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Chateau Brane-Cantenac 2011

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

Intense, vivid color. Very delicate, subtle fruit-driven nose with attractive floral notes. In the mouth, smooth and full-flavored, with very aromatic notes on the mid-palette, becoming increasingly powerful on the finish. Excellent length. This wine is pure and elegant, with great finesse and delicacy, and underpinned by a very fine structure.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This serious estate has made a fine 2011 wine. While deep and ripe with blackberry flavor and acidity, it also has dense structure. It shows both power and style, with notes of wood aging likely to fade. Drink this fine wine from 2017.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted at the Brane-Cantenac vertical at the château, the 2011 Brane-Cantenac is a blend of 37% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 56.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and a pinch of Carmenère. It has a more attractive bouquet than the 2012, demonstrating more complexity and fruit intensity: blackberry and raspberry, a touch of cedar and tobacco thrown into the mix. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, the oak beautifully interwoven into the brambly red berry fruit, gently building with a hint of spice and dry tobacco on the finish. There is just a tad more substance than the 2012, yet it remains elegant, and given the vintage it is sophisticated compared to others this vintage. Tasted April 2015.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Offers a pretty, dusty edge, with lightly mulled cherry and plum notes, stitched with floral hints and a touch of singed sandalwood. Shows good flesh through the finish, with a pebbly backdrop. Best from 2016 through 2026. 8,330 cases made.
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Chateau Brane-Cantenac

Chateau Brane-Cantenac

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Chateau Brane-Cantenac, Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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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.

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 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.

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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

PDXFBRANCAN_2011 Item# 129095