My third Almaviva vintage and another bullseye. This one takes a bit longer to open up than the ‘14 and is a little sweeter and fruitier than the ‘09. Very smooth from the get go and fruit develops over the first hour and continues to come to life. Aromas of blackberry, spice and liquorice with faint caramel and vanilla. On day two the wine has really hit its stride (shame there’s only a glass left). Wonderful addition of pipe tobacco, leather and violet. Dark and opulent, so far Almaviva can do no wrong. Onwards to ‘15 which is a 100 pointer. — 4 days ago
The nose reveals, ripe, lush, ruby, dark cherries, plum, bake strawberries, pepper, dark spice, mocha dark chocolate, limestone minerals, some black licorice, black cherry cola and bright dark florals.
The body is full, thick & rich. The fruits are ruby & lush. dark cherries, plum, bake strawberries, pepper, deep, dark spice, leather, crushed dry rocks, dry river stone, mocha dark chocolate, limestone minerals, strong presence of volcanic minerals, some black licorice, forest floor, black cherry cola and bright dark florals. The acidity is round and beautiful. The long, well balanced, ruby, elegant finish is fantastic and lasts minerals.
One of the better & unique primarily Cabernet Francs I’ve had in awhile. Also, made at Wheeler Farms.
Photos of. Wheeler Farms, Boucher red grape press, spicy devil eggs made for us by their chef and the side outdoor sitting area and Estate vines. — 10 days ago
Being that I was around 2 years ago to see Courtney in crutches, this wine was especially funny to me because he got his inspiration from his unfortunate accident while biking. He is also a big Bordeaux wine fan, so this wine is a blend of Merlot, then Cabernet Franc, and a touch of petit verdot all from the Stag's Leap district. Drinks like a Napa version of Larcis Ducas - delicious. — 2 days ago
Слива, виноградная пастила, черешневый компот, пионы, сладкая мята, кедр, сушеные грибы, палая листва, мел, легкий тон старой бочки. Среднее тело со сбалансированной кислотностью и аккуратными, ещё активными танинами. Объемный аромат с красивой лаковой летучкой. Вкус одновременно развитый, с благородными третичными нюансами, и одновременно очень свежий и сочный. Мягко, живо и без тяжести, но с ощутимой структурой. Выразительное, динамичное вино в прекрасной зрелой форме. — 8 days ago
Monthly WTF wine group. Special event this month as Ben provided all ‘80s Napa cabs. A few of us chipped in and provided some whites/bubbly.
Some VA on the nose prevented this from pushing ahead. Very slight though. Fruit was quite dense. Palate alone was worthy of admission. — 7 hours ago
Victoria from Bevan Cellars came to town and put on a wonderful tasting of some current releases.
Tasting this side by side to the Sugarloaf was a fun way to see the different site expressions. I preferred this over the Sugarloaf at first pour (but the Sugarloaf barely inched it out in the end). Lovely aromatics kudos to the CF. Dusty fruit with lavender and fresh squeezed blackberries. These cabs were only bottled in April and even with a 4-hr decant, they drank well (Bevan signature style). — 5 days ago
Dedicating this review to @lawyerdrummer on Instagram who’s on tour away from his kids & just dedicated his first Clos Mogador to me on Vivino “Rock and Roll Wino” 🤗
Latest vintage of one of my favourite Priorats we grabbed in 🇪🇸 for €69 (£74 in 🇬🇧) & it’s sure loaded with potential 😉 Good but give 5-10 years & it’s a 😈 that will reward big time 😍 I still think the 2013 has an edge 😎 the 2015 needs more time for minerality to ease 👍 opens to a typical choc cherry gateaux 😋
📍 Clos Mogador 2015
🏵 94-95 points w/ more penitential aged
🍇 45% Grenache, 29% Carignan, 16% Syrah & 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
🍷 Opaque blackened ruby w/ purple tint
👃 Peppered blackcurrant & dark cherry in creamy cocoa w/ soft oak, mineral rocks, raspberry, purple flowers, blueberry, coffee, liquorice & herbs
👄 Med+ body of rich ripe smooth blackcurrant & dark cherry in dry minerals & raspberry chocolate cake in fine dry tannins w/ nicely integrated oak
🎯 Long mineral infused touch dry dark berry & cherry cocoa cream purple teeth stain w/ a red & purple liquorice kicker
— 11 days ago
Victoria from Bevan Cellars came to town and put on a wonderful tasting of some current releases.
See my note on the EE for my thoughts on the comparison. This seemed closed at first so I initially favored the EE, but the CF aromatics here won me over by the end of the night. Explosive nose full of rich blackberries and spice. Potpourri too. Velvet like finish. These cabs were only bottled in April and even with a 4-hr decant, they drank well (Bevan signature style). — 5 days ago
I’ve had tasting pours on two occasions, but my first time sitting down with a bottle over several nights. Seemed ready to go on pop and pour. Fruit forward, but not heavy or jammy. Medium bodied and lighter than expected for the 15.5% ABV. Delicious- not sure I understand AG’s “not recommended” call on these wines. — 4 days 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 days ago