Château Brane Cantenac’s star has been in the ascendant for the last five years. Their second wine, Baron de Brane, from this celebrated Bordeaux vintage, has all the classical elegance and perfume of the Margaux appellation. Fine, with silky tannins, this is all about purity, sweetness and finesse.
The 2015 Baron de Brane is a blend of 57% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc. There was a little dustiness on the nose at first, tertiary and reserved in style - classic gentleman's claret, you might argue. The palate is medium-bodied with a sharp entry, a little abrasive at the moment, grainy, almost chalky in texture with a brittle but fresh finish. Enjoy this 3-6 years after bottling. Drink: 2018 - 2024
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.