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Brane Cantenac 2017 and 2018




Our team's deep understanding of Brane-Cantenac is rooted in the meticulous analysis of the first vertical tasting(1996 to 2006) and the second vertical tasting (2000 to 2018), hosted by Owner Henri Lurton years back at the esteemed KCC Wine Society. Comparing this little write-up's 2017 and 2018 vintages was difficult, but our expertise allowed us to discern their unique qualities. Given the ripe and generous temperament of both vintages, Brane-Cantenac 2017 and 2018 are consistent:


  1. The 2017 and 2018 vintages of Brane-Cantenac are a deep ruby with a tight, narrow rim; they exude the aromas of strawberry and red cherry fruit, layered with tobacco and incense notes. The palate is a delightful blend of juiciness and roundedness, cut by a refreshing acidity that lends a cooler, brighter edge to the black fruit at the core. The oak is integrated but smoky, with hints of roasted coffee beans and bonfire. The finish is vibrant, juicy, long and savoury. The attack is complete, robust, and intense, leading to a highly structured mid-palate. Both vintages stay perfumy through our 'drinking'. The fruit profile turns even darker, with a long, leathery, liquorice, oaky finish.

  2. The last drop gives a smooth, silky, feminine tenderness(!) of true Cantenac character.

  3. Both vintages are formed from a blend of 74% cabernet sauvignon, 21% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot, with an ABV of roughly 13.5%


Turning to the 2017 vintage, Wine Enthusiast awarded it 96 points, describing the 'wood'(70% new) palpable, with firm tannins and dense black fruit. This indicates a wine with power, superb concentration, and generous blackberry fruits. JS awarded it 94, emphasizing the value of a tight, focused centre palate for this red with blackberries, dark chocolate, hazelnuts, and smoke-medium to the entire body- with polished tannins and a juicy, lightly chewy mouthfeel. The wine's flavour profile is a delightful blend of these elements, creating a uniquely memorable experience.   


Regarding 2018, RP awarded it 95 and discussed the broad spectrum of nose and palate. He said there were aromas of mushroom, meat, bark, and iodine with blackberries and blackcurrants that follow through to an entire body with firm, creamy tannins that give structure and form to the wine. Tight on the finish; long and persistent with presence. As JS opined on the 2017 vintage, RP thought 2018 was drinking fine now. Lisa Perrotti-Brown awarded this 2018 vintage a 94. Deep garnet-purple coloured, 2018 gives up vibrant notions of baked black plums, stewed black cherries, and creme de cassis, with touches of Indian spices, chocolate mints, and liquorice. Medium to full-bodied, rich, spicy, and seductive. She said it has a firm frame of grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and plentiful. Jeb Dunnuck awarded this 2018 vintage a score of 96+, emphasizing layers and seamless integration. He admits he is a fan of Brane Cantenac.


The vineyards of Chateau Brane Cantenac, situated on the gravel slopes, are some of the highest within the appellation Cantenac of MARGAUX. The soil depth, a crucial factor in grape quality, is relatively uniform, ranging from 30 to 36 feet. The wine is aged in oak for 18 months, using 70% new French oak, contributing to its unique flavour profile.

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