Brane Cantenac 2005


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Tasting Notes

A sexy, style of wine from the Lurtons at Brane-Cantenac, this wine (a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc) has a stunning nose of forest floor, licorice, blackcurrants, plums and spring flowers. Soft tannin, full-bodied opulence and beautifully textured, lush richness, make for a brilliant wine from this large, 180-acre vineyard. In spite of the wine’s stunning forward fragrance and lushness, the color still looks as if it is 3-4 years old, rather than a decade. This is a big-time winner in 2005 and should drink well for at least another 25+ years. Drink 2015-2040.

Score: 95Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (219), June 2015

This is the finest Brane-Cantenac I have tasted in over thirty years. Unusually perfumed and already approachable (atypical for most 2005 Medocs), it reveals a deep plum/purple color as well as a stunningly flamboyant bouquet of smoked herbs, licorice, camphor, black cherries, currants, and notions of plums and blackberries. Elegant with silky tannin and medium body, it is clearly a classic statement on the Margaux appellation. While not a powerhouse, it is beautifully concentrated, stunningly balanced, and surprisingly forward. It could be drunk now after several hours of decanting, but it should age easily for 20+ years.

Score: 94Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (176), April 2008

A magnificent effort, the 2005 is the greatest Brane-Cantenac I have tasted. Even more compelling than it was last year, it admirably demonstrates why this was such a highly regarded property in the middle of the 19th century. Boasting a dense purple color, stunning sweetness, and a glorious perfume of spring flowers, lead pencil shavings, black cherry jam, and blackberries, it is an elegantly styled wine with gorgeous concentration, superb harmony, beautifully integrated tannin and acidity, and an expansive, long finish. Yet, the overall impression is one of finesse, elegance, and serious flavor concentration. While it will undoubtedly last 30 years or more, it is hard to know whether it will close down or become more drinkable. I recommend giving it 3-4 years of bottle age and drinking it over the following two and a half decades.

Score: 93/95Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (170), April 2007

This dark plum/ruby-tinged Margaux displays a rich bouquet of dried herbs, truffles, meat juices, plums, anise, and black currants. Medium to full-bodied and complex, with a savory, broad, expansive mouthfeel, undeniable elegance, good freshness, and a long, moderately tannic finish, it requires 3-4 years of bottle age (or more if it closes down). It should evolve gracefully for 25+ years.

Score: 91/93Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006

Tasted at the Brane-Cantenac vertical at the château, the 2005 Brane-Cantenac is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc. It has a focused, conservative (for the vintage) nose with gravel-tinged red berry fruit intermingling with cedar, graphite and pine needle scents. The palate is medium-bodied with a firm structure and unlike the bottle tasted in January, which I declined to score, there is no green streak on the finish. It is very backward and some might describe it as curmudgeonly. Personally I would not touch it for another five years, even though apparently it is beginning to open according to Henri Lurton. No, I would afford it another two or three years in bottle and let's see where we are then. Tasted April 2015.

Score: 92+Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (228), December 2016

Score: 92James Suckling,, February 2008

Score: 89/91James Suckling,, March 2006

Tasted blind. Still some blue in the crimson. Slightly simple Cabernet aromas. Thick and sweet start. A little bit plodding but no shortage of density. Stolid. Not especially refreshing.
Drink 2017-2034

Score: 16.5Jancis Robinson MW,, March 2017

Mid crimson with a pale rim. Neat and fragrant. Relatively transparent and lively. Only the heavy charge of tannins betrays the vintage because this is one of the less dense 2005s. But it's a charming wine with some pace. 13%
Drink 2020-2035

Score: 17-Jancis Robinson MW,, February 2015

Good fresh zesty wine without too much dry tannin. Energy and fleshy.

Score: 17.5Jancis Robinson MW,, February 2009

Full, sweet, porty, almost overripe notes (unusual for Margaux 2005). Something feral almost. All ripe fruit and not much structure, plus a bit sweet and unappetising on the finish. Fruit juice rather than wine. Not sophisticated or deep though certainly a very easy drink. Drink 2012-18

Score: 15.5Jancis Robinson MW,, April 2006

Deep colour with a fragrant lift of ripe Cabernet Sauvignon, shows strength of flavour without heaviness, leafy, very Margaux, long lingering finish. Drink 2010-25.

Score: 18Steven Spurrier, Decanter Magazine, April 2006

Deep, very rich. Savoury, coffee, very classic perfume. Delicious. Drink from 2013.Awarded 5 stars

Score: 18.5+Decanter Magazine, Decanter Magazine, July 2008

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.