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  • Weather

    17° C Broken clouds
  • Time

    14:52 PM
  • Wine average?

    93 Tb
  • Country Ranking?

    250
  • Region Ranking?

    112
  • Popularity ranking?

    137

History

Vineyards are stamped with the will of men. Begun 250 years ago, Brane-Cantenac’s legend is the tale of a thriving relationship between man and earth, which grows stronger as the ages go by. Named ‘Hostein’ in the 18th Century, this great wine estate was bought by the Gorce family, and produced one of the Medoc’s most renowned wines long before the 1855 classification.

As for our 2nd wine, Baron de Brane, its name pays hommage to the famous Baron Jacques-Maxime de Brane, the ’Napoléon des Vignes’, owner of the property in the 19th Century. For the past four generations the Lurton family has been at the helm, devoted wardens who continue to ensure that the property flourishes, producing wines of the greatest quality.

Since 1992, Henri has continued the journey that his father and ancestors began. Although a proponent of innovation and new technology, Henri is careful never to lose sight of the traditional values that remain an inherent part of Brane’s identity. Above all, he is proud of the unique terroir, and recognises the need to treat the soil, vines and grapes with immense respect as he carefully steers Brane’s future course.

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Vineyards

Brane Cantenac’s vineyard is carefully tended all the year round : improvements to drainage, new plantings adapted to the plots , severe pruning and de-budding to limit the crop and hand harvesting. When Henri Lurton took over the estate from his father , in 1992, he put into practice all that he had learnt  throughout his extensive training and experience acquired in vineyards all over the world. The wine of Brane is prepared in its vineyards. The family’s relationship with this land was founded by his great-grand-father, in 1922. It has continued through fine and less-than-fine vintages, through difficult or more favorable economic contexts. Such steadfast attachment has nothing to do with fashion.

 

 

Château Brane-Cantenac has built its legend around a vineyard of 75 hectares comprised  of different plots. The biggest of these lies right in front of the château of the finest bench of large-sized gravel within the Margaux appellation. This area which rises above the surrounding land is called the plateau de Brane it’s as if the earth has swelled up with pride to show off its potential. The layers of stones, from the former river-bed of the Garonne, lie as deep as 10 meters there. These are unfertile soils which also have a warming influence, favoring the region’s preferred grape, the cabernet sauvignon. They make it work hard, sending its roots deep to find sustenance.

 


Vineyards are stamped with man’s will. They grow according to its design and will produce their best fruit for he who has trust in them. A great wine cannot exist without this exchange. The time it takes to understand one another can seem long. At Brane, the learning process began 250 years ago, with the odd period of silence in between. The Lurton family has continued the dialogue over the past four generations. Since 1992, Henri, Lucien’s son, holds the floor, continuing in his father’s footsteps. It is his turn to strive for that ideal balance between man and nature which, alone can obtain the best from a particular terroir.

 

 

From mid September onwards, things get busy in the vineyard. The château nestling behind the Brane plateau ceases to be a haven of peace. It’s time to harvest and 100 hands and arms come into play, to cut, sort and then carry the bunches to the cellars. Harvest is the culminating point of the year’s work. All year long, no effort has been spared to care for and nurture this land, producing reasonable yields of around 45 hectoliters per hectare. The order to harvest is only given after the grapes have been analyzed and, above all, tasted. When each plot has reached the required point of maturity, a group of pickers starts work. Harvest often finishes in October in the flurry of excitement that accompanies any birth.

 

 

The transformation of grapes into wine is a short, violent and turbulent process. Called fermentation, it transfigures and focuses the year’s work. It requires some very sophisticated equipment which will only be used for a few weeks every year. The grapes are brought in and carefully sorted, variety by variety, and plot by plot. Then comes crushing, fermentation, maceration, pressing and filling the barrels. Every stage requires the right tolls and impeccable hygiene.

 

 

 

 

Brane-Cantenac has a long history behind it which has forged its identity. But between the sometimes stifling weight of tradition and the temptation to make a clean sweep of the past, there is a middle ground to be trodden. Brane-Cantenac has kept what is relevant in traditional practice, adding selected elements from modern techniques. The aim being always to handle grapes and wine in the most gentle natural way possible. For example, Henri Lurton combines the advantages of traditional wooden vats with those of stainless steel and concrete ones. Their moderate size enables individual treatment of batches. Such combined techniques increase the options available at blending time.

