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This small jewel of a property owned by the Garcin family has been making great wine for a number of years, with the only problem being its very limited availability. Their beautifully deep 2005 has a dark purple color and displays charcoal, blackberry and cassis fruit, with some smoky barbecue notes in the background. This full-bodied, opulent wine is still youthful at age 10, and promises to continue to evolve for another 15-20 years. Pure and stunning, this is a great wine of the vintage. Drink 2015-2035.
A small garagiste operation producing between 500-600 cases, Branon is owned by Helene Garcin. The vineyard, which is planted with equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, is beautifully situated near Haut-Bailly and Malartic-Lagraviere. The gorgeous 2005 exhibits a classic Graves nose of graphite, charcoal, chocolate, scorched earth, blackberries, cassis, and hints of creosote and earth. The wine is opulent and full-bodied with a sensational texture as well as sweet tannin. This compelling Pessac-Leognan is more forward than the tannic Medoc cuvees. It will offer good drinking in 5-10 years, and should last for 2-3 decades
Sadly, there are only 500 cases of this blend of equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon harvested from a small vineyard sandwiched between Haut-Bailly and Malartic-Lagraviere. The wine’s upbringing includes such Burgundian winemaking techniques as a double triage at the sorting tables prior to the grapes going into the open-top fermenters, cold macerations, malolactic in barrel, aging on its lees, and little clarification at bottling. Aromas of crushed rocks, acacia and lilac flowers, blueberries, creme de cassis, camphor, and a hint of creosote are followed by a full-bodied wine with fabulous fruit purity, a marvelous texture, and sweet tannin. This prodigious 2005 should hit its peak in 5-6 years, and last for three decades. Bravo to Helene Garcin and her winemaking guru, Dr. Alain Raynaud.
Alain Raynaud is now the winemaking consultant for all of the Garcin family’s wines (Haut-Bergey and Clos l’Eglise in Pomerol, Barde-Haut in St.-Emilion, and Branon, a garagiste cuvee from Pessac-Leognan). The 2005 is the finest effort from Branon since 2000. An inky/purple color is followed by aromas of smoke, truffles, earth, camphor, blueberries, and blackberries. A wine of tremendous ripeness, full-bodied power, layers of extract, high tannin, and crisp acidity, it is a classic claret. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2028.
This shows lots of berry and chocolate character. Full-bodied, round and silky. Very pretty. Could be at the level of the outstanding 2000.
Tasted blind. Mild and vibrant on the nose. Tannins almost fully evolved. But a tad vegy on the finish. Fast fade on the end. 13.5%
Dry, and fresh and zesty and transparent. Really appetising and interesting
Delicately meaty spiced fruit, rich, juicy and very frank mid palate. Firm but extremely fine-grained tannins. Medium weight and refined. Drink 2010-16.
This is a tiny property in Pessac Leognan owned by the Garcin-Cathiard family of Haut Bergey. Modern style wine making with a hint of jam. Impressive depth but not a lot of Graves typicity.
Very good saturated deep red. Cherry, plum, smoke and warm earth on the nose, lifted by spices and menthol. Fat, sweet, lush and impressively concentrated; comes across as more powerful but less pliant today than the 2006, with a firm tannic structure for a wine from this property. Not at all over the top; in fact, this gives the impression of a lower pH than the 2006 today. May be even better than it's showing now.