Médoc, Bordeaux

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.
— 8 days ago

Shay, Paul and 26 others liked this
David T

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

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

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@Tom Casagrande 🤣 Thank you!

Château Lanessan

Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend 2005

Really trying to get into the LCS but it is a struggle! Enjoying this ‘05 that has plenty left, though it is the last of the six I acquired 10 years ago. Impressively dark in the glass with dirt on the nose. Glycerin, dark berries and a chewy, thick palate. Gripping tannins hang on through the finish. Wish I’d have waited until 2028! — 4 days ago

Phil, Shay and 11 others liked this

Château La Tour Carnet

Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend 2009

We are together again sharing the 2009 Château La Tour Carnet on this Sunday night. A beautifully blended Bordeaux 62% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.

On the nose there is black and red fruit, blackberry, black cherry, raspberry, black currant, chocolate, licorice, rose petal, graphite and earth.

The palate reveals wonderfully full dark fruit, blackberry, black cherry, raspberry, black currant, green bell pepper, mint, graphite and a mellow toasted vanilla.

This enjoyable medium to full bodied wine is smooth with a velvety mouth feel, a medium + acidity and medium + rounded tannins that lead to a long gratifying finish. What a way to start the new week with a gorgeous 2009 vintage wine from Bordeaux. This vintage continues to rock. And the wine is highly accessible now but can be cellared for another 5-8 years. Have a great coming week and please be safe. Nostrovia! 🍷🍷🍷🍷
— 14 days ago

Severn, Ron and 15 others liked this

Château Clerc Milon

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 2005

One of my favourite well priced Pauillacs @ £55 in a great year that keeps evolving lovely 👍 I’ve always loved the label and we call it “The dancing men” 😁 what do you think they’re doing?

🏵 94 points

🍇 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot & 12% Cabernet Franc

🍷 Opaque blackened ruby

👃 Crushed wet minerals & pencil lead through soft elegant smoked oaky black berries w/ spiced plum jam , light mocha, herby tea, soggy earth & wet autumn leaves

👄 Med bodied smooth rich mocha infused & earthy driven dark berries & plum with a soft liquorice tone

🎯 Med+ earthy mocha dark berry liquorice slight dry mineral linger w/ a black tea smackeroony
— 4 days ago

Chris, Kimberly and 29 others liked this

Château Cantenac Brown

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend 2006

1/2 bottle of '06 for my wedding anniversary at Bouchon Bistro. Coincidentally, it was also Thomas Keller's birthday, AND the 20th anniversary of Bouchon Bistro being open - meant to be! 06 is drinking very nicely.. black cherry balsamic reduction, stewed black plums, decayed purple flower petals, velvety and grainy tannins, beautiful mouthfeel. — 5 days ago

Matt Trader,, Ted and 18 others liked this
Stephen Pierron

Stephen Pierron

Nice!!! Happy Anniversary!
TheSkip

TheSkip

Love Bouchon!!!!
Sean Herriott

Sean Herriott

@Matt Trader, TWP Happy Anniversary! Glad u got to experience Amici Bootcamp. We'll see Bob on Monday😀

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! 🍷🍷🍷🍷
— 7 days ago

Ken, Robert and 14 others liked this

Closeries des Moussis

Baragane Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend 2014

Красная слива, сок красной и чёрной смородины, голубика, тертый зелёный лист, мел, сланец, лакрица. Среднее тело с высокой кислотностью и заметными, но не царапающимися танинами. Ещё очень молодо и первично, с акцентом на фрукт и благородным минеральным оттенком. Тугая и холодная концентрация со сжатой внутренней энергией в ярком и сочном ягодном ядре. Естественно и чисто, без грязи. — 7 days ago

ie Rin
with ie and Rin
Fredybeans, Brian and 6 others liked this
Fredybeans

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Great wine
Winery in progress
Riddley Walker

Riddley Walker

Yes, absolutely, they’ve definitely piqued my interest. I’m curious to try their white wine as well, though it’s impossible to find around here. @Fredybeans

Château Giscours

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend 2009

A reliable Margaux in a great vintage @ £58-£78 that’s drinking good but still will improve given time 😉

📍 Chateau Giscours 2009 Margaux

🏵 94 points

🍇 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 2.5% Cabernet Franc & 2.5% Petit Verdot

🍷 Opaque deep ruby

👃 Grab a whisk & mix up some chocolate, rock minerals, damson plums, blackcurrant & blackberries then sprinkle in some oak, soggy earth, ground herbs, dried meats & liquorice chunks then you smell this chewy nose filler

👄 Med silky smooth body of liquorice, mocha & mineral infused dark plum & berries w/ a touch of mineral dryness & dark olive

🎯 Med+ dark fruit mocha liquorice mineral elegant silky kiss
— 2 days ago

Chris, Aaron and 22 others liked this
Dick Schinkel

Dick Schinkel

Lovely indeed 👍🍷

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. — 8 days ago

Sylvain, David and 28 others liked this
Phil A

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

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Badass in a Glass to say the least!!!

Château Lynch-Bages

Echo de Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 2015

Baby killer! 2015 vintage. Cherry and Black pepper notes on the nose. Cherry, cranberry, cinnamon and black pepper. Has softened considerably in the first 30 minutes, almost velvety. Needs a ton more time, but will be worth the wait. Update: more graphite on the finish. — 9 days ago

Chad Anderson
with Chad
Eric, Paul and 34 others liked this
Severn Goodwin

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Bought futures on '16! Excited for them to arrive!
David T

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15 is such a great vintage.