 

 

 

Tranquilit after the storm. The cellar is a functional place with no frills; dark and cool, perfectly adapted to its purpose. The wine now requires peace and quiet, as well as surrounding fresh air and people to look after it. It rests, like a patient gaining in strength and refinement, preparing itself for the long haul of its future life in the bottle.  In order to face a time-span that will, for many of these bottles, exceed 20 years, it has to gradually absorb oxygen through the barrel staves in the quiet darkness of the cellar.  Life ticks along, peacefully and gently. Ageing has begun, and it is part of the oenologists’ job to judge its pace and read its language.  At Brane-Cantenac, the type of barrel used is adapted to the vintage’s % nature (up to 70% new oak) and to the length of ageing required (around 18 months)

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Winemaking

As a living, constantly evolving product, a great wine requires attention, patience and a certain degree of experience. Since 1999, Henri Lurton has made it his aim to produce each year the best wine possible while remaining faithful to the outstanding, historic terroir of Brane. Since 1997, a new, spacious vat cellar, modern wine-making techniques and a new team have enabled him to rise to this challenge.

However, gaining a technological cutting edge is not an end in itself. Even when new ideas have been properly tried and tested, they are only adopted if they can bring about definite improvements. At Brane, wine production is more based on what the soil can offer. Henri Lurton above all seeks to achieve optimal grape quality and perfectly healthy and ripe fruit.

 

The quality of the tannins in a wine is the key to its ageing potential. Achieving quality tannins however is also dependent on terroir and the age of the vines; and enhancing that quality assumes grapes that have ripened to perfection (neither under-ripe, nor over-ripe). Those tannins then have to be extracted gently from the grapes during the vinification. This is the reason why Henri Lurton for the last twenty years has tasted the grapes himself before every vintage, so as to choose the right date to begin the picking. With his experience and expertise he can predict with precision the potential of each parcel.

Brane’s greatest asset is the amazing quality of its historic terroir, because at the end of the day wine is made in the vineyard. This is why Henri Lurton attaches such great importance to vine canopy work, very strict selection and moderate yields (an average yield of 45hl/ha). Contrary to what may have been written about the estate, Brane produces a very limited quantity of First Wine. Scarcely a third of the production carries the famous gold and black label! The two other thirds are divided between Baron de Brane, the Second Wine, and Château Notton.

 

Harvesting by hand, transporting of the grapes to the cellar by the Air Tec Wine carrier and sorting using the Vistalys de Bucher optical sorting line process guarantee that the berries that end up in the fermentation vats are of perfect quality.

Henri Lurton believes that a great wine should combine structure with elegance and possess great aromatic purity. Château Brane Cantenac’s aromatic qualities have been acknowledged for a great many years. Its bouquet develops over time. The more the wine ages, the greater power it develops.  

 

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People

  • Henri Lurton

    Owner
    "As a living, constantly evolving product, a great wine requires attention, patience and a certain degree of experience".

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Brane-Cantenac . In a tasting of  50 wines 

BORDEAUX 2019 / Ch. Margaux 2019 - only 37% of the whole production into Grand Vin. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon + 7% Merlot + 2% Cabernet Franc + 1% Petit Verdot, 14.9% alcohol. Ch. Margaux' technical director, Philippe Bascaules, told me, that Merlot needed to be vinified gently due to its voluptuousness and high alcohol. He made a comparison between 2018 and 2019 Grand Vin - "when I taste 2018 Ch. Margaux, I taste 2018 vintage first, then Ch. Margaux. When I taste 2019 Ch. Margaux, it's Ch.  Margaux first, then 2019 vintage!"
It's a showcase of Cabernet Sauvignon with wonderful aromas of cigar box and tobacco leaves. Extremely elegant and multi-faceted, sophisticated and very stylish for the property. Exceptional complexity and purity. Liquid silk. True perfection here! 99-100p. 

3m 14d ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Brane-Cantenac . In a tasting of  20 wines 

Our weekly pro-tasting had this time wines from 1837-2015. Best ones were Yquem 1947, Latour 1996, Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc 2015, Masseto 2014, Petrolo 2003....

3m 16d ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Brane-Cantenac . In a tasting of  23 wines 

Yesterday a fine tasting with friends including wines from 1908-2019. Best ones were Harlan 2011, Cristal 1962, Cheval Blanc 1947, Monfortino 2009 etc.

