Chateau Cantenac Brown Margaux Bordeaux Wine

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Chateau Cantenac Brown Margaux Third Growth, Bordeaux wine producer profile, with wine tasting notes, wine ratings, a history of the property, information on wine making and terroir, along with wine tasting reviews. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

The Chateau for Cantenac Brown is unique in the Bordeaux wine appellation. It is perhaps the only Bordeaux chateau designed as a traditional Tudor estate. How did that happen?

At the start of the 19th century, the well known Scottish animal painter, John Lewis Brown purchased the estate and Bordeaux wine vineyards. As was the tradition in the Medoc at the time, he renamed the estate Cantenac Brown. Brown drew up the plans and designed the chateau in the Tudor style. The property changed hands in 1843, when it was traded to a banker named Gromard. More recently, it was owned by the famous Cognac producer, Remy Martin who sold it to AXA, the massive insurance company with several Bordeaux estates in their portfolio including Pichon Baron in Pauillac, along estates in Pomerol and Sauternes. AXA ended up selling the property in 2006 to the Halabi family. Today, the Simon Halabi family are the owners of Chateau Cantenac Brown. One of the first moves made by the new owners was to place Jose Sanfins in charge of the wine making at Cantenac Brown. Under the direction of Jose Sanfins, the level of quality has continued to improve with 2009, followed by 2010 as benchmark vintages for the chateau.

The 53 hectare Margaux vineyard of Cantenac Brown has a terroir of gravel, sandy and limestone soils. 48 hectares are under vine in Margaux. Aside from vineyard land, Chateau Cantenac Brown uses a large portion of their land for a stunning, park like setting with lakes and swans. The vineyard is planted to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, the average age of the vines are 35 years of age. The oldest vines, which are close to 60 years of age, are located in view of the tasting room. The density of the vines varies from a density of 8,500 vines per hectare for the old vines, up to 10,000 vines per hectare in other parcels. Replanting takes place at 10,000 vines per hectare. The vineyard is farmed using a sustainable approach in their farming techniques. This approach means only plant based fertilizers are used. The grapes are picked parcel by parcel, which is how they are vinified as well.

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To produce the wine of Cantenac Brown, the wine is vinified in 28, temperature controlled, stainless steel vats that vary in size from 50 hectoliters to 190 hectoliters. Malolactic fermentation takes place in a combination of French oak barrels and vat. The wine of Chateau Cantenac Brown is aged in 60% new, French oak barrels for 12 to 15 months, depending on the vintage.

On average, Chateau Cantenac Brown produces 11,000 cases of Bordeaux wine per year. There is a second wine, Brio de Cantenac Brown, which made its debut in 2001. Cantenac Brown also started to produce a small amount of white Bordeaux wine called AltO de Cantenac Brown in 2011. The wine comes from a specific 1.8 hectare parcel of vines planted to 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon. AltO de Cantenac Brown Brio is vinified in French oak barrels. There is no malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged in 100% new, French oak barrels for 12 months. The average production is close to 800 cases a year.

The estate makes a third Margaux wine, Sijac de Cantenac Brown. From a 3.5 hectare section of Bordeaux AOC vines, the owner also produces Brown Lamartine, a 50/50 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, which is sold a Bordeaux Superieur wine.

Chateau Cantenac Brown has truly increased their quality starting with the 2009 vintage.

Wine Tasting Notes

Displaying 12 vintages | 57579 Views Sorted by vintage

  1. 2013 Château Cantenac Brown

    1. Black cherry, spice and herbs open this medium-bodied wine that ends with bright cherries and an open finish. From a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Merlot, the wine reached 13.1% alcohol with a pH of 3.6. The wine represents 40% of the harvest and is aging in 60% new French oak. 88-90 Pts

      89 points - Tasted
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  2. 2013 Château Cantenac Brown Blanc BriO

    1. From a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon, the wine is fresh, refreshing and lively, packed with ripe lemon, grapefruit and minerality. 92 Pts

      92 points - Tasted
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  3. 2012 Château Cantenac Brown

    1. Soft textured, with sweet cherries, floral notes, plum and earth, the wine ends with a mélange of red and black fruits. 90-93 Pts

      92 points - Tasted
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  4. 2011 Château Cantenac Brown

    1. From a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot, the medium bodied, tannic wine is more interesting in the nose, with its blackberry, earth, coffee bean and smoke filled prefume, than on the palate, which ends with herbs, cherries and a bit of dryness in the finish.

