Ch芒teau Brane-Cantenac

France, Bordeaux

Margaux Deuxi猫me cru 1855 The estate was originally called Ch芒teau Gorce after the family that owned it in he 18th Century, but the story really begins with its purchase by Baron Hector de Brane in 1833. Baron Hector was a well-known figure in the area, earning himself the nickname "Napol茅on of the the Vines" and so keen was he to own Ch芒teau Gorce that he sold Ch芒teau Brane-Mouton in Pauillac to finance the purchase. Quite how much wisdom there was in ridding himself of the what was to become Ch芒teau Mouton-Rothschild in order to secure the ownership of a slightly under-performing Second Growth property is debatable, but at the time the wines of the estate were consistently highly(ish) ranked. From the late 19th Century onward Brane-Cantenac followed a familiar Bordelais downward spiral. In 1920, it was purchased by the Societ茅 des Grand Crus de France, owners of (among others) Ch芒teau Margaux. In 1925, ownership passed to L茅once R茅capet and his son-in-law Fran莽ois Lurton, but the real rennaissance of Brane-Cantenac came in 1956 when Fran莽ois' son - the great Lucien Lurton - took over. Today, his son Henri Lurton continues to run Ch芒teau Brane-Cantenac. The period of Lurton ownership has been good to Brane-Cantenac, and the wines are consistent good performers although not really ranking alongside the best Second Growths of the Haut-M茅doc, but this probably says more about the relevance of the 1855 classification than it does about the terroir and wines of Ch芒teau Brane-Cantenac. Brane-Cantenac sits south-west of the village of Cantenac, next to Cantenac-Brown. There are 75ha of vineyard given over to 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4.5% Cabernet Franc and a very unusual 0.5% Carmenere. The Grand Vin spends 18 months in wood, of which 50% is new every year. The second wine is called Baron de Brane in honour of Baron Hector who put the estate on the map in the early 19th Century.