Raspberry, cherry, currant, blueberry, licorice, flint and oak. Light-bodied and moderate tannins. — 5 months ago
Can we give this a high five? It’s supple and also muscular like a power yogi who doesn’t need to end their sessions with an om. Ripe honey (probably not a thing but I feel it), and pickled golden delicious apple skins (also not a thing but whatevs) and goodness it is strong but smooth. It coats the mouth with a a slight kick. Chill and ready but fast moving. Ashtanga Fiano. — 2 years ago
Wonderful Mourvèdre. Smooth, crisp, soft tannins. Will search for this from now on! — 3 years ago
Very nice syrah. Well balanced, nice lingering finish. Lots of fruit on the nose. Fruit forward in the pallet. Although high in alcohol it doesn't drink that way. It isn't hot in the least. — 8 months ago
The nose shows a mix of ripe, dried, slightly candied & floral fruits that are; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, both plums, raspberries, slightly fermented strawberries & dry cranberries with haunting blueberries. Dark, pronounced spices, clove, vanilla, touch of cinnamon stick, dark, rich earth, steeped fruit tea, core and f anise leading to some black licorice, ambers, limestone, dry, crushed rock powder, mix of blue & purple cola, mint, tree sap with bark, slightly withering & candied florals that are; dark, red, purple & blue.
The body is medium full, rich, ripe with nice viscosity. She has a light tannin feeling. Mix of ripe, dried, slightly candied & floral fruits that are; blackberries, dry, dark cherries, black raspberries, both plums, raspberries, slightly fermented strawberries & dry cranberries with haunting blueberries. Dark, pronounced spices with mid to strong heat, clove, vanilla, touch of cinnamon stick, salted caramel, dark, rich earth, steeped fruit tea, core of anise leading to some black licorice, ambers, incense, dry tobacco, savory, grilled meats, used leather, dry & fresh herbs, mint, limestone, dry, crushed rock powder, mix of blue & purple cola, mint, tree sap with bark, slightly withering & candied florals that are; dark, red, purple & blue. The acidity is a cool mountain stream. The finish is; nicely knitted, well balanced fruit & earth, elegant, fruit juicy falling onto spice & earth persisting several minutes.
Good...still needs 3-5 years in prison before it gives more back.
12/26/20 Happy Boxing Day! 🎁 — 2 years ago
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. — 4 years ago
2016 delicious on its own. Great with chicken. Not the best with pasta. — 10 months ago
We drove up Howell Mountain to get to Cade two Sundays ago. What we witnessed was a horror show of fire damage. It’s hard to see nature destroyed in such a fashion. What was worse were all the brick chimneys only standing where there were once a home or a winery building.
Glass fire note. The fire investigation revealed the fire was started by a Cakebread electric fence short. An additional saddening note is Dolores Cakebread, the co-founder of Cakebread Cellars died shortly after the Glass Fire started. She was 90. No way to know if the stress of the fire factored into her passing.
The Howell Mountain was showing better than the Estate...rounder & a touch softer. The tannins were big, grainy, meaty, tarry & dry. This needs another 8 years in bottle to shine. I think at that point, it will push more 94-95. Ripe; blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, plum & dark cherries. Showing big wood as well...like sucking on a wood plank. Used dark expresso grounds, leather, graphite, dry tobacco, dry brush, dark chocolate, caramel, dark spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, some black licorice notes. dry, crushed rock powder, dry top soils with fresh, dark, red & purple flowers. The acidity is nicely executed. The finish will take time. It’s good, well balanced but, showing little of the integration I prefer.
Photos of; Cade Estate vines, outside patio tasting area, infinity wall and their Estate Cabernet fruit unharvested. Sadly, about 80-85% of the 2020 Napa Valley Cabernet fruit will never see bottling. — 2 years ago