The 2018 Brane-Cantenac was picked from September 17 to October 11 at 45hl/ha, and aged in 70% new French oak. The nose is more immediate compared to other vintages, demanding less coaxing and offering attractive cranberry, raspberry, mint and chalk dust aromas that feel well defined and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and good acidity (pH 3.78). This is quintessential Brane-Cantenac, its DNA overriding the leitmotifs of the growing season. Touches of sour cherry appear toward a saline finish that lingers nicely in the mouth. This is full of freshness even at this early stage, and I suspect it will drink sooner than other recent vintages. 2024 - 2048
|Score: 92/94||Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019|
The deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Branaire-Ducru begins just a tad reduced with broody tar, rubber and fried herbs scents giving way to a fragrant core of warm cassis, blackberry pie and blueberry coulis with touches of smoked meats and tobacco. Full-bodied, firm and rugged in the mouth with brawny, muscular fruit and a sturdy frame of grainy tannins, it finishes long and savory.
|Score: 92/94||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019|
What strikes me about this Brane-Cantenac is the gorgeous center palate of ripe fruit, which gives an impression of generosity, yet it’s tight and reserved at the same time. Fine and polished tannins follow on and drive this gorgeous fruit.
|Score: 95/96||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019|
The 2018 Brane-Cantenac captures all of the natural richness of the year. Ample, creamy and resonant, the 2018 offers quite a bit of intensity while retaining its mid-weight sense of structure. Dark red cherry, mint, spice, and dried rose petals are some of the signatures. Even with its obvious volume the 2018 retains lovely aromatic freshness and nuance. The 2018 is an especially juicy, open-knit Brane-Cantenac. Grilled herbs, menthol, spice and anise add an attractive upper-register to the perfumed finish. The blend is 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Tasted three times.
|Score: 92/95||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019|
74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot; 70% new oak. Barrel sample.
Darkest core with barely a rim. Prettily scented, reminding me, along with Angludet just tasted, of the aromatic distinctiveness of classic Margaux. A bit dry and slim on the palate but the tannins have been gently handled and there’s freshness to finish. (JH) 13.4%
|Score: 16||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019|
Deep in colour, with strawberry and red cherry fruit on the nose layered with notes of tobacco and incense. The palate is juicy and rounded but cut by fresh acidity that gives a cooler, brighter edge to the black fruit at the core. The oak is integrated but smoky, with notes of roasted coffee bean and bonfire. The finish is vibrant, juicy, long and savoury.
|Score: 16.5||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019|
The grand vin 2018 Château Brane-Cantenac checks in as 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that fermented in wooden tanks and saw malolactic fermentation and aging in 70% new French oak. It's a beautifully layered, sexy beauty loaded with notions of blackcurrants, spicy oak, camphor, and dried tobacco. Medium to full-bodied, balanced, and layered on the palate, it has a seamless texture, sweet tannin, remarkable freshness and purity, and a great finish. Count me in as a fan. This is another irresistible 2018 that should be snatched up by readers. It will keep for 25-30 years.
|Score: 94/96+||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019|
This is a serious wine, with well constructed walls and floor, but it's full of life too, with brambled, succulent and generously-extracted fruit on the nose. It has less immediate charm than some in the appellation and will take a while to come round, but it has clear ageing ability and is one to savour. You feel the precision and confidence in how it presents itself.
1% Petit Verdot makes up the blend - there was no Carmenère in the grand vin in 2018. 45hl/ha yield. 70% new oak.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2042
|Score: 95||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019|
(74 Cabernet Sauvignon, 23 Merlot, 2 Cabernet Franc) | 70% new oak | 13.4% alc | 45 hl/ha | 3.78 pH This is yet another superb Brane-Cantenac and the fruit is clean, ripe and smooth and it is not too overblown or heavy. There is delicious intensity here and the tannins are wonderfully mouth-watering and complete. I would not hesitate to recommend this wine not least because it will surely drink early and hold well, too. The only problem I have with it is that the blend that I noted down only adds up to 99%!
|Score: 17.5+||Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019|