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Chateau Brane-Cantenac 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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  • WS92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

A delicate and extremely complex nose. At first, intense floral notes of violet and rose petal, which open into aromas of cherry and vanilla. The attack reveals good volume, evolving towards an elegant and full mid-palate. Wonderful soft, rounded tannins with remarkable structure and finesse. Superb length, offering both freshness and signs of excellent maturity. Without doubt a great wine to keep for many years to come.
Blend: 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
The fruit has become the main attraction here—layers of ripeness, tempered with an elegant smoothness. The tannins are certainly present in this powerful wine, but they are here to lend support, not dominate. With herbs and very clean black fruits, this is a wine to follow.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted at the Brane-Cantenac vertical at the château, the 2005 Brane-Cantenac is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc. It has a focused, conservative (for the vintage) nose with gravel-tinged red berry fruit intermingling with cedar, graphite and pine needle scents. The palate is medium-bodied with a firm structure and unlike the bottle tasted in January, which I declined to score, there is no green streak on the finish. It is very backward and some might describe it as curmudgeonly. Personally I would not touch it for another five years, even though apparently it is beginning to open according to Henri Lurton. No, I would afford it another two or three years in bottle and let's see where we are then. Tasted April 2015.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Shows mineral and blackberry aromas, with hints of licorice. Full-bodied, with soft, silky tannins and a long, smoky, earthy, meaty and fruity aftertaste. Long and stylish. Very refined and beautiful. Best after 2012. 15,000 cases made.
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Chateau Brane-Cantenac

Chateau Brane-Cantenac

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Chateau Brane-Cantenac, France - Other regions
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Established in the 18th century, at which time it was known as "Gorce", this large estate is located on the best gravelly outcrops of Cantenac. A century before the 1855 classification, it was considered one of the best second growths in the Médoc. In 1833, Baron de Brane (called "Napoleon of the Vines") sold his estate in Pauillac, Brane-Mouton, and bought Gorce, which he renamed "Brane-Cantenac", ten years later.

Lucien Lurton's grandfather acquired the estate in 1925, and was succeeded by his grandson in 1956. Lucien Lurton's son, Henri, currently manages the estate and puts all his efforts into producing a great Margaux in each and every vintage, reflecting Brane-Cantenac's superb vineyard soil.

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Silky, seductive and polished are the words that characterize the best wines from Margaux, the most inland appellation of the Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux.

Margaux’s gravel soils are the thinnest of the Médoc, making them most penetrable by vine roots—some reaching down over 23 feet for water. The best sites are said to be on gentle outcrops, or croupes, where more gravel facilitates good drainage.

The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification but it is nonetheless important in regards to history of the area. In 1855 the finest chateaux were deemed on the basis of reputation and trading price—at that time. In 1855, Chateau Margaux achieved first growth status, yet it has been Chateau Palmer (officially third growth from the 1855 classification) that has consistently outperformed others throughout the 20th century.

Chateau Margaux in top vintages is capable of producing red Cabernet Sauvignon based wines described as pure, intense, spell-binding, refined and profound with flavors and aromas of black currant, violets, roses, orange peel, black tea and incense.

Other top producers worthy of noting include Chateau Rauzan-Ségla, Lascombes, Brane-Cantenac, and d’Issan, among others.

The best wines of Margaux combine a deep ruby color with a polished structure, concentration and an unrivaled elegance.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

CVY4033A5_2005 Item# 94825