2018 Margaux Château Brane-Cantenac

Grapes Cab Franc, Merlot, Cab Sauv
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Margaux
ABV 14%

60% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Carménère. While some Margaux properties suffered in the heat, the clay-gravel soils of Brane-Cantenac retained just enough water to keep the vines refreshed. The natural ripeness of the vintage has helped this Baron reach new heights, mainly because of some 'very expressive Merlot'. This is a juicy, fruit-forward wine that could be drunk well in its youth but also has the structure and density to age. We just loved its freshness and beautiful Margaux fragrance. Another terrific second wine that should not be overlooked. Drinking range: 2023 - 2030 L&S (Apr 2019)

*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles of wine (or 9 litre equivalent) or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified (4.5 litres) to get the discounted 'case price' for each bottle.

The second wine of Brane-Cantenac, the 2018 Baron De Brane is a blend of 60% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Carménère brought up in 25% new French oak. Another beautiful second wine (the vintage is packed with truly thrilling second wines), it offers a rounded, sexy profile as well as terrific notes of blackcurrants, spice box, and earth, with hints of graphite. Layered, silky and pure on the palate, it's an already delicious effort to drink over the coming decade or more. Rating: 90-92 Jeb Dunnuck, (May 2019)

Tight and polished with a beautiful center palate and density. Full-bodied, ripe and polished. Really delicious fruit to this. Strawberries and currants abound. Wonderful second wine of Brane. Rating: 91-92 James Suckling, (Apr 2019)

The 2018 Baron de Brane is rich and luscious in the glass. Succulent red cherry and ripe red plum fruit are pushed forward in a soft, racy Margaux that will drink beautifully upon release. The radiance of the vintage comes through nicely, and yet there is a good bit of freshness as well. The blend is 60% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Carmenère. Rating: 89-91 Antonio Galloni, (Apr 2019)

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.

Super Six Christmas Case

This selection gets straight to the point: six fantastic wines that could play a leading role in any Christmas line-up. There's Blanc de Blancs Champagne, Burgundy, Loire, Bordeaux, Brunello & a new-world superstar in the form of Josh Cooper's elegant Pinot Noir.

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