2003 Chateau Brane-Cantenac
By Chateau Brane-Cantenac
2003 Chateau Brane-Cantenac from Chateau Brane-Cantenac, Margaux, Bordeaux
The 2003 vintage in Bordeaux presented an extraordinary challenge for vintners: a scorching summer brought on by a fierce European heatwave. Many estates struggled, yet Chateau Brane-Cantenac rose to the occasion, resulting in a splendidly unique expression of their venerable terroir.
Mastery Over Might: The 2003 Phenomenon
It is a year that tested the mastery of the viticulturist and the alchemy of the winemaker to its limits. The 2003 Chateau Brane-Cantenac captures this struggle and the attendant triumph. With a notable concentration of flavor and an assured grasp of structure, it distinguished itself from other more fluently composed vintages. This is a collector's bounty, a tapestry of everything that both challenged and ennobled Bordeaux in that sun-drenched season.
The Pinnacle Of Poise In A Year of Extremes
In the glass, the 2003 Chateau Brane-Cantenac is a testament to resilience. The inky depth alludes to its concentrated cassis and blackberry core, tinged with an earthiness that speaks to Margaux's soil—a terroir resilient enough to produce elegance even amidst the intense heat. There is a hint of charred oak and spice, seamlessly integrated into the robust tannic structure; yet after several years in bottle, these tannins have softened into a leathery finesse.
The wine’s palate showcases how right decisions in vineyard and cellar can transcend difficult conditions; it is dense yet not ponderous, with maturity revealing layers of complexity that come only from grapes coaxed lovingly through hardship.
Investment Worthy: A Vintage Apart
The 2003 Chateau Brane-Cantenac stands as an investment-worthy acquisition. Its deviation from classic vintages underpins its intrigue for investors and connoisseurs alike. As it continues to evolve gracefully, it secures its position as one of the stand-out wines from that extreme year—a wine worthy of contemplation, conversation, and cellar space.
In summary, savouring the 2003 Chateau Brane-Cantenac offers more than a fine drinking experience; it offers insight into the tenacity of one of Bordeaux's cherished estates to create vinous beauty even when nature delivers its fiercest blow.
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Scores and tasting notes
Tasted at the Brane-Cantenac vertical at the château, the 2003 Brane-Cantenac, a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, has a rather monotone bouquet of smudged red berry fruit mixed with aniseed and dried herbs. The palate is medium-bodied, soft in the mouth with a one-dimensional finish that does not exactly compel another sip. This is the weakest vintage of the decade for the estate and bottles should be consumed in the near future. Tasted April 2015.
Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 30 December 2016