|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Margaux|
Henri Lurton, the proprietor here, has been working to improve quality in the vineyard with regrafting of Merlot to high quality Cabernet Sauvignon as they look to keep freshness and structure in the wines. The vineyard is now planted with 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Carmenere with the remainder Merlot.
Derived exclusively from the château's holdings on the deep gravel soils of the plateau of Brane, the 2019 Brane-Cantenac has turned out brilliantly and merits a special effort to seek out. Wafting from the glass with aromas of wild berries, pencil shavings, violets, sweet loamy soil and cardamon, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with lively acids, ripe tannins and a beautifully seamless, perfumed profile. Retaining all the estate's signature elegance but with an extra dimension of depth and intensity, it's the finest Brane-Cantenac of the modern era and one of the great successes of the 2019 vintage. Drink Date 2029 - 2065
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc with a dash of Petit Verdot and Carmenere. Deep ruby-purple. The nose is complex and finds pristine balance between succulent blackcurrant fruit, woody herbs, cedar and tobacco. Aromatically enticing with wonderful fragrance. The palate is fine and chalky, initially compact but bursting with weightlessly intense fruit. The structure is highly refined but ageworthy as the fruit is lined with ripe but persistent and chewy tannins. Precise but bursting with character, this is an elegant yet impressive style, led by blue, red and black fruit that is beautifully delineated and very moreish. The fruit builds in power and sweetness through to the finish, highlighting the potential and with each passing month this wine becomes ever better. Everything is in sync on this very impressive Brane Cantenac that will age well for decades. Outstanding.
A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, and 1% Carmenere, the 2019 Brane-Cantenac is deep garnet-purple colored. It reveals beautiful scents of kirsch, juicy blackcurrants, and redcurrant jelly with wafts of roses, Sichuan pepper, clove oil, and wood smoke. Full-bodied, concentrated, and impactful in the mouth, it has a velvety texture and seamless freshness, finishing long and fragrant. It is impressive to see a wine with so much energy!
The 2019 Brane-Cantenac, which was bottled at the beginning of July 2021, takes time to open in the glass. As I mentioned in my tasting note from barrel, this vintage was matured entirely in new oak from several cooperages and inevitably the wood is still present aromatically, though it is completely simpatico with the fruit concentration that the growing season bestowed. (Previously the Grand Vin saw 70%–80% new oak.) The intense bouquet features blackberry, crushed rock, touches of crushed flowers and a hint of lavender. The palate is beautifully balanced with layers of red berry fruit, orange peel, cedar and just a touch of graphite. As I said in my previous assessment, it does not set out to be a powerful Brane-Cantenac, which means that it retains a fine elegance toward the finish and a touch of white pepper mixed with clove on the aftertaste. (Still) excellent. 14.1% alcohol. Drink 2028-2060.
This shows lots of currant, chocolate, tobacco and herbal aromas and flavors. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, chewy tannins and a juicy finish. Refined and complex. Needs at least four or five years to come together. Better after 2025.
Well handled and well placed fruits, this remains a little restrained now, but on opening up you get crushed stone and black pepper spice that adds a gourmet edge to the just-smoked oak. Extremely high quality, delivering on its En Primeur promise. 100% new oak.
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Carmenère, 1% Petit Verdot.
Dark glowing crimson. Intense and full of life! Gonzague Lurton's reforms seem to be paying off in a vibrant wine that soars above the median. Dry, savoury, long finish and lots of leathery interest on the way there. Tannins are very well covered by the array of fruit and veg flavours. 14.1%
Drink 2026 – 2043
The 2019 is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc with a dash of Petit Verdot and Carmenere. Winemaking has been updated here with a gravity-fed cellar of small wooden vats and the airpulse used for more even and quick extraction of colour and tannin. The oak has been increased to 100% new for this vintage, for 18 months. The yield is 50hl/ha, similar to 2016 and 2018. Deep purple in colour with superb aromatics - there is an interplay between fresh blackcurrant, toasty wood and savoury spice. The palate is finely etched, the black fruit of blackcurrant and dark cherries to the fore. The tannins are chalky but in harmony with the fruit, giving a silky mouthfeel. There is real precision but clear intensity and matière here. A very fine, very classic expression with superb lift and purity.
One of the standout Margaux, the 2019 Château Brane-Cantenac shows more elegance and finesse in its tannins and structure than most. Giving up a beautifully complex nose of cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as cedary spice and spring flowers, it's medium to full-bodied on the palate, has a seamless mouthfeel, beautiful purity and precision, and a great finish. This is certainly the finest vintage I’ve tasted from this Chateau, surpassing even the 2018, although comparing these two vintages side by side over the coming years will be a true treat. Drink this beauty any time over the coming 20-25 years.
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Carmenère, 1% Petit Verdot. Barrel sample.
Beautifully fresh and fragrant on both the nose and the palate. Intense but refined dark-fruit, spice and floral aromas and flavour. A touch of sweetness on attack then velvety texture and tannins. Clean, persistent finish. Great balance. The epitome of fine Margaux. Shades of the 2016? (JL)
Drink 2027 – 2045
This shows exotic aromas of blackberries, wet earth, chocolate and fresh basil leaves. It’s full-bodied with round, creamy tannins and a flavorful finish. Intriguing and real on the palate.
A thoroughly moreish and high-quality Brane Cantenac, this is silky and seductive with impressive extraction of the tannins giving backbone and support to brambled and cassis fruits. Plenty of crushed stone and spice to add a gourmet edge alongside the just-smoked oak. Extremely high quality and one of the best Branes I've tasted at this stage. 3% of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc complete the blend. For the first time, all of the plots for this wine come from the plateau de Brane just in front of the château, a reflection of how well this terroir withstood the heat of the summer. Drinking Window 2029 - 2046.