2016 Chateau Brane-Cantenac
By Chateau Brane-Cantenac
2016 Chateau Brane-Cantenac from Chateau Brane-Cantenac, Margaux, Bordeaux
The Margaux appellation is noted for producing wines with an alluring finesse, and the 2016 Chateau Brane-Cantenac from Chateau Brane-Cantenac is a quintessential exemplar of such craftsmanship. This particular vintage encapsulates the essence of a Bordeaux blend that has ripened impeccably under the benevolent gaze of a benevolent Bordelais sun.
Vintage Veracity: A Promise of Potential
The 2016 vintage in Bordeaux was characterised by a damp start and a scorching summer, a climatic paradox which ultimately laid down the gauntlet for vintners. It was those who expertly navigated these conditions, like the revered team at Chateau Brane-Cantenac, who coaxed from their vines a crop with both excellent phenolic ripeness and refreshing acidity—a combination that forecasts remarkable ageing potential for investors and connoisseurs alike.
Territorial Tenacity: Terroir’s Triumph
The terroir of Chateau Brane-Cantenac's vineyard plots sings through in this vintage, with the gravelly soils imparting to the wine an undeniable Minerality that juxtaposes gracefully against plush tannins and layers of dark fruit. The 2016 Chateau Brane-Cantenac possesses a bouquet where blackcurrants, violets, and subtle oak spices dance in harmonious complexity. On the palate, there is an unyielding structure that promises longevity, yet it is worn lightly—suggesting enjoyment in both its impetuous youth and assured maturity.
It comes as no surprise that those focusing on the intricacies of fine wine investment have lauded the 2016 vintage for displaying balance seldom achieved—a balance that makes it immensely collectable and poised for promising returns on cellaring.
Appreciation for this prime vintage's equity should not overshadow its primary role as a source of enological enchantment. The 2016 Chateau Brane-Cantenac is undoubtedly one to acquire: to observe as it evolves, to delight as it unfurls over time. Its well-appointed nature serves as testimony to the seasoned hands at Chateau Brane-Cantenac and lays down an enticing gauntlet for those seeking both sensory pleasure and savvy investment from their cellars.
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Scores and tasting notes
The 2016 Brane-Cantenac is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Carmenere picked from 22 September until 17 October (the tiny parcel of Carmenere picked three days later). The yields came in at 51 hectoliters per hectare and it is matured in 75% new oak and 25% one-year-old barrels, the final alcohol level 13.3%. It has a beautifully defined, very detailed bouquet with mineral-rich black fruit laced with cedar and graphite notes, living up to its nom de plume as the "Pauillac of Margaux." The palate is simply the best that I have ever tasted at the estate, without question. This has presence, but also weightlessness, filigree tannin and perfectly pitched acidity, with real intensity and drive. The tension here is outstanding and the persistence is incredibly long. It is not the showiest of all the 2016s by a long stretch, and yet it is everything you could possibly want from a Margaux. Like Beychevelle this year, the 2016 Brane-Cantenac puts recent vintages in the shade, thanks not only to the growing season, but also a new punching down system in their gravity-fed winery that was completed in 2015. The 2016 is a benchmark against which future vintages will be compared.
Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 28 April 2017
This is really strong from Brane-Cantenac this year with toned muscles and beautiful fruit. Full-bodied, chewy and polished. Shows wonderful intensity and density yet remains reserved and very tight. Very impressive from here. Grabs you. One of the best ever from here.
James Suckling - jamessuckling.com, April 4th 2017
Shows a coffee edge, along with tobacco and bay notes that meld steadily into the core of steeped plum and black cherry fruit. The fleshy finish lets the bay element take an encore. A touch old-school.—J.M.
Wine Spectator - The Wine Spectator (James Molesworth)
Dark purplish crimson. Neat, unforced, smells fully ripe. Salty finish and a fine spread across the palate. Bone dry, but not too drying, finish. Cool, unforced and sophisticated. Very competent indeed.
Jancis Robinson - jancisrobinson.com