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CHÂTEAU BRANE-CANTENAC

2015 2ème Cru Classé Margaux

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Margaux
Classification 2ème Cru Classé

70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 1% Carmenère. Bright blue-edged purple completely bright and clear. Limpid to look at and in its expression. Fresh, silky and cool, this has real character and sense of place. Fine tannins, and a lovely clinging length to the scented ripe blackberry fruit. Very very pretty, it may not be the last word in concentration, but it is fabulously elegant and pure. Rating: 92-93 L&S (Apr 2016)


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Quite impressive ripe dark plums and blackberries with sweet, earthy depth and cedary background oak on the nose. The palate has smooth, slick tannins that carry rich dark fruit long and fresh. This has terrific energy and depth. Really vibrant. Incredible length. Drinking range: 2022 - Rating: 94 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Feb 2018)

One of a line-up of impressive Margaux in 2015, Brane-Cantenac is at its most textured and well balanced here. The bramble, cedar wood and blackcurrant flavours are complemented by attractive oak, medium weight tannins and vibrant, palate-cleansing acidity. Drinking range: 2022 - 2032 Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (May 2016)

The 2015 Brane-Cantenac is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Carmenère that was picked from 17 September until 7 October (that Carmenère was actually picked on 19 October). It was cropped at 51 hl/ha. This is classic Brane-Cantenac down the line: austere at first, almost aloof, but very well defined and over time it starts revealing lovely tobacco-stained black fruit. The palate is very well balanced with raspberry and wild strawberry on the entry, perhaps more red fruit than I was anticipating. Veins of undergrowth and cedar are in situ on this very well-balanced, reserved and classic Margaux boasting a long and persistent finish that feels satisfying, reassuring even. Not a Margaux for those that seek tons of fruit, it is nonetheless a very terroir-expressive wine that will repay those who know that this cru demands preferably 12-15 years in the cellar. Henri Lurton never wavers from his style of Margaux and it pays dividends here on this great wine for those with patience. Drinking range: 2030 - 2060 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2016)

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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