2008 Cru Classé Margaux
Much more subtle and supple than recent vintages - balanced and with finesse of raspberry and blackberry fruit, nice acidity weight and texture. Possibly a bit too high-toned, but definitely elegant - but not very long. Rating: 87-87 L&S (Apr 2009)
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Rating: 90-92 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Apr 2009)
Very deep crimson. Intense black berries – elderberries? - on the nose. Lots of acidity. And a strange lack of concentration. A little light, green and mild. Chewy finish. Just a bit raw overall. Fast fade. 2013-19 Rating: 15.5+ Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2009)
Like the Brane-Cantenac, this is rather muffled on the nose, lacking clarity and fruit intensity although with aeration some pleasant blackberry and briary notes emerge. Very woody though. The palate is medium-bodied, high acidity, sharp and pointed with bitter cherry, brambly fruits, black olives leading to a rather austere, woody finish. Rating: 83-85 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (Apr 2009)
Aromas of mineral, blackberry and licorice. Full- to medium-bodied, with a solid core of fruit and fine tannins. Rating: 87-90 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2009)
Dense black-red, richly concentrated, smoky blackcurrant fruit, similar richness on the palate in a solidly robust style. Drink 2014-20. Rating: 16*** www.decanter.com (Apr 2009)
Château Cantenac Brown
Margaux Troisième cru 1855 In 1754 Jacques Boyd, who was of Irish descent, bought the estate that he would call, quite logically, Château Boyd. In 1806 he sold to a John Lewis Brown, of Scottish descent and the owner of Château Brown (in Pessac-Léognan). Some confusion then arises as the Cantenac property was also often referred to as Château Brown. Some grand parties followed at the newly-built tudor-style mansion before bankruptcy forced the sale of the estate in 1843. By the time of the 1855 classification, it was once again known as Château Boyd. Some time during the 19th Century, a portion of Château Boyd was divided off and, under the ownership of Armand Lalande (who also owned Château Leoville Poyferré), the impressive and unusual château that adorns the label was built and the name Cantenac-Brown was settled upon. The remainder of the estate went on to become Château Boyd-Cantenac. The period from the end of the 19th Century to the latter half of the 20th is a familiar story of decline. Salvation appeared when AXA Millésimes bought Cantenac-Brown in 1989, and they made great improvements to the estate, so it was a surprise when they sold to a British businessman Simon Halabi in 2006. The Cantenac-Brown rennaissance continues, however, under the new ownership. The 42ha of vineyard, farmed "in a more environmentally friendly way", are composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. The Grand Vin spends 12 to 15 months in wood, of which 50% is new and the other 50% one year old. There is a second wine - BRIO de Cantenac Brown.
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