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2020 Château Brane-Cantenac En Primeur

Château Brane-Cantenac have taken a step closer to becoming a 'super-second' this morning, with the release of their 2020 vintage, described by Neal Martin as "a must-buy" and as "superior to the previous two vintages" (95-97 points). 

His score puts it second only to Château Margaux in his ratings for the appellation, and equal to fellow deuxième cru classé Rauzan-Ségla (he has not yet scored Palmer). With a score like this and with vines neighbouring Rauzan-Ségla and Palmer, the release price of £590 per dozen looks pretty compelling.

Henri Lurton opted to focus on a terroir-driven style of wine back in the early noughties, when some fellow estate owners were perhaps still tending towards higher levels of fruit extraction and oak influence.  His early adoption of this approach has certainly paid off in the recent warmer vintages, with Jancis Robinson describing the 2020 as "a decidedly graceful wine" and other critics finding a similarly fresh, balanced style. 

If you have 1 minute and 55 seconds to spare, do watch Henri introducing the 2020 vintage, in the clip below. Or, you can simply e-mail us to secure this superb wine for your cellar.  With volumes down by 50% this year, availability is limited, so please don't delay.

Henri Lurton introduces the 2020 vintage in the short video below:

Bordeaux En Primeur, landing in spring 2023

To order, e-mail us at sales@richardkihl.ltd.uk

 

 

Château Brane-Cantenac, Margaux Cru Classé

Producer Profile

Château Brane-Cantenac, Margaux Cru Classé

Château Brane-Cantenac is a Deuxième cru classé in Margaux.  In the nineteenth century, the vineyard was highly-prized.  In 1833, the Baron de Brane (nicknamed the ‘Napoleon of the vines’) sold Brane-Mouton (now Mouton-Rothschild) to fund the purchase of Château Gorce, which he renamed after himself, Brane-Cantenac.  In 1855, both estates were classified deuxième grand cru classé (Mouton was promoted to premier grand cru classé status in 1973).

Brane-Cantenac is knocking at the door of ‘super-second’ status.  This must be one of the best value wines at this exalted level.  Centred on the ‘croupe de Brane’ terroir, the 75 hectares of vineyards are at around 22 metres above sea level, one of the most elevated sites in this low-lying region.  The gravel soils run very deep here, in some places 12m below the surface.  The vineyard is planted to planted to 55%Cabernet Sauvignon, 39%Merlot, 4.5% Cabernet Franc, 1% PetitVerdot and 0.5% Carmenere.

Henri Lurton purchased the estate in 1992 and after a difficult period in the 1990s he found success with an excellent run of vintages from 2000 onwards, focusing on terroir at a time when some estates were making increasingly extracted and oaked wines.  The signature of the wines is a floral nose and an elegance which is quintessentially Margaux.

The short animation below gives an excellent sense of the terroir

 

RED 2020 Château Brane Cantenac 75cl £590 per case of 12 Château Brane Cantenac
2020 / / 75cl
£590 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes“Cask sample taken 19 April. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% each of Petit Verdot and Carmenère. Cabernet Sauvignon was picked 17 to 28 September, Merlot 14 to 18 September, Cabernet Franc 18 to 25 September, Petit Verdot 21 to 22 September, Carmenère 30 September. Deep, dark purple. Very fragrant with hints of bergamot. Decidedly aérien on the nose and then super-gentle on the palate. Much lighter than most of its peers but by no means vapid. The tannins are almost negligible – apparently – but they dig in on the end of the palate. Very long. A decidedly graceful wine. 13.7%. Drink 2026 – 2042. 17 points.” Jancisrobinson.com. Apr 2021------"The 2020 Brane-Cantenac is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Carménère and 1% Petit Verdot. It weighs in with 13.7% alcohol and a pH of 3.71. Deep purple-black colored, it has a beautifully expressive nose of fresh redcurrants, blackcurrant jelly, kirsch and rose oil, plus hints of tobacco leaf, wild sage and crushed rocks. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly styled with a plush texture and plenty of freshness supporting the red berry and earthy flavors, finishing fragrant. Drink 2024-2040. 91-93 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, RobertParker.com------"Violet-edged, lovely vibrant colour. A low-yield wine that has kept an impressively fresh core, with expressive fruits and a vibrant grip through the centre of the wine. Powerful, tight tannins and the concentration becomes clearer in the glass, a ton of bilberry, sage and rosemary aromatics, with a generous helping of graphite and crushed stone. All of these wines are going to need very careful ageing - although the reasonable alcohols should help. A yield of 31hl/ha. 18 months ageing in a mix of new oak barrels and amphoras. 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenère completes the blend. Tasted twice. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044. 94 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine------"The 2020 Brane-Cantenac is deep, fleshy and savory. Strong Cabernet accents open first, leading to a core of inky dark fruit, lavender, spice, mint and chocolate. There is some new oak that needs to integrate, but time should take care of that. I especially admire the sense of classicism and energy here. This is a superb showing from Brane-Cantenac and the team led by Henri Lurton. 94-96 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"The 2020 Brane-Cantenac was picked September 14–28 and includes 13% vin de presse. It has exactly the same blend as last year since Henri Lurton and his team did not limit the Grand Vin to the 30-hectare plateau, a similar approach to Pichon-Baron when they reorganized their own vineyard. I allowed my sample an hour to open (during which I was discussing the wine with Lurton over Zoom). It has a beautifully defined bouquet of blackberry, wild hedgerow, fresh mint and light bay leaf scents. I have sometimes found a little greenness on the nose, but there is none in 2020. The palate is very well balanced with finely chiseled, precise tannins and beautifully judged acidity. Harmonious and poised, this is an absolutely fantastic Brane-Cantenac, in my mind superior to the previous two vintages, exuding wonderful mineralité on the finish. A must-buy. 95-97 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com

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