The 2017 Brane-Cantenac was picked from 14 September to 2 October at 31.2hl/ha after frost destroyed 35% of the vines in April. It is matured in 75% new oak and 25% one-year old and it has 13% alcohol. It has a tightly wound bouquet with broody black fruit, tar and a touch of graphite, very Pauillac in style as usual. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, very linear and precise, not a deep Margaux and unashamedly classic in style with dry, slightly brusque tannin. The finish is dominated by tobacco and pencil lead notes with healthy pinch of pepper on the aftertaste. Classic Brane-Cantenac through and through. Tasted on three occasions. Drink 2022-2040.
|Score: 91/93||Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2018|
Dark currant, berry and fresh herb character. Full-bodied, juicy and flavorful. Very structured. Solid finish and length. Better than 2014?
|Score: 92/93||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2018|
The 2017 Brane-Cantenac opens with a good burst of fruit, but then loses some intensity in its mid-palate and finish as the tannins clamp down on the fruit. In this tasting, the 2017 comes across as a bit slender. Some of that may be attributable to the relatively high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (74%) in the blend. Two thousand seventeen is also the first vintage to include Petit Verdot. All those details aside, the 2017 is an attractive Brane-Cantenac built on persistence.
|Score: 88/91||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2018|
Deep crimson. Complex aroma that pulls together black olive as well as sweet spice and cassis leaf and fruit. Creamy texture, nicely balanced, lightish and elegant with a juicy finish.
|Score: 16.5||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2018|
In 2017 there was frost in the vineyards but mainly in those that produce the 2nd wine - Baron de Brane. The best plots were unaffected and produced excellent Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Consequently the blend is 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1 % Petit Verdot. Smoky, rich and meaty on the nose, with ripe black fruits. The palate is robust with firm tannins but plump thanks to the ripe fruit core which offers generosity against the fresh acidity of the vintage. A little cocoa and chocolate offers nice complexity and sweetness on a long finish.
|Score: 15+||Farr Vintners, April 2018|
Fragrant and fresh the nose has spring violets the start of the palate bramble. There is mid sweetness fleshy and supple the tannins are fine sweet at the back with freshness on the finish. Drink 2023-2034.
|Score: 88/91||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, May 2018|
A lovely wine that sits extremely prettily though the palate, with a seductive expression of florality and blackberry fruits. It's not as powerful as the past two years, but is skilfully worked with soft grilled oak notes. It doesn't sacrifice the excellent quality that this estate has been producing.
Drinking Window 2025 - 2038
|Score: 93||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2018|
Dark, deep, full-bodied and rather shocking, in this lighter-framed vintage, this is a spicy, oaky wine but the fruit can support it. This is impressive work from a Château that is starting to hit a vein of form.
|Score: 17.5+||Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018|