Chateau Brane Cantenac Margaux Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

Chateau brane cantenac Chateau Brane Cantenac Margaux Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

Learn everything about Chateau Brane Cantenac Margaux Second Growth, Bordeaux wine producer with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn all the best vintages, a history of the property, information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Brane Cantenac History, Overview

What we know of today as Chateau Brane Cantenac started out in the early 17th century. At the time, the then, small estate was known as Domaine Guilhem Hosten. Even in those days, wine was produced from the property. In fact, their wine was so highly regarded, it was one of the more expensive wines in all of Bordeaux, selling for almost as much money as Brane Mouton. This is interesting because of who went on to buy the vineyard in the 1800’s.

The Baron of Brane, also known as “Napoleon of the Vineyards”, purchased the chateau in 1833. At the time of the sale, the estate was called Chateau Gorce-Guy. To obtain the funds needed to purchase the Margaux vineyard, the Baron sold what is now called Mouton Rothschild, which was at the time of the sale, known as Chateau Brane-Mouton. In 1838, the Baron renamed property, taking his name and the name of the sector where the vineyards were located, calling it Chateau Brane Cantenac. The chateau later passed to the Roy family, who were well-known in the Margaux appellation in those days, as they owned Chateau dIssan as well.

Jumping into the next century, in 1920, the Societe des Grands Crus de France, a group of merchants and growers that owned several chateaux located in the Medoc including; Chateau Margaux, Chateau Giscours, and Chateau Lagrange in St. Julien, purchased Chateau Brane Cantenac. Five years later, M. Recapet and his son-in-law, François Lurton, took over Brane Cantenac along with Chateau Margaux. Lucien Lurton (the son of François Lurton) inherited Brane Cantenac in 1956. Today, the estate is still in the hands of the Lurton family. Brane Cantenac is currently owned and more than ably managed by the capable, Henri Lurton. After being given the responsibility of managing Brane Cantenac, it was under the direction of Henri Lurton that large portions of the vineyard were replanted. Vine densities were increased, the drainage systems were improved and the plantings were also, slowly changed to their current plantings.

Chateau Brane Cantenac Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The 75 hectare Left Bank vineyard of Brane Cantenac is essentially unchanged since it earned Second Growth status in the 1855 Classification of the Medoc. At least that is the case with the 45 hectares used to produce the Grand Vin of Brane Cantenac. Those 45 hectares are planted close to, and surrounding the chateau. Those vines are located just in front of the Cantenac plateau and are the best terroir that Brane Cantenac owns. At its peak, the vineyard has an elevation of 22 meters. That parcel is the heart and soul of their wine.

They have other parcels, which are further inland, but much of those grapes are placed into their second wine. Those additional hectares can be divided into 3 main sections. Behind the chateau, they have 15 hectares of vines on gravel and sand, 10 hectares across the road with sand, gravel and iron and a 13 hectare parcel with gravel called Notton, which is used for their second wine. More than vineyards, the property also has beautifully, manicured gardens and verdant parkland.

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The vineyard is planted to 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4.5% Cabernet Franc and .5% Carmenere. Carmenere was used for the first time in the 2011 vintage. The vineyard is planted to a vine density that ranges from 6,666 vines per hectare on the plateau and up to 8,000 vines per hectare for the vines located behind chateau, in their sandier soils. The higher levels of vine density are always found in the newer plantings. The terroir of Brane Cantenac consists of deep gravel, sand and clay soil. On going experiments in the vineyards are currently looking at becoming more organic in their vineyard management. Today, more than 25% of Brane Cantenac is farmed using organic farming techniques. It is expected that over time, the amount of hectares farmed with organic methods will be increased.

Brane Cantenac has gone through 2 relatively recent modernization’s in 1999, when they added began adding the first of their smaller vats to allow for parcel by parcel vinification and then again in 2015 when they completed a much more complete renovation of their cellars and vat rooms. While Brane Cantenac is a traditional producer, they are no stranger to technology as they were one of the first estates to embrace optical sorting technology. In very wet vintages, they can also use reverse osmosis.

