Chateau Branon (Futures Pre-sale) 2011
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Wine Spectator - "This has a nice sappy core, showing lots of linzer torte and kirsch notes, with fresh, mouthwatering toasted spice hints chiming in on the finish. Offers solid flesh and drive. An excellent effort.
Barrel Sample: 91-94 Points"
The Wine Advocate - "Unfortunately, there are only 500-600 cases of Branon produced from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grown in a vineyard situated near Malartic-Lagraviere and Haut-Bailly. Much better than its stablemate Haut-Bergey, the 2011 Branon exhibits notes of camphor, barbecue smoke, black currants and blueberries. This intensely rich effort tastes of old vines, ink and graphite. This medium to full-bodied, rich Pessac-Leognan should drink well for 15 or more years.
Barrel Sample: 91-93 Points"
International Wine Cellar - "Deep ruby. Rather brooding aromas of dark plum, cassis and minerals; less floral than usual for this wine. Enters clean and juicy but also dense, showing rich flavors of minerally blackcurrant and sweet spices. Finishes long and clean, with a light touch owing to its attractive acid lift. A superb wine in the making--one of the best wines of Pessac-Leognan this year--but it will need time.
Barrel Sample: 90-93 Points"
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Chateau Branon Winery
Chateau Branon is an old property whose high reputation dates back to the 18th century. It is located in Léognan on the slope of a gravelly hill between Haut-Bailly and Malartic Lagravière. Its vineyards are particularly well exposed towards the south and south-west. The whole estate was in a very poor condition and partly abandoned when Sylvaine Garcin-Cathiard acquired it in 1996.
It is mainly the diversity of its soil that gives the wine its character. The exceptional soil consists of clay and gravel washed up from the Pyrenees caused by the meanderings of the Garonne over time.
In former years the wine had indisputable fame as the old ruins of the Château and the chai testify. One of the Gironde’s oldest stone wine presses can be found here. An ancient book - "Les richesses gastronomiques de la France, les vins des Bordeaux", written by Charles Lorbac, says that the merchants Schröder and Schyler bought the 1865 vintage at a price of 1800 F (Germinal) per "tonneau". The official documents of the classification of 1855 indicate that BRANON, at that price, was classified as a 4eme cru.
Recently Château Branon has made an incredible comeback and now produces 5000 bottles of wine composed of 50% Merlot and 50 % Cabernet Sauvignon. View all Chateau Branon Wines
About Pessac-LeognanView a map of Pessac-Leognan wineries (PEH-sak lay-ohn-yawn)
One of the top appellations within Graves, Pessac-Léognan is home to the only Graves chateau listed as a first growth in the 1855 Médoc classification – Chateau Haut-Brion. In fact, praise for the chateau dates back to the days of Thomas Jefferson, when, upon visiting the chateau in 1787, he bought 125 bottles for his cellar in Virginia.
The majority of wines made here are red, but Pessac-Léognan is also known for producing some of the finest dry white wines of Bordeaux. Many of the top chateau, like Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau Mission Haut Brion, produce top-quality whites alongside their red. Other Chateaux, like Smith Haut Lafite and Carbonnieux, are better known for their distinguished white wines than reds. Both colors of wine from this region have the specific tastes of the gravelly soil where it's grown.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.