A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot, the Cantenac Brown has plenty of blackcurrant and raspberry fruit on the nose with fine definition and nicely integrated oak. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly chalky, rigid tannins. It is quite a masculine, almost Saint Julien like Margaux but there is certainly respectable persistency on the peppery finish. Rating: 89-91 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (May 2013)
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The 2012 Cantenac Brown, one of the most impressive Margaux I tasted, is the complete package – from the initial attack to the layered, rich finish. Dense ruby/purple-hued with notes of licorice, mulberries, black currants, asphalt and spring flowers, this medium to full-bodied, concentrated, rich effort does not reveal an excess of rusticity or astringency. It should drink well for 10-15 years. This under-the-radar chateau never receives much attention even though it is the beneficiary of a new, conscientious proprietor. 2013 - 2028 Rating: 90-93 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Apr 2013)
Dense colour, masses of ripe cassis fruit, ripe tannins, a robust flavourful wine. Drink: 2016 - 2025. Rating: 16.75 Steven Spurrier(Apr 2013)
Very discreet nose. Sweet start and nicely balanced but not especially distinctive. Ticks the boxes. Rather drying oak on the end. 2020 - 2030. Rating: 16 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2013)
Rating: 17 Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com(Apr 2013)
Pure, ripe and engaging, with lovely notes of floral and bergamot leading to a core of succulent plum, boysenberry and blackberry fruit. A good underpinning of iron is buried on the finish. Rating: 91-94 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2013)
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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