3m 22d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Brane-Cantenac . In a tasting of  52 wines 

The Conseil des Grands Crus Classés en 1855 represents all the Châteaux of the worldwide renowned classification which has been established for the world exhibition in Paris in 1855. It is a great chance to taste most of the wines of this illustrious circle. On May 20, 2020 the samples arrived in my office and were stored under pristine conditions to be savoured the following day. As most of the Châteaux have not been able to show their wines yet, it was a unique opportunity to get a broader picture of the vintage 2019. A few Châteaux have already sent wines before the shutdown so that I even had the option to try them a second time. This might explain some slight adjustments in tasting notes and ratings. The Covid-19 crisis is a nightmare -not only for the Primeurs- but in the same time it offered a perfect chance as well. Usually, the Primeurs would have been presented at the end of March. Now, seven to eight weeks later, the wines had more time to mature and to evolve. The samples performed very well and todays tasting confirmed a lot of quotes from producers in Bordeaux. Bruno-Eugène Borie from Château Ducru-Beaucaillou sees 2019 in a line with the excellent vintages of 2016, 2010, 2009 und 2005. Henri Lurton talks about his best vintage, along with 2016, he has ever vinified at Château Brane-Cantenac. Philippe Dhalluin from Château Mouton-Rothschild asses the vintage as rich and abundant in quality and in quantity as well. After some smaller crops they came back to an average production. Emmanuel Cruse from Château d’Issan sees that 2019 has a lot in common with 2016 yet preserving more freshness. It is a very good vintage but appearing at a very difficult time on the market. At Château Coutet in Barsac, Philippe and Aline Baly were harvesting in three passes with a total of 19 harvesting days. They judge the conditions as rather ideal: “These climatic conditions have generated a harvest whose quality is indisputably present.” The result is a vintage with great qualities. In my opinion 2019 is on a comparable quality level with 2018, however showing even more freshness. Terroir might be more important in this vintage than in 2018 but the best ones show truly great wines.

5m 2d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Brane-Cantenac . In a tasting of  7 wines 

Primeurs in difficult times


When I was visiting Bordeaux early March, Corona was a threat on the horizon and France has been more concerned by a strike of the air traffic control. However, I was travelling to Bordeaux and had the chance to get some first insights to the 2019 vintage. I was very much looking forward to the “en primeur tastings” which were scheduled for March 26, 2020 but the tastings were cancelled mid-March. Immediately I contacted the different associations and wineries in Bordeaux and asked for samples. The result was a small number of wines which arrived in Essen before the shutdown of France made shipments rather complicated. These first samples of the vintage 2019 were tasted under pristine conditions to assure a fair and equal assessment of all qualities. In fact, the samples proved right the opinion of some of Bordeaux’ leading figures. Bruno-Eugène Borie from Château Ducru-Beaucaillou sees 2019 in a line with the excellent vintages of 2016, 2010, 2009 und 2005. Henri Lurton talks about his best vintage, along with 2016, he has ever vinified at Château Brane-Cantenac. Philippe Dhalluin from Château Mouton-Rothschild asses the vintage as rich and abundant in quality and in quantity. After some smaller crops they came back to an average production. Emmanuel Cruse from Château d’Issan sees that 2019 has a lot in common with 2016 yet preserving more freshness. It is a very good vintage but appearing at a very difficult time on the market.


In fact, the start of this vintage was very positive. Enough precipitations during winter were retained by soils like chalk and clay. Vineyards on these water retaining soils had a huge advantage in the future growing period. With exception of a wet June, the vintage has taken advantage of a rather dry climatic condition, which prevented diseases in the vineyards to a huge extend. No chance for powdery or downy mildew. Even the heat waves were not really harming the vines as rain set in, always at the last moment but still early enough to prevent massive water stress and a slow-down of the maturity. The late physiological maturity brought a lot of alcohol, but the wines show more freshness as in the previous years. Fabien Teitgen, Winemaker of Smith-Haut-Lafitte relates this freshness to the good acidity “due to cool night temperatures during the ripening period”. This fact is also good news for white wines. „They are the big surprise “, says Olivier Bernard of Domaine de Chevalier. At Château Coutet in Barsac, Philippe and Aline Baly were harvesting in three passes with a total of 19 harvesting days. They judge the conditions as rather ideal: “These climatic conditions have generated a harvest whose quality is indisputably present.”


Same samples made their way to Essen and I have tasted them. Some more samples are announced and will hopefully arrive during the current week. There will be a weekly update of my tasting notes, whenever samples will arrive.


