Margaux, Médoc

Château Brane-Cantenac

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend 2005

David T
9.4

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. — 12 days ago

Eric, Jason and 37 others liked this
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Severn Goodwin That all depends on what you have in your cellar or temp controlled cabinets on the way to patience. Had a 70 at the Cordeillan Bages in 07 that was near perfect. This will be so much better when it hits the same age. 👍
Severn Goodwin

Severn Goodwin

Great write up, when I first saw this you were only one paragraph in. Thanks.
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Severn Goodwin Thank you. I thought it was particularly interesting he sold Mouton to buy Brane Cantenac. Too bad he did have a magic 8 ball to predict the future.

Château Margaux

Pavillon Rouge Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend 2005

David T
9.3

Second wine of Margaux from a very good vintage. Still an adolescent. This would fool many blind. Very young, ripe, fresh and unresolved with loads of baking spices. At this stage, it seems more new world than old world. It going to take 10 years plus to show it’s Margaux elegance. Even after four hours in decanter. Dark currants. Ripe blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, black plum, strawberries pull up the rear, deep spice, clove, nutmeg, light vanilla, violets, red florals, tannins still big and fairly chewy. Cedar, tobacco, graphite, dry river stones, dark moist turned earth, leather, dry herbs/bay leaf, black licorice, caramel, dry stems, cherry cola, red licorice, fresh dark florals with violets, good acidity, big structure, tension, length but well balanced. The finish is still big, fruit driven with with strong dark rich earthy backside. @Charlie Palmer disappointing steak house — 5 days ago

James, Sofia and 27 others liked this
David T

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@TheSkip This is not made by Palmer. Its made by Chateau Margaux. This will be a great wine one day. However, it just going to take longer than it has than any other Pavilion Rouges I’ve had. Also, longer than most 2nd wines and 05’s I’ve had at this point.
TheSkip

TheSkip

I was referring to your Charlie Palmer comment
David T

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This one is relatively new in Napa. It was the first time we have eaten there. They sat us 25 minutes late. They told us they forgot the bacon for salads. Then, comeback and said, “They were out of bacon.” The salad was way over dressed. The Ribeye steak just not that good period. Beyond that, it was 50% fat. I also had to send it back twice because it was mooing. The potato purée was really mashed potatoes and just not good at all. I can only tell you this was our experience and we won’t be going back. Worst steak experience I’ve had out. There are two better steakhouses in Napa...Cole’s & Press in that order. Both good but certainly not the best I’ve had.

Château du Tertre

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend 2001

Dense red color. The nose however is brightly open and expressive, exuberant I’m tempted to say. Bursting aromas of herbs combine with vibrant raspberry jam in a dancing frenzy, delighting the nose. Very soft and refined palate, with some density but an outstanding finesse to the feel. This 2001 shines brighter than many, utter finesse and elegance, great and ready to drink, but an hour decanting would be my suggestions; it only gets better with time. — 2 months ago

Mike liked this

Château Lascombes

Chevalier de Lascombes Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend 2000

Nicely mellowed, fragrance of dark red fruit, stones, cobbles and calcaire. Very distinctive style of Margeaux drinks very well. — 18 days ago

Jim, Chris and 4 others liked this

Château Giscours

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend 2013

This was concentrated and dense firm with plenty of structured tannins along with warm, ripe blackberry fruit. Should develop well. — 5 days ago

Ben
with Ben
Shay and Bret liked this

Château Lascombes

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend 2013

L'Express is a simple French bistro in Flatiron that is as uncomplicated as it is delightful. And it does corkage. I brought along this 2013 Lascombes. It wasn't much to speak of at first but throughout the meal the wine started to open up rather nicely. By the last glass this wine was as uncomplicated as it was delightful. — a day ago

Cara Zimmerman
with Cara
Neil, Keith and 6 others liked this

Château Margaux

Margaux Premier Grand Cru Classé Red Bordeaux Blend 1978

Red & back berry fruit, damp earth, leather very elegant & floral with a perfumed nose of rose petal & violets. Can’t imagine this getting better by holding as it seems fully mature. — 8 days ago

Shay, Ira and 13 others liked this

Château Palmer

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend 1999

David T
9.5

While not the highest scoring wine of the weekend, it was my favorite. The 99 Palmer is gorgeously textured, sexy, velvet in the mouth, nicely rounded subtle dark red cassis, mint, menthol, dry stones, dark florals, forest floor, smoke, soft leather, iodine, fresh floral bouquet, beautiful round acidity and a well balanced elegant finish. Paired nicely with our Ribeye and rack of lamb. Still needed a two hour decant. If you have the 99, I’d hold it another 10 years if you have the patience. — 18 days ago

Jason, Sofia and 28 others liked this

Château Rauzan-Ségla

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend 2008

17/20 (92/100) Вино с ароматами желе из красной смородины, спелой вишни, кедра, ментола, лакрицы и шоколада. Довольно тельное и кислотное вино с замшевыми по текстуре танинами. Отлично! — 2 days ago

Mikhail liked this

Château Bel Air-Marquis d'Aligre

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend 1986

After a 8 hours decant, this wine awakes with a very delicate and wonderful nose and taste, I love these wines, remember a Big glass is needed, more oxygen the better🍷 — 2 months ago