Cantenac Brown 2009


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Tasting Notes

The 2009 Cantenac Brown repeats the solid showing six years ago. It has a clean and precise, very focused bouquet with intense blackberry and bilberry fruit, hints of sandalwood and mint emerging with time. This is very elegant. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine bead of acidity, taut and linear with real precision and grace towards the finish. Lovely touches of Asian spice linger on the aftertaste. What a superb Margaux. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting. 2020 - 2045

Score: 93Neal Martin,, March 2019

Tasted twice in Bordeaux, I must say that whatever was shown to me in cask certainly did not appear to be performing as well from bottle. It could be just that the wine has closed down, but I had thought this was an extraordinary wine and one of the big time sleepers of the vintage. The tannins have taken hold, and although the wine is still outstanding, any hopes of achieving a mid-90 point score, as I had hoped, seem highly questionable. Dense ruby/purple with notes of graphite, blackberries and forest floor, the wine is full-bodied, powerful, excruciatingly tannic and closed, and that may be why it's not showing as well as I predicted. Certainly, this was the biggest discrepancy between barrel and bottle that I saw in the vintage, but the wine is still outstanding, just not profound. It will be interesting to revisit this wine in a number of years. Forget it for 7-8 years and drink it over the following 30.

Score: 90Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012

The greatest Cantenac Brown I have ever tasted, this monumental effort possesses enormous concentration, with loads of black and blue fruits intermixed with damp earth and forest floor. I have never seen a Cantenac Brown so seamless, so powerful, yet at the same time, so elegant and densely complex. They have certainly done something here that has not been accomplished over the last three decades I have been tasting this estate's wines. Opaque purple in color and full-bodied, this big-time sleeper of the vintage merits serious attention for the first time in my professional career. Kudos to the new ownership and team at Cantenac Brown. This wine should evolve over a 30-year period. (Tasted two times.) Drink 2010-2040.

Robert Parker added an asterisk to this wine score to signify that it is a wine he considers has the finest potential of all the offerings he has ever tasted from this estate in nearly 32 years of barrel tasting samples in Bordeaux.

Score: 94/96Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010

Tasted at a negociant. Definite prune aromas on the nose: over-mature: more Languedoc than Margaux. The palate is full-bodied with thick and chewy tannins. It is actually quite a pure, very agreeable Cabernet, but there is no sense of Bordeaux typicité (which is kinda what you and I pay for?) Tasted March 2010.

Score: 84/86Neal Martin,, April 2010

Fresh berry and currant, with mint and spices. Full-bodied, with supervelvety tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Toasted oak, ripe fruit, everything. A beauty. Best ever.

Score: 93/96James Suckling,, April 2010

Dark crimson. Intense meat extract savoury nose. Then rather loose on the palate with the furry tannins coming in only on the very end. Reasonably dramatic wine, not at all in the classic Margaux mould. A little drying on the finish, and just a slight lack of freshness. But certainly it has pzazz and impact. Determinedly modernistic. Date tasted 31st March 2010. Drink 2016-2028.

Score: 16Jancis Robinson MW,, April 2010

The nose is lush packed out with ripe black fruits, cassis and a hint of plum. Powerful flavours enrich the palate, lots of concentration, the fleshiness balanced by freshness giving the finish sleekness and length. Drink 2020-2040.

Score: 89/94Derek Smedley MW, April 2010

There's a fair whack of oak on this Cabernet-dominated blend at the moment, but the bramble and cassis fruit beneath is supple, yet well-structured, too. The tannins are sweet and silky, but there's enough power to sustain the wine in barrel and bottle. 10+ years.

Score: 91Tim Atkin MW, April 2010

Dense purple red, quite meaty, savoury nose with a good lift of freshness and spice, good extraction and good firm tannins, a fleshy, fragrant wine with a good future. Drink 2014-2022.

Score: 17Steven Spurrier,, April 2010

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.