Unfortunately, 2019 arrives in a tough time, the Corona virus puts the world in fear and makes trade more and more difficult. Trade barriers and new customs duties create a challenging frame for this vintage. However, we should not forget one thing: there are wonderful 2019s waiting for us, wines with ageing potential and charm which will survive every crisis.

6m 26d ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Brane-Cantenac . In a tasting of  23 wines 

1971 Bordeaux vertical tasting - 1971 vintage in Bordeaux followed after highly acclaimed 1970 vintage. Spring was rather cold and damp. Good sunny and warm weather arrived in June and stayed until harvest was finished. Small yields compared with big harvest in 1970. Wines on Right Bank did better than in 1970, while Left Bank did more or less opposite thing.
Generally, wines tasted below (except white D.D.Chevalier) did very well despite age certificate saying 48 years old, with some real surprises. Several wines have still at least 10 years more of eventful life.
Tasting was semi-blind, meaning we didn’t know in which order wines showed up in flights and there were 3 additional wines served blind (Giscours, Charmes Chambertin and Filhot).  Tasting started with white D.d.Chevalier 1971.It had a touch of madeira over it, otherwise it tasted OK. Quick consumption strongly recommended! 86p.

11m 20d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Brane-Cantenac . In a tasting of  100 wines 

Bordeaux 2018 - TOP 100 Wines. "The best vintage of my live" says Christian Moueix of the Ets. Jean Pierre Moueix in Libourne. In fact, 2018 is a vintage with wonderfully ripe tannins which taste almost sweet and are characterizing wine with excellent structured. However this vintage was everything else than easy-going. The first six months of the year saw the complete annual rainfall for the Bordeaux region, over 800mm. Mildew attacked the grapes, what meant a reduction in quantity but as the leaves have not been attacked the maturity process continued and the lower yields brought concentrated grapes. Another problem where hailstorms bringing further damage. Some Châteaux like Château Guiraud have lost the complete harvest. "We went from hell to heaven" summarizes Véronique Sanders from Château Haut-Bailly in Pessac-Léognan the vintage. After the deluge in the first half of 2018, there was a dramatic change for the second half bringing great, dry weather with a lot of sun. The partially high daily temperatures were in change with lower night temperatures and created a tension for aromatic wines. The correct amount of extraction and maceration was crucial and some vintners have changed their maceration processes and made great wines with a lot of freshness. These vintners are amongst the winners of the vintage. If 2018 will belong to the greatest vintages in Bordeaux for the overall production might show the future. However already today there is a number of Châteaux performing 

1y 6m ago

 Andre Brattland, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Brane-Cantenac . In a tasting of  17 wines 

2015 Château Cheval Blanc – 99p / The power meets the delicacies and merges into amazing fragrances with distinctive black currant, cherries, raspberry, violet, anise, cedar and light sweet smoke.
 
Delicious rich and delicate wine that shows itself from the utmost charm. Brilliant fruit quality with darker raspberry, pencil and sweet liquorice. There is really depth in the wine. Tight yet beautiful tanins are labeled with a hot saltiness on the excellent finish. Fantastic wine for the next 30 years. 99 points.

1y 6m ago

 Janus Stern / Sommelier, Pro (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Brane-Cantenac . In a tasting of  20 wines 

Mascarello's Monprivato 2010 is an icon in Barolo. A classic and traditional wine that is coy in its youth, displaying light and lovely notes of rose petals, tar, and tobacco over gentle red berry fruit. This wine will continue to gain power and depth with additional cellaring and should prove to be a classic wine at the very peak of what this vintage of Barolo can achieve. 94 points

1y 11m ago

 Christer Byklum  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Brane-Cantenac . In a tasting of  30 wines 

Bottle variations on 1928? 1948? One magic dinner with all bottles coming directly from the estates and all ending in 8.

2y 3m ago

 Winnie Wing-Yin Ng , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Brane-Cantenac . In a tasting of  18 wines 

Margaux region enjoyed the best weather in the left bank in 2015 vintage. They had similar weather as like Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, and didn't get that much rainfall as like in northern Medoc. Grapes were fully ripened with plenty of concentration, complexity and freshness.


 

2y 5m ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Brane-Cantenac . In a tasting of  42 wines 

2014 Château Mouton Rothschild / Ruby. Anise, spices, liquorice, exotic spices, cassis, blueberries, light minerals note beneath, layered nose, beautiful depth. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fruity, anise, cassis, blueberries, layered and nuanced, spices, blackberries, exotic spices, bazar, minerals, layered and deep. 97

2y 8m ago

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