Playing a bit of hide and seek on the day but tasted an hour later, it had clearly broken cover. It’s a solid, broad shouldered wine at first but not overbearing in anyway in this vintage. A lovely fresh drive of cassis and cherry fruit, with good density and tension. Very precise and compact and a cedary, balanced, sweet finish makes it, as ever, a very attractive buy from Margaux. Rating: 91-92 L&S (Apr 2017)
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A solid step up and a brilliant Margaux, the 2016 Cantenac Brown checks in as 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Merlot raised in 60% new French oak. Black cherries, currants, smoke tobacco, graphite, and hints of earth all emerge from this beautifully layered, medium-bodied, and concentrated 2016 that shines for its purity and precision, while still offering beautiful depth of fruit. Give it 3-4 years and enjoy this fabulous effort over the following 2-3 decades. Drinking range: 2022 - 2052 Rating: 93+ Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com(Feb 2019)
The 2016 Cantenac Brown comes from a Margaux estate that has upped its game in recent years. It has an intense bouquet with floral aromas filtering through the black cherries, cassis and boysenberry notes, in an odd way almost Saint-Emilion in style. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin. Silky smooth with very well-judged acidity, there is a sorbet-like freshness imbued into this Margaux and it just glides across the palate towards the quite sensual finish. This is certainly equal to the impressive 2015 Cantenac Brown. Drinking range: 2022 - 2045 Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(May 2017)
Dark crimson. Relatively high VA. Thick and sweet but with a green edge. Not the most generous nor the ripest Margaux. Falls away pretty suddenly on the palate. An attempt at glamour certainly. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040 Rating: 16+ Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2017)
Focused, with a light brambly frame around the juicy plum and blackberry fruit. Fresh bay and singed juniper notes line the finish. Nicely integrated and showing solid range. Well done. Rating: 91-94 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2017)
A young red with lovely density and richness defined by currant and light coffee-bean character. Medium to full body and lightly chewy tannins. Lots here in the glass. Rating: 93-94 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Apr 2017)
This is an elegant and beautifully balanced wine with plush damson aromatics and a punch of fruit that is totally captivating. The soft but extensive tannins of 2016 are fully on display, lush and well-worked. There is some charcoal and liquorice sitting underneath, with the wet stone minerality that always elevates a wine up to the next level. Very good. Drinking range: 2027 - 2050 Rating: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter(Apr 2017)
The 2016 Cantenac Brown is a powerful, intense wine, but it also comes across as a bit monolithic. There is plenty of depth to the inky red cherry, raspberry jam and spice notes. The tannins are present, but they are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. Today, the 2016 comes across as very raw and fruit-driven. It will be interesting to see how things develop. Rating: 89-92 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Apr 2017)
This AXA-owned property has made a classically scented, elegant Margaux in 2016, with notes of fresh tobacco and summer berries, savoury tannins and well integrated oak. The acidity provides length and balance on the finish. Drinking range: 2022 - 2031 Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, Jamie Oliver Magazine(Apr 2017)
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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