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Chateau Brane-Cantenac 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
  • WE94
  • D93
  • JS92
  • RP91
  • WS90
13% ABV
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Remarkable intensity on the nose, with rare notes of apricot, pineapple and peach. Hints of white pepper and red fruits reveal themselves on the second nose. The attack is round with very elegant tannins. The wine is wonderfully smooth and velvety in texture, with exceptional length, reinforced by a strong aromatic finish.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Barrel sample. With marked acidity as well as black fruits, this is a wine with weight and richness. It has a dark core of firm tannins, although the aftertaste maintains the juiciness.
Barrel Sample: 92-94 Points
D 93
Decanter
An excellent second bottle, showing that this wine needs time to bed down further. It remains extremely well knitted together, showing excellent structure and spice, full of carefully placed, controlled cassis fruits joined by touches of cigar box and grilled almonds. The tannins are still gripping tightly around the fruit, so give it another three or four years.
JS 92
James Suckling
A red with mineral, oyster-shell and currant character. Full body, chewy tannins and a long and muscular finish. Needs two or three years to soften. A racy 2012.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
It is hard not to give kudos to proprietor Henri Lurton, as he’s done such a great job at this famous estate in Margaux. The 2012 has an opaque ruby/purple color and beautifully sweet, velvety tannins. It had to be more difficult achieving this level in the Médoc in 2012 than in Graves or the Right Bank sectors of Pomerol and St.-Emilion. With a lush, supple texture, medium to full body, and beautiful flowery blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, this opaque wine is pure and impressively endowed. Another beauty from Lurton, it is soft enough to be drunk early on, but promises to age well for 15-20 years.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Plush yet focused, with a loam-tinged structure carrying dark plum, blackberry coulis and tobacco notes. Cuts a broad swath through the finish, with an echo of freshly drawn espresso. Solid, with a pleasant old-school twinge. Best from 2016 through 2022.
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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.

CVY4033B2_2012 Item# 139249