The best vintages of Chateau Brane Cantenac are: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005 and 2000. Although, I did enjoy a sublime bottle of 1928! So, older vintages could be worth taking a chance on, as the wines age well.

Chateau Brane Cantenac Winemaking

To produce the wine of Chateau Brane Cantenac, the wine is vinified in a combination of temperature controlled, traditional, 22 oak vats, 18 concrete tanks and 20 stainless steel vats that vary in size from 40 hectoliters all the way up to 200 hectoliters, which allows for parcel by parcel vinification. 40% of the fermentation takes place in the oak vats. The oldest vines are vinified in vats that are selected to allow for separate parcel by parcel vinification. The younger vines are vinified more often together in the same vats. However, the Carmenere is vinified entirely in barrel, using micro-vinification techniques, because the amount produced is so small. Some vats can be co-inoculated, meaning they go though alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation simultaneously.

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At Chateau Brane Cantenac, malolactic fermentation takes place in a combination of French oak tanks and barrels. The wine of Brane Cantenac is aged in an average of 60% new, French oak barrels for 18 months before bottling. The initial 2 months of aging is done with the wine on its lees, which adds more depth to the wine.

There is a second wine, Le Baron de Brane. The use of a second wine at Brane Cantenac is not new. In fact, previously, the second wine went under the name of Chateau Notton, which took its name from one of the main parcels where the grapes were planted. During the late 1950’s and into the 1960’s, having a second wine was important as the estate declassified 3 vintages, due to extremely poor, weather conditions, 1956, 1960 and 1963. Production of Chateau Brane Cantenac is about 11,000 cases per year.

When to Drink Chateau Brane Cantenac, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Brane Cantenac, due to its elegant, feminine style, can be enjoyed young, with decanting. But you are missing all the nuances that come with age. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 2-3 hours, give or take. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Brane Cantenac is usually better with at least 10 years of bottle age. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Brane Cantenac offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 12-35 years of age after the vintage.

Serving Chateau Brane Cantenac with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Chateau Brane Cantenac is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Brane Cantenac is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Brane Cantenac is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms and pasta as well as cheese.

Chateau Brane Cantenac is an elegantly, styled Margaux, that is on the lighter, fresher, cleaner, brighter, and perhaps, slightly stern, or classic side of the style range.Especially in its youth. The wine is produced in a traditional style and shows a little more in the aromatics than the body. The wine of Brane Cantenac has had, like many chateau, gone through its ups and downs. Vintages made in the 1970’s, most the 1980’s and 1990’s, are not at the level the vineyard is capable of producing. However, the property has been showing serious improvements in their wine. Many of the best vintages for Brane Cantenac are relatively recent. In fact, while the 2009 and 2010 are both quite strong vintages, the 2015 represents the finest wine I’ve tasted from Brane Cantenac. It is a truly, stunning wine!

In 2015, Henri Lurton started a new project in Ensenada Mexico, in the Guadalupe region. Henri Lurton is managing the winery with the help of his oldest sons, Vincent Lurton, Nicolas Lurton and Maria Martinez, who was previously at Brane Cantenac. The wines are sold under the name of Bodegas Henri Lurton. They are producing 4 different wines at the moment. 2015 was their debut vintage.

Château Brane-Cantenac Wine Tasting Notes

28 Vintages 175168 Views Sort    Vintage    Rating

  1. 2016 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Garnet in color, the wine begins with a dominant spray of flowers followed by the aroma of wet earth, spice box, mint, caramel, espresso and blackberry. Elegant but not light, this is supple, fresh, balanced and energetic with crisp, red berries, easy yet vibrant tannins and spicy notes in the finish. Blending 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Carmenere, this wine reached 13.3% with a pH of 3.69. The Grand Vin represents 40% of the harvest and the picking took place from September 22 to October 17, save for the Carmenere, which was harvested on October 20.

