Having been through many iterations since its establishment in the early 17th century, what we know today as Chateau Brane Cantenac has well and truly settled into itself and become something extraordinary.
Taking its name from the man knows as the “Napoleon of the Vineyards”, the Baron of Brane, who purchased it in 1833, the chateau has passed through several hands, finally coming to rest in the hands of Lucien Lurton in 1956. Under the Lurton family large portions of the vineyard were replanted, vine densities increased, drainage systems improved and the plantings evolved into their current varietals.
The 2016 release has garnered a huge response from critics, with James Suckling naming it “one of the best ever” from the chateau, and Jancis Robinson praising its “Cool, unforced and sophisticated” delivery as “Very competent indeed.”
Only 37% of the production made it in to the 2009 Brane Cantenac (slightly lower than most properties because the fruit was so good). This is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 7% Cabernet Franc, with a pH of 3.87 and finished alcohol of 13.2%. It is another offering that reveals no evidence of wood even though 70% new oak barrels were utilized. A dense plum/purple color is followed by a lovely perfume of flowers, boysenberries, black cherries, and black currants. Seamless in the mouth with stunning concentration, a seductive style, an exquisite Margaux delicacy, and levels of richness and intensity I have never before seen in Brane Cantenac, it should drink effortlessly for 30+ years. 93-95/100 Robert Parker Jr.
Deep colour. Intense and pretty blackcurrant/ liquorice/ violet aromas with touch of aniseed. The palate is classically proportioned with cassis/ cedar flavours, fine grained tannins and sustained violet notes. This is one of my picks of the vintage. 92-94/100 Andrew Caillard, MW Langton's