      89 points - Tasted
    2. Blending 67% Cabernet Sauvignon with the remainder taken up by Merlot, the wine reached 12.9% alcohol. The wine will be aged in 50% new oak. With some coaxing, earth, coffee and black cherry can be found. Soft in texture, this medium-bodied, soft wine ends with a short, clean, black cherry finish. 88-90 Pts

      89 points - Tasted
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  5. 2011 Château Cantenac Brown Blanc BriO

    1. For the 2011 vintage, Cantenac Brown introduced a 750 case wine from 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon aged in 1 year-old barrels. With grapefruit, lemon and honeysuckle, the wine ends with a short, lemon wax finish. 87 Pts

      87 points - Tasted
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  6. 2010 Château Cantenac Brown

    1. Still quite young as you would expect, smoke, tobacco and blackberry aromas are paired with soft tannins and good density of material. The wine leaves a lasting impression of sweet dark berries and freshness.

      93 points - Tasted
    2. Coffee bean, oak, olives, blackberries and bitter chocolate, the wine is soft, ripe and round, but there is a dusty quality to the tannins in the finish of this blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon and 34% Merlot.

      93 points - Tasted
    3. Licorice, black cherry, mint and coffee bean scents open to a supple, polished, fresh, medium bodied, round, chocolate covered cherry wine.

      92 points - Tasted
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  7. 2009 Château Cantenac Brown

    1. Silky, polished and long, with velvety, soft tannins, opulent textures and sweet blackberries on the end note that really linger. This is only going to better with more time in the bottle. This is a very good wine, in a great style that still sells for a fair price.

      94 points - Tasted
    2. Truffle, mint, coffee, tobacco, jammy blackberry and subtle vanilla scents lead to a polished, fleshy, fresh, sweet, cocoa and boysenberry filled wine.

      93 points - Tasted
    3. It’s always nice to be surprised when you discover a wine has turned out much better than you originally anticipated. This delicious Margaux offers licorice, earth, cassis, spice and truffles, With rich supple textures, concentrated layers of juicy, ripe, dark berries and freshness, this Bordeaux wine is a winner!

      93 points - Tasted
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  8. 2008 Château Cantenac Brown

    1. Charming, finesse style of Bordeaux. Medium bodied, soft, elegant, fresh and forward, this drinks well now, and will get better with age.

      91 points - Tasted
    2. Sweet, polished and structured, medium bodied, with an olive and plum finish that has some dryness to the tannins on the back end.

      89 points - Tasted
    3. Coffee, tobacco, stewed fruit and cassis in the nose. With some dryness in the tannins, the wine ends with black cherry, herbs and coffee.

      88 points - Tasted
    4. Espresso bean, licorice, flowers and black cherry aromas, medium body and soft textures are found in this wine, which ends with a vanilla, red and black plum finish. This will drink well young.

      89 points - Tasted
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  9. 2006 Château Cantenac Brown

    1. Blackberries, coffee bean, cassis, earth, blueberry and tobacco aromas lead to a medium/full bodied charming, supple style of Margaux wine that finishes with a round, ripe, chocolate, plum finish. Give it a few more years to develop additional layers of complexity.

      90 points - Tasted
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  10. 2005 Château Cantenac Brown

    1. Lean, simple, medium bodied and a bit oaky. This was the last vintage made by the previous owners. Starting with the 2006, there is a marked improvement in the wine, along with a commitment to ratchet up the quality for future vintages.

      88 points - Tasted
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  11. 2004 Château Cantenac Brown

    1. Fully mature, this medium bodied wine serves up more secondary notes of tobacco and wet forest floor than red fruit.

      87 points - Tasted
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  12. 2000 Château Cantenac Brown

    1. Cassis, blackberries, spice, mocha, tobacco and earthy aromas lead to a medium bodied, soft textured Margaux wine that ends with a plum, cherry and cassis filled finish.

      90 points - Tasted
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