      95 points - Tasted
  2. 2015 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Truffle, forest floor, cocoa and ripe, dark, red fruits enliven the perfume. On the palate, this wine is silky, subtle and focused on freshness and purity of ready fruit. Elegance and weight enhance a long, crisp finish that feels wonderful on your palate. Blending 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Carmenere, the wine reached 13.6% with a pH of 3.78. The Grand Vin represents 42% of the harvest. This is my favorite vintage of Brane Cantenac, although Henri Lurton prefers the 2010. Either way, they are both superior vintages. 95 - 97 Pts

      96 points - Tasted
  3. 2015 Le Baron de Brane ( Margaux)

    1. Light but charming with freshness and sweetness to the red fruit-oriented wine. Drink this young. 86 - 88 Pts

      87 points - Tasted
  4. 2014 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Brane Cantenac is really on fire at the moment. This already, delicious, medium bodied wine is all about its finesse, floral and sweet cherry center. The finish is as elegant as it is energetic.

      92 points - Tasted
    2. Strawberry, caramel, thyme and cherries stir this perfume into action, soaking the palate with spice, cherries and dark cocoa. This medium-bodied wine has a classically, elegant, fresh finish making it all the more agreeable. From a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 13% alcohol with a pH of 3.73. It represents 38% of the harvest. 91-92 Pts

      91 points - Tasted
  5. 2013 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. More interesting on the nose, with its smoky, floral and cherry bouquet than on the medium bodied, soft, bright, red berry palate. Drink this on the young side.

      89 points - Tasted
    2. With floral, earth and cherry notes, this elegantly styled wine has a core of fresh cherries and soft, dusty tannins in the finish that will want to consumed in its first decade of life. From a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 13.1% alcohol with a pH of 3.66. From yields of 22 hectoliters per hectare, the Grand Vin represents 38.9% of the production. 88-90 Pts

      89 points - Tasted
  6. 2012 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Licorice, cocoa, forest floor and sweet black cherry aromas lead you to a spicy, fresh, silky, crisp, sweet and tart mouthful of red fruits in an elegant styling.

      91 points - Tasted
    2. Blending 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Merlot, the wine reached 13% Alcohol with a pH of 3.86. With a cassis, anise, floral, tobacco and earthy personality, the medium-bodied wine is bright, fresh, elegant and crisp with a sweet cassis- and blackberry-filled finish. 90-92 Pts

      91 points - Tasted
  7. 2012 Le Baron de Brane ( Margaux)

    1. Sweet and tart red berries, medium body and a short finish. 84-86 Pts

      85 points - Tasted
  8. 2011 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Forest floor, flowers and bright, fresh black raspberries are in the open, with this elegant, feminine, medium bodied, ready to drink soft wine.

      90 points - Tasted
    2. From a blend of 56.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and for the first time, a small percentage of .5% Carmenere has been added as well. Forest aromas with leaves, kirsch, flowers and spice, this medium-bodied, soft and round wine ends with a fresh and bright black raspberry and cassis finish. 90-91 Pts

      90 points - Tasted
  9. 2011 Le Baron de Brane ( Margaux)

    1. Blending an even split of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, red and black berries with earth, medium body and a soft, red cherry finish. 84-85 Pts

      84 points - Tasted
  10. 2010 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Great nose, packed with fresh flowers, cherries, earth, spice and jam. Focused, refined, elegant and concentrated with layers of sweet, ripe, lush, fruits, blending 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, this is the best vintage of Brane Cantenac I’ve ever tasted. Look for this to age well.

      95 points - Tasted
    2. Forest, flower, black raspberry, smoke, earth aromas pair perfectly with the depth of flavor found in this Margaux wine. With ripe tannins and sweet, soft, energetic, pure black cherry personality, this is elegance.

