⏩ scroll for colour pics on Instagram ⏩

👃 90 - Bordeaux nasal sex of soggy earth, sooty underground 🚇, char-smoked oak, old leather, damp musty cellar, mushroom, mirabelle plums, damson compote, obliterated blackcurrant, herbs, toasted fig, bitter mocha & liquorice
👃 09 - Dark jammy plum & blackcurrant through smokey oak, choc mocha, flint, pencil lead, soggy earthy leaves & wet rock minerals

👄 90 - Med body of creamy earthy smooth silk dark plum & berry bathed in ground mocha & liquorice
👄 09 - Med+ creamy smooth ripe dark plum & blackcurrant body w/ a mocha infusion & mineral tone

🎯 90 - Long mocha liquorice dark fruits mouth filling linger w/ a big happy smile 😃
🎯 09 - Long smooth ripe dark fruit, minerals & rich mocha linger - oh & still big happy smile 😀

⏰ 09 I can’t wait to revisit you in 19 years 😘

👏 @josephjanoueix @jeanphilippejanoueix 😍
— 8 days ago

Chris, Peter and 25 others liked this
Peter van den Besselaar

Peter van den Besselaar Influencer Badge

Nice idea, but I think 2009 will become awesome too 🤨😉

Château Pierrail

Bordeaux Supérieur Red Bordeaux Blend 2014

Jesse Pender
9.2

Holy tannins Batman! Drank over three nights and was still pretty tight on night three. I would lay this down for at least another year if not a couple more. Great value at Costco! — 6 days ago

Bob, Kimberly and 4 others liked this

Château Haut-Tropchaud

Pomerol 2013

A decent Pomerol for £38 that’s drinking good already but will benefit from 3-5 more years 😴 It’s one for mineral lovers only 😉

📍 Haut-Tropchaud Pomerol 2013

🏵 91 points with potential in age

🍇 100% Merlot

🍷 Opaque blackened ruby

👃 Mineral & gravel driven dark plummy berry w/ herbs, light oak, pencil lead, soggy earth, cocoa & red liquorice

👄 Med body of dry mineral & mocha infused dark plum with black berry & liquorice tones

🎯 Med+ dry stoney rock mineral dark plummy fruit mocha liquorice splatter
— 4 days ago

Chris, Ted and 19 others liked this
Phil A

Phil A Premium Badge

@Chris England Nice pic Cheers 🍷

Château Laffitte-Carcasset

Cru Bourgeois Saint-Estèohe Red Bordeaux Blend 2015

Saturday night and I have been requested to try this 2015 Château Laffitte-Carcasset St. Estéphe Bordeaux Blend. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc.

On the nose I am getting black cherry, black raspberry, plum, black currant, licorice, tar, spice, herbs, violet and smoky oak.

The palate reveals black cherry, black raspberry, black plum, black currant, violet, bay leaf, spice, herbs, licorice, a touch of oak and fresh tilled soil.

This wine has a full bodied sandy mouth feel with medium + acidity and medium + crunchy mouth coating tannins that leads to a long fresh finish. For a Cru Bourgeois this wine has it going on. A very nice St. Estéphe Medóc that I would recommend to anyone. Still a bit green and has another good 5-15 shelf life. I am glad it was recommended to me by a good friend and I would say is a good QPR. Enjoy your weekend and stay safe. Nostrovia! 🍷🍷🍷🍷
— a day ago

Ken, Robert and 10 others liked this

Château Langoa Barton

Saint-Julien Red Bordeaux Blend 1990

A lovely 28 year old St Julien that’s drinking fabulously now 😍 Was given to me as a gift this weekend 🎉 & I’m told it’s £75 😉 Oak dominated on the nose but well integrated in the wine 👍

🐑 Paired perfectly with Mrs Es Lamb shoulder - scroll for pic ⏩ on Instagram

📍 Chateau Langoa Barton 1990

🏵 94 points

🍷 Opaque garnet ruby w/ brick edge

👃 Sooty earthy char burnt oak through desecrated dark berries w/ autumn wet leaves, mineral flint rock, mocha & herbs

👄 Med silky smooth body of mocha through red current & black berries w/ a liquorice linger

🎯 Long earthy dark & red fruit in mocha liquorice
— 8 hours ago

Chris, Tom and 7 others liked this
Tom Casagrande

Tom Casagrande Influencer Badge

Langoa is one of my personal faves!