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Chateau Brane-Cantenac Margaux Grand Cru 2018  - First Bottle


96 Wine Enthusiast -
This is now performing as one of the top Margaux estates. Their latest release shows structure, elegant black fruits and rich tannins. Densely textured and vibrantly fruity, the wine has a fine future. Drink from 2027.
96 Jeff Leve -
Elegant, fresh and refined, the wine offers layers of sweet, ripe, fresh, red berries, smoke, flowers, wet earth, herbs, spice box and tobacco leaf in the perfume. On the palate, the wine is silky, lifted, long and pure, displaying a beautiful depth of flavor in the finish. The wine blends 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
95+ Jeb Dunnuck -
A quintessential Margaux as well as one of the finest wines I've tasted from this estate, the 2018 Château Brane-Cantenac is based on 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all aged in 70% new French oak. Beautiful cassis and mulberry fruits as well as notes of leafy tobacco, spice, cedarwood, and spring flowers emerge from the glass. Medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced, and elegant, it has loads of fruit, a seamless texture, and a good spine of acidity. Give bottles 4-5 years and enjoy over the following 30 years or more.
95 The Wine Independent -
Brane-Cantenac 2018 is deep garnet purple in color. It offers a perfumed nose of lilacs and spice box, over a core of warm cassis, preserved plums, and forest floor, with a hint of crushed rocks. Full-bodied, rich, and with wonderfully velvety tannins, it has a lively backbone and a very long mineral-tinged finish.
95 Decanter -
Deep and generous blackberry fruits and rich chocolate, there is good balance here with depth and interest and a ton of flavour. Really good stuff, with juice and a drive forward through the palate.
95 James Suckling -
Aromas of mushroom, meat, bark and iodine with blackberries and blackcurrants, following through to a full body with firm, creamy tannins that give structure and form to the wine. Tight on the finish. Long and persistent with presence. Drink after 2025.
95 Vinous -
The 2018 Brane-Cantenac opens with a super-classic bouquet of dried herbs, pencil shavings, licorice and mint. Medium in body and wonderfully nuanced, Brane-Cantenac marries the natural richness of the year with a classic structural feel. This is one of the most elegant, restrained 2018s readers will come across. I loved it.
93+ Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
The 2018 Brane-Cantenac is medium to deep garnet-purple in color, leaping from the glass with vibrant notes of kirsch, black raspberries and warm cassis, plus suggestions of roses, forest floor and cinnamon stick with a waft of cedar chest. The medium-bodied palate is wonderfully elegant and refreshing, weighing in at just 13.5% alcohol, while not scrimping on the interplay of red and black fruits. It has lovely soft tannins and a long, perfumed finish. Impressive!

Technical Details

  • Blend74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot
  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBordeaux
  • AppellationMargaux
  • Aging/Cooperage70% new oak
  • Harvest Date9/14/2018-10/10/2018
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • PH3.76

Chateau Brane-Cantenac Margaux Grand Cru 2018

Bordeaux Blends  |  France
WE96, JL96, JD95+, JS95, VN95, DC95, WI95, WA93+

30% off retail!

Brane-Cantenac is perhaps the most famous Margaux wine estate not named Chateau Margaux. With centuries of world-class wines in its portfolio, the estate has become even more impressive as of late – with the past several vintages standing amongst the very best ever. This remarkable 2018 is the pinnacle of that, and a serious Bordeaux of note for any collector.

Double 96s, five 95/95+ scores – This is a unanimous selection of Margaux greatness that stands out as a supreme value, especially in the revered 2018 vintage on Bordeaux’s Left Bank. The Brane-Cantenac estate has been producing wines since the early 1600s (as Domaine Guilhelm Hosten), but it wasn’t until 1833 that the estate began its ascent to truly legendary status. It was then that the Baron of Brane, informally known as the “Napoleon of Vineyards” purchased the estate to become the new jewel in his vineyard crown. In order to raise the funds necessary for such a large purchase, he sold off another wine estate – the very same that we know today at Chateau Mouton Rothschild! If that doesn’t speak to the pedigree of this site, nothing will.

Eventually, in 1925, the estate was purchased by the Lurton Family who maintain it to this day. They are the largest owners of vineyard land in Bordeaux, with some 20 top estates in their combined portfolio. Under Henri Lurton’s guidance, the Brane-Cantenac estate underwent a series of replantings, and it took time for the modern-day excellence to really become apparent in the wines, with a notable step forward beginning with the 2009 vintage. In the decade since, the estate would consistently produce some of its best-received vintages in decades, with the 2018 a particular standout, following the 2015 renovation of their tank room.

120 parcels, spread over 75 hectares, with a planting mix of 55% cabernet sauvignon, 39% merlot, 4.5% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot, and .5% carmenere – the forgotten “sixth grape” of Bordeaux. Margaux’s rocky, gravel soils here extend to over 30+ feet deep here in certain parts of the vineyard, providing a concentration worthy of a top estate. The winery ferments some 40% of the production in oak vats, for a soft roundness in the wine, with the remaining split amongst stainless steel and concrete tanks. On average, 60% of the wine will age for 18 months in new French oak barrels, granting a nuanced spice character to the bold and powerful fruit.

This perfectly displays Margaux’s refined elegance and hidden power trope. Certainly enjoyable young with a rich, velvety mouthfeel and plenty of smooth berry and spiced cherry character – there is also no question that the wine has the structure and length to age a decade or more. The layers of cassis, roasted meats, savory herbs, and mineral graphite sensations awaken with air and time, and the wine becomes only more intensely perfumed as oxygen unwinds this tightly strung instrument. An intricately gorgeous wine that stands as one the top Margauxs to be had on the market today!

PAIRING IDEAS: This is a brilliant match for the classic Coq au Vin – we’re going with a Julia Child’s version...and don’t be may take a bit of time, but it really is quite easy to nail this and impress all of your friends.

About the Producer

Brane-Cantenac is a historic winery located in the esteemed Margaux appellation of Bordeaux, France. Its origins can be traced back to the late 18th century when it was founded by Baron de Brane, who also played a pivotal role in classifying the region's wines in 1855. With a legacy spanning over two centuries, Brane-Cantenac has become synonymous with elegance and finesse in winemaking. The estate's vineyards are meticulously tended, benefiting from the unique combination of gravelly soils and the temperate climate of Margaux. The winery's winemaking philosophy revolves around capturing the essence of the terroir and expressing it through their wines. Careful grape selection, manual harvesting, and traditional vinification techniques are employed to ensure the highest quality. The wines of Brane-Cantenac are characterized by their exceptional balance, refined tannins, and complex aromatic profiles. They possess a remarkable ability to age gracefully, offering layers of flavors and a sense of refinement over time. Brane-Cantenac stands as a testament to the enduring heritage and unwavering dedication to producing outstanding wines that truly reflect the essence of Margaux.