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Brane Cantenac 2020

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Margaux
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

Henri Lurton, the proprietor here, has been working to improve quality in the vineyard with regrafting of Merlot to high quality Cabernet Sauvignon as they look to keep freshness and structure in the wines. The vineyard is now planted with 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% split between Petit Verdot and Carmenère. Recent vintages have been outstanding and this property is now producing the best wines in Margaux behind the superstars of Château Margaux, Palmer and Rauzan Ségla.

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Tasting Notes

The 2020 Brane-Cantenac was bottled towards the end of July, a little later than usual, partly due to the logistics. It takes time to open in the glass, offering gorgeous blackberry, pencil box and tobacco scents that gain intensity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and outstanding delineation. Very cohesive, this is a supremely focused Brane-Cantenac that lives up to the billing after such an impressive showing en primeur. So precise on the finish, with light graphite notes lingering on the aftertaste. Wonderful.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2023

Blackberries, plums, currants, tobacco and violets on the nose. Bitter chocolate and mocha, too. It’s refined and focused, with a medium to full body and firm, tightly-knit tannins. Very long, laser-focused and polished. Very classy. Best of the trilogy. Try after 2027.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2023

The 2020 Brane-Cantenac has turned out nicely, offering up aromas of blackberries and crème de cassis mingled with notions of licorice, pencil shavings, violets and subtle hints of smoked meats. Medium to full-bodied, rich and fleshy, with a lavish core of fruit, ripe acids and sweet tannins that assert themselves on the savory finish, it can't quite match the purity and sensuality of the 2019, but it's a strong effort. 2027 - 2060

William Kelley, Wine Advocate, April 2023

The 2020 Brane-Cantenac is deep garnet-purple in color. It gallops out with energetic scents of black and red currant preserves, fresh boysenberries, and candied violets, plus wafts of bay leaves and graphite. The medium-bodied palate shimmers with vibrant black and red berry flavors, supported by firm, grainy tannins, finishing long and earthy.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, March 2023

There is an exuberance to the 2020 vintage at Brane Cantenac, with rippling depths to the damson fruit, along with liqourice, graphite, cocoa bean, fine tannins, white pepper, sage. Feels fully ripe but well restrained, very Margaux. 100% new oak with 28 different parameters, including forest origin, level of toasting, width of the grain and time of seasoning the oak staves before barrel construction. Just such a meticulous approach, and no doubt helps deepen the complexity in the final glass, as do choices such as the touch of Carmanère in the blend (and the increase in Cabernet Sauvignon over recent years). Eric Boissenot consultant, 31hl/ha yield.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, February 2023

Full bottle 1,325 g. Cask sample taken 19 April. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% each of Petit Verdot and Carmenère. Cabernet Sauvignon was picked 17 to 28 September, Merlot 14 to 18 September, Cabernet Franc 18 to 25 September, Petit Verdot 21 to 22 September, Carmenère 30 September.
Deep, dark purple. Very fragrant with hints of bergamot. Decidedly aérien on the nose and then super-gentle on the palate. Much lighter than most of its peers but by no means vapid. The tannins are almost negligible – apparently – but they dig in on the end of the palate. Very long. A decidedly graceful wine. 13.7%
Drink 2026 – 2042

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2021

The 2020 blend is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenère. The ageing will take place in a mixture of oak barrels and amphoras for 18 months. Delicate extraction techniques were used to get highly refined tannins. Bright ruby in colour. This has a superb aroma already, mixing floral cherry blossom and violet tones with ripe red cherry fruit and a hint of dried herbs. The palate is pure cashmere, with supremely refined tannins gently framing cool black fruit at the core. Despite the silky elegance, the fruit bursts through with intensity. This is a deep, harmonious wine with a very persistent finish. An excellent Brane Cantenac and one of the highlights from our tastings this year.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2021

(70% CS, 26% M, 2% CF, 1% CARM, 1% PV; 35% harvest, 13.7% ABV)
Dense, lightly “dry” blackcurrant Cabernet, markedly and very finely mineral; rich, full, concentrated but absolutely without excess, lightly oaky in aroma and texture, deep and subtly juicy, darkly ripe Cabernet fruit, long and close-grained to taste, very mineral, with a feel of effortlessly contained richness and wonderful black fruit and mineral persistence. And for all the ripe fruit, a delicious freshness, too. Classically proportioned, complete and beautiful. 2028–60+.

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine, May 2021
Read more tasting notes...

The 2020 Brane-Cantenac was picked September 14–28 and includes 13% vin de presse. It has exactly the same blend as last year since Henri Lurton and his team did not limit the Grand Vin to the 30-hectare plateau, a similar approach to Pichon-Baron when they reorganized their own vineyard. I allowed my sample an hour to open (during which I was discussing the wine with Lurton over Zoom). It has a beautifully defined bouquet of blackberry, wild hedgerow, fresh mint and light bay leaf scents. I have sometimes found a little greenness on the nose, but there is none in 2020. The palate is very well balanced with finely chiseled, precise tannins and beautifully judged acidity. Harmonious and poised, this is an absolutely fantastic Brane-Cantenac, in my mind superior to the previous two vintages, exuding wonderful mineralité on the finish. A must-buy. 2027 - 2057.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2021

Extremely floral and beautiful with blackberry and blackcurrant aromas that follow through to a full body with a solid core of fruit and loads of dark fruit, sweet tobacco, bark and earth. Chewy, fine tannins. Perhaps the best of the trilogy years.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2021

The 2020 Brane-Cantenac is made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, and 1% Carmenere. Deep garnet-purple colored, it gives up notes of cedar, cinnamon, and sassafras over a core of cassis, lilacs, and garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, it is firm and grainy with just enough freshness, and a bright, shiny finish. This was tasted as a barrel sample.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, May 2022

The 2020 Brane-Cantenac is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Carménère and 1% Petit Verdot. It weighs in with 13.7% alcohol and a pH of 3.71. Deep purple-black colored, it has a beautifully expressive nose of fresh redcurrants, blackcurrant jelly, kirsch and rose oil, plus hints of tobacco leaf, wild sage and crushed rocks. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly styled with a plush texture and plenty of freshness supporting the red berry and earthy flavors, finishing fragrant. 2024 - 2040

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, May 2021

Violet-edged, lovely vibrant colour. A low-yield wine that has kept an impressively fresh core, with expressive fruits and a vibrant grip through the centre of the wine. Powerful, tight tannins and the concentration becomes clearer in the glass, a ton of bilberry, sage and rosemary aromatics, with a generous helping of graphite and crushed stone. All of these wines are going to need very careful ageing - although the reasonable alcohols should help. A yield of 31hl/ha. 18 months ageing in a mix of new oak barrels and amphoras. 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenère completes the blend. Tasted twice.

Drinking Window 2028 - 2044

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, May 2021
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.