2005 2ème Cru Classé Margaux

Grapes Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Merlot
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Margaux
Classification 2ème Cru Classé

Fragrant nose, full of wood, interesting, very silky and fresh, great seamless purity and delicacy of expression, still with enough body, richness and length. Like the 2004 (but even better), this seems to embody the concept of the floral, feminine style of Margaux. Crisply delineated, fat and very long. Concentrated, mineral cassis and blackberry, very pure. Extraordinarily long and complete. Rating: 93-93 L&S (Apr 2006)

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Good deep ruby-red. Deep aromas of plum, dark cherry, minerals, chocolate and flowers. Juicy, bright and unforced; not particularly fleshy but intense and subtle, with lovely penetration and cut. Finishes aromatic and persistent, with building tannins and a suggestion of black olive. This should put on weight as it ages in bottle. (May/June 2007) Rating: 90-92 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar(May 2007)

A magnificent effort, the 2005 is the greatest Brane-Cantenac I have tasted. Even more compelling than it was last year, it admirably demonstrates why this was such a highly regarded property in the middle of the 19th century. Boasting a dense purple color, stunning sweetness, and a glorious perfume of spring flowers, lead pencil shavings, black cherry jam, and blackberries, it is an elegantly styled wine with gorgeous concentration, superb harmony, beautifully integrated tannin and acidity, and an expansive, long finish. Yet, the overall impression is one of finesse, elegance, and serious flavor concentration. While it will undoubtedly last 30 years or more, it is hard to know whether it will close down or become more drinkable. I recommend giving it 3-4 years of bottle age and drinking it over the following two and a half decades. Rating: 93-95 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, 2007)

Less of a vast increase than many, and a lovely wine in the fragrant Margaux style - strongly recommended- post price-release comment(Jun 2006)

I have been unimpressed by recent vintages of Brane-Cantenac, but this is a great success. A limpid deep black/purple hue. An intense, quite broody nose of blackberry, iodine and hedgrow. The palate is very vigorous and focused with fine tannins and impressive delineation. Blueberry and cassis towards the finish, perhaps an "animally" element that might evolve after bottling? Certainly a complex wine, that restores my faith in this venerable Margaux estate. Rating: 22/25 Neal Martin, 2006)

Medium ruby-red. Fruit-driven aromas of boysenberry and blackberry. Spicy, sappy and very fresh, with penetrating flavors of dark berries complemented by a chocolatey richness. I find this quite primary and unformed today, even a bit brutal and tarry, perhaps due to the extraction. And yet this manages to avoid hardness. Tricky to assess but appears to offer very good potential. Rating: 87-90 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar(May 2006)

Deep colour with a fragrant lift of ripe Cabernet Sauvignon, shows strength of flavour without heaviness, leafy, very Margaux, long lingering finish. Drink 2010-25. Rating: ****/18 2006)

Bright berry and currant aromas with hints of minerals follow through to a full-bodied palate, with fine tannins and a medium finish. Balanced wine. Rating: 89-91 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator(May 2006)

Full, sweet, porty, almost overripe notes (unusual for Margaux 2005). Something feral almost. All ripe fruit and not much structure, plus a bit sweet and unappetising on the finish. Fruit juice rather than wine. Not sophisticated or deep though certainly a very easy drink. 2012-18 Rating: 15.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - 2006)

This dark plum/ruby-tinged Margaux displays a rich bouquet of dried herbs, truffles, meat juices, plums, anise, and black currants. Medium to full-bodied and complex, with a savory, broad, expansive mouthfeel, undeniable elegance, good freshness, and a long, moderately tannic finish, it requires 3-4 years of bottle age (or more if it closes down). It should evolve gracefully for 25+ years. Rating: 94-94 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, 2006)

Château Brane-Cantenac

Margaux Deuxième cru 1855 The estate was originally called Château 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 "Napoléon of the the Vines" and so keen was he to own Château Gorce that he sold Château Brane-Mouton in Pauillac to finance the purchase. Quite how much wisdom there was in ridding himself of the what was to become Château 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 Societé des Grand Crus de France, owners of (among others) Château Margaux. In 1925, ownership passed to Léonce Récapet and his son-in-law François Lurton, but the real rennaissance of Brane-Cantenac came in 1956 when François' son - the great Lucien Lurton - took over. Today, his son Henri Lurton continues to run Château 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-Médoc, but this probably says more about the relevance of the 1855 classification than it does about the terroir and wines of Château 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.

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