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Château Cantenac was built on a beautiful day in 1870, on the place called “Cantenac” ». Its origin dates back to Roman times, bearing various meanings such as that of “enchanted, enchanting” place.

The property and its vineyard are located in the municipality of Saint-Emilion, 3.5 km west of the medieval city, on a promontory of gravel and clay. The “Bordeaux Guide and its Wines” (Ferêt Edition) mentions the property for the 1st time in its edition of 1898 to “the vanguard of the St Emilion hillsides” and as a “2nd Cru”.

M. Mme Despujols Oscar and Jeanne Marthe created the estate back in 1870, and the larger family implanted in the region owned Chateau Tambourlan and other estates. Later, from 1933 to 1937, Mr. Ernest Marache – native of the Nièvre – follows at the head of the estate, having as main activity a large fruit & vegetable trade in Paris.

Finally and since 1937, the Roskam-Brunot Family manages Château Cantenac. 

It is Albert Brunot who makes the acquisition of Château Cantenac in 1937, following his father footsteps. Originally from Corrèze, Jean-Baptiste Brunot is the pioneer of the family to have invested in the wine trade, before becoming owner of Château l’Hermitage de Mazerat in 1922 (St-Emilion). Albert Brunot ensures the production and distribution of the estates wines, accompanied by his supporting wife Emilie. They later acquired Château Tour de Grenet in 1970 (Lussac). Their children Jean Baptiste Brunot and Nicole Roskam-Brunot have pursued this family passion since then.

In 1997, Nicole Roskam-Brunot becomes the owner and manager of Château Cantenac and Chateau Moulin de Grenet, today accompanied by her sons and daughters-in-law, who continue to write new pages in each vintage.

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It is located on an eminence of land, at the forefront of the St-Emilion hillsides, admirably exposed to the sun. The enchanted origin of this locality and its varietals of choice, planted with attention throughout the generations, confers to the wines of Château Cantenac this bouquet, this finesse and presence of the great wines of Saint-Emilion.

VINEYARD: 19 hectares
SOIL: Sand on gravel and/or clay
VARIETALS: 75% Merlot Noir, 24% Cabernet Franc, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon
HARVEST: Parcelar, selection on vines, destemming, selection by sorting table, crushing
MANAGEMENT: Sustainable with independent advisor
VINEYARD AGE: 35 y.o. average
DENSITY: 6600 vines/ha
YIELDS: 40-45 Hl/ha
PRODUCTION: 90-110.000 bottles

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Inside information

In Gallo-Roman times, the poet-consul Ausone owned vineyards. However, the true fame of Saint-Emilion arrives in the 8th century with the arrival of Emilian, a hermit native of Vannes, which will become the name of the city; High place of pilgrimage and prayer, many religious orders were installed afterwards: the medieval city was born.

The Jurisdiction of St Emilion (5500 ha) is located 40 km north-east of Bordeaux and extends over 9 communes of the Libournais. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for Cultural Landscapes: a remarkable historic wine-growing landscape that has survived and is still operating; exceptionally illustrating the cultivation of wine grapes in a precisely defined region.

One geographical area for two appellations, Saint Emilion and Saint Emilion Grand Cru. Since 1954, a decree manages a classification of the Saint-Emilion Grand Cru wines (classé and premier grand cru classes), that is revised/challenged every 10 years.

In Bordeaux, the notion of “terroir” is fundamental because it combines the elements of climate and soils, which gives to grapes, and therefore to wine, a unique, exceptional and recognizable character. Located on the 45th parallel, Saint Emilion enjoys a moderate ocean climate, with almost Mediterranean nuances.

Saint Emilion has 4 main types of soils: (1) the limestone plateau, (2) a vast terrace of silico-clayey gravels, (3) limestone and clay-limestone valleys, (4) sand-gravel stretches. The Saint-Emilion are blend wines using the traditional grape varieties of Bordeaux where Merlot represents 60% of the vineyards, alongside Cabernet Franc (30%), Cabernet Sauvignon and, more rarely, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Caménère.

The wines of Saint Emilion are exclusively red wines, revealing a brilliant color, developing a palