- Blend74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot
- Aging/Cooperage70% new oak
- Harvest Date9/14/2018-10/10/2018
Chateau Brane-Cantenac Margaux Grand Cru 2018
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 intimidated...it may take a bit of time, but it really is quite easy to nail this and impress all of your friends.