Chateau Cantenac Brown 2019
Blend: 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot
The Barrel Sample for this wine is under 14% ABV.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Now under new ownership, but with the same winemaking team, this estate has produced a wine with great concentration. The tannins are generous in feel, showing a dense, dry core that sits well with the powerful black currant fruits. It has great long-term potential.
Barrel Sample: 95-97
Winemaker José Sanfins is doing sterling work at this fast-improving Margaux estate. The 2019 Cantenac Brown represents around half the crop, picked 18 September to 9 October and then matured in 60% new oak. It has a slightly more extravagant bouquet than its peers, more expressive with vivacious blackberry, raspberry and cranberry fruit mingling with cedar and cigar humidor scents. The palate is very cohesive with sappy red fruit, beautifully judged acidity and a harmonious, fulfilling dark chocolate-tinged finish that lingers wonderfully. What an exquisite, well-crafted Margaux with oodles and oodles of charm. - Neal Martin
Barrel Score: 94-96
Here is a very pretty barrel sample with crushed berries, walnuts and hints of chocolate and smoke. It’s full-bodied and layered with lightly chewy tannins and a rich finish. Muscular for the vintage.
Barrel Sample: 93-94
Barrel Sample: 94
The 2019 Cantenac Brown is a brilliant wine from José Sanfins and his team. Unwinding in the glass with deep aromas of wild berries, licorice, loamy soil, burning embers and violets, it's medium to full-bodied, seamless and layered, with terrific concentration, beautifully refined tannins and a seamless, elegant profile. Given its quality, this remains somewhat under the radar and is well worth a special effort to seek out. Best after 2027. Rating: 94+
The 2019 Château Cantenac Brown is terrific, surpassing the 2018. Lots of ripe black and blue fruits as well as scorched earth, leather, and crushed stone notes define the bouquet, and it's a rich, medium to full-bodied, juicy wine that has the fresher, lively style of the vintage yet still brings beautiful fruit. It doesn't have the tannin quality of the top wines in the appellation, but as I wrote after tasting it from barrel, it's one sexy Margaux. Give it just a few years and enjoy over the following 20 years. Best after 2024.
Shows the hallmarks of the vintage, with steeped plum, blackberry and boysenberry fruit paste flavors that are broad and lush, while singed wood, violet and anise notes filter in. Features underlying freshness, with finely beaded acidity providing support. A step ahead. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now.
The Cantenac Brown soil is typical Medoc gravel. This beautiful, brilliant quartz, formerly called "Medoc diamonds" reflects the sun's rays onto the grapes by day and then releases the heat stored during the day to warm the grapes by night. Cabernets, in particular Cabernet Sauvignons, do well in this soil. They produce fine wines, with an intense bouquet, which are suitable for aging. Merlot, with which they are blended, provides color, richness and smoothness.
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.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.