Chateau Brane-Cantenac 2016
Blend: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Carmenere
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2016 Brane-Cantenac is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Carmenere picked from 22 September until 17 October (the tiny parcel of Carmenere picked three days later). The yields came in at 51 hectoliters per hectare and it is matured in 75% new oak and 25% one-year-old barrels, the final alcohol level 13.3%. It has a beautifully defined, very detailed bouquet with mineral-rich black fruit laced with cedar and graphite notes, living up to its nom de plume as the "Pauillac of Margaux." The palate is simply the best that I have ever tasted at the estate, without question. This has presence, but also weightlessness, filigree tannin and perfectly pitched acidity, with real intensity and drive. The tension here is outstanding and the persistence is incredibly long. It is not the showiest of all the 2016s by a long stretch, and yet it is everything you could possibly want from a Margaux. Rating: 96-98
I missed this wine in my recent 2016 Bordeaux report, but I was able to purchase a bottle locally. A tremendous Margaux, the 2016 offers the quintessential elegance of the appellation as well as plenty of density, concentration, and ripe tannins. Beautiful notes of blackcurrants, tobacco leaf, cedarwood, and flowery incense all emerge from the glass, and it builds nicely with air, offering medium to full body, flawless balance, and a great finish. This is classic Margaux as well as a classic 2016. It’s already approachable, and I doubt it will close down, yet it’s going to develop additional nuances with another 4-6 years of bottle age and have 25-30 years of prime drinking.
Shows a coffee edge, along with tobacco and bay notes that meld steadily into the core of steeped plum and black cherry fruit. The fleshy finish lets the bay element take an encore. A touch old-school. Rating: 90-93
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.