      94 points - Tasted
    3. 2010 Brane Cantenac offers a perfume with cassis, chocolate, licorice, spice and truffle aromas. In the mouth, the tannins feel silky and round. With round textures and pure blackberry fruit essences, the wine ends in a long, ripe, dark berry finish. This is developing more flavor and intensity as it ages in barrel. This Margaux wine was more expensive in 2010. The wine came out at 54 Euros. 94-95 Pts

      94 points - Tasted
    4. 2010 Brane Cantenac From a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 13.5% alcohol, which is high for Brane Canenac. With a pH of 3.70, there is no sensation of heat in the wine. The Grand Vin represents 33% of the harvest. The wine opens with a delicate perfume of floral, jammy dark berries, cassis, oak and tobacco scents. Fresh, blackberry, floral, licorice and black cherry flavors, round ample tannins and a sweet, spicy cassis finish are the hallmarks of this wine. This shows more depth and acidity than the 2009. 92-94 Pts

      93 points - Tasted
  11. 2010 Le Baron de Brane ( Margaux)

    1. Baron de Brane – Blackberry, oak and coca scents open to an easy to drink, fresh, medium-bodied Margaux wine. 86-89 Pts

      87 points - Tasted
  12. 2009 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. With an inviting perfume filled with wet earth, blackberries, black cherry, smoke, spice and floral notes, this medium bodied Margaux is refined, supple and elegant. The wine finishes with ample layers of fresh, black and red fruits. Give it a few year to flesh out.

      93 points - Tasted
    2. 2009 Brane Cantenac shows ample dark berry, anise, forest, spice, and wood aromas. This elegant, supple wine ends with dark fruit, licorice, and black cherry flavors. This is my favorite vintage of Brane Cantenac. 91/93 Pts

      93 points - Tasted
  13. 2008 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Tobacco, cassis, earth and truffle scents open to a medium bodied, soft, elegant style of Margaux. The wine ends with a dark cherry finish. This wine will offer pleasure early.

      91 points - Tasted
    2. 2008 Brane Cantenac greets your nose with floral, earth, cassis, cedar, and blackberry aromas. Medium bodied in texture, this elegant, cassis filled wine should drink well young. 91 Pts

      91 points - Tasted
    3. 08 Château Brane-Cantenac is one of the more elegant wines from the region. With floral, cherry, and spicy cassis, this perfumed wine is a treat on the nose. Medium bodied, this finesse style of Margaux finishes with clean, ripe, fresh berry and cherry flavors. In the search for improved quality, the chateau is now conducting malolactic in the barrel and increasing selection in the vineyards. Both choices will add depth and help improve the wine. 90-92 Pts

      91 points - Tasted
  14. 2007 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Medium bodied and fully developed, the nose has moved to earth, truffle, tobacco and cassis. Soft textured, light, but still fresh, the fruit has an earthy character and the tannins are slightly furry, but this is quite nice for the vintage. However, it does require drinking sooner than later.

      89 points - Tasted
    2. Medium bodied and fully developed, the nose has moved to earth, truffle, tobacco and cassis. Soft textured, light, but still fresh, the fruit has an earthy character and the tannins are slightly furry, but this is quite nice for the vintage. However, it does require drinking sooner than later.

      89 points - Tasted
  15. 2006 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Medium bodied, showing some aging in the color, the wine is sweet, soft, fresh and open, displaying none of the hard tannins found at many Left Bank estates in this vintage. The elegant, cherry and spice filled finish shows nice freshness in its character. You can enjoy this now, or age it for at least another decade.

      91 points - Tasted
  16. 2005 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Medium bodied, elegant in style, with a focus on freshness and purity, coupled with silky, smooth textures, cherries, black raspberries, plum tobacco and smoky, earthy notes. This is just now starting to get going. Another 5 years will add more complexity and depth to the wine.

      92 points - Tasted
    2. With a beautiful perfume filled with black cherries, cassis, earth, spice, fresh herbs and tobacco, this medium bodied, elegant Margaux is developing well. Due to its lighter style, this will please some tasters more than others. Starting with the 2009, the wines have added more concentration, while retaining the freshness and refined quality the chateau is known for.

      92 points - Tasted
    3. Powerful aromas need very little coaxing before tasters experience flowers, cassis, fennel and cherries. Medium/full bodied, this elegant style of Margaux is soft and refined. Finishing with freshness, spice and sweet black cherries, this finesse style of Bordeaux wine should drink well young.

