This superb Lurton owned property is often overlooked en primeur as Henri Lurton’s philosophy is not to make show stoppers for a circus, but wines with poise and ageing potential. This is a classy Cabernet based wine with refined fruit flavours supported by some steely tannins. A wine which will surprise with age.
A beauty from Henri Lurton, the 2012 Brane Cantenac exhibits classic notes of spring flowers intermixed with black raspberries, black currants and damp forest floor. This medium-bodied, sweet, ripe, quintessentially elegant, medium-bodied Margaux is nicely concentrated as well as sexy. Enjoy it over the next 10-12 years. Drink 2013 - 2025
Dark crimson. Firm, fully ripe palate (contrasts with the lesser appellations of the southern Médoc). Spreads across the palate. Quite lip smacking and well judged. Not too sweet and, just, not too oaky. Broad. Drink 2020-2034
Plush, with a legitimate structure buried in the core of steeped plum and blackberry fruit. A warm stone note lurks in the background. Well-rendered. —J.M.
A wine with currant and berry character. Full body, with chewy tannins that are polished and juicy. Solid core of fruit yet harmonious for the vintage. Like it better than 2011.
Château Brane-Cantenac is owned by a branch of the largest winemaking family in Bordeaux, the Lurtons. It was, however, originally created by the owner of Mouton Rothschild, Baron de Branne. After years of variable quality, it started improving in the late 1990s and began to create wines which captured Robert Parker's attention. He described Château Brane-Cantenac as "one of the stars of Margaux, if not Bordeaux" and their 2003 as "one of the best bargain-priced classified growths".
Plump, silky and seductive are the words often used to describe wines from Margaux. Because of their style, they tend to be user friendly and more approachable when young. This is in part due to its terroir which is comprised of the thinnest soil as well as the highest proportion of chunky gravel in all of the Médoc. It drains well but also is it more susceptible to vintage variation. Margaux wines tend to have the highest proportions of Merlot within the core of the Médoc further adding to their ample roundness and openness. Margaux is home to the largest number of classified growths including its namesake first growth, Château Margaux, as well as third growths, Palmer and d'Issan.