      92 points - Tasted
  17. 2004 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. The color of rose hip tea, more interesting on the nose than the palate, with its truffle, tobacco and cassis aromatic profile. Lightly styled, with bright cassis and cranberry in the finish, this is a wine to drink sooner than later.

      88 points - Tasted
  18. 2003 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. With flowers, tobacco, earth and blackberry aromas, this medium bodied wine has retained some freshness on the mid palate, ending with a slightly dusty, red berry finish.

      90 points - Tasted
  19. 2002 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Medium bodied, with a firmness to the tannins, a nose with a lot of tobacco tinged charm, red fruits and an earthy, forest and leafy component. The wine lacks the elegance and charm often enjoyed in subsequent vintages.

      88 points - Tasted
  20. 2001 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Medium bodied, finesse styled wine with a fresh, soft, elegant, cherry, tobacco and earthy character. Lots of charm, and fragrance, but not a lot of depth.

      90 points - Tasted
  21. 2000 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. With a developed nose, tobacco, truffle, cassis and earthy scents are easy to find. Medium bodied and elegant in style, the wine ends wine a sweet cherry and cassis filled finish. This is close to full mature and should be enjoyed over the next decade for maximum freshness.

      90 points - Tasted
    2. This opens with a red and black fruit filled perfume, complicated by notes of tobacco, forest and spice. Elegantly textured and medium bodied, most of the tannins have already melted away.

      90 points - Tasted
  22. 1990 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. This light ruby colored wine was showing signs of age. With complex aromatics of tobacco, truffle, cassis and fresh leaves were a pleasure to spend with, Medium bodied with elegant textures, the wine finished with spicy cassis.

      89 points - Tasted
  23. 1989 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Is light in color. Aromatics of truffle, earth, cassis, spice, and cedar are a pleasure to sniff. Medium bodied and elegantly textured, this fully mature wine ends in a short, cherry/cassis note

      86 points - Tasted
  24. 1985 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Rusty, brick colored, this smoke, cassis, ash and earthy scented wine is medium bodied and ends with a short, black cherry note. This is fully mature and requires drinking sooner than later.

      85 points - Tasted
  25. 1983 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Elegant, refined, silky and soft, with a floral, tobacco, truffle and sweet cherry nose, this medium bodied charmer is fully mature.

      91 points - Tasted
  26. 1928 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Brick colored, this piece of history is filled with complex aromas of Cuban cigars, pipe tobacco, cherry blossoms, leather, soy and smoke. With the beautiful patina of age, rusty black cherries, spice, backed dark berry pies and spice. The wine began to fade after 20 minute. But those initial moments were memorable. It is always a treat to enjoy history.

      93 points - Tasted
    2. This bottle made me feel like either I needed to take up smoking, or quit, I was not sure which message it was sending. This could have been a Graves. Smoke, ash, cigar box, earth, tobacco, wood fire, lit cigar and cigarettes, along with pipe tobacco and hint of cassis made up the smoke filled perfume. Full bodied, but with only faint hints of dark berries poking through, this was an interesting experience. Interestingly, I recently discovered the 1928 was kept in wood for 4 years before bottling. This may have had some effect on the quality of the wine. However, the saying about wines over 20 years of age holds even more truth when the wine is over 80 years old! After 20 years of age, there are no great wines, just great bottles. But it will remain a great memory having tasted a wine with my father that is almost a decade older than he is!

      75 points - Tasted
  27. 1926 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Smoke, cigar box, tobacco, truffle, earth and cherry pipe tobacco notes created the complex nose. On the palate, the medium bodied wine was still showing sweet, fresh, red fruits and soft, elegant, refined textures.

      92 points - Tasted
  28. 1887 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Tobacco, spice box, green pepper, wet earth and mint, with a suggestion of smoky berries on the nose, this medium bodied wine finishes with sweet and tart, red fruits and elegant, soft textures. Pure history in the glass.

      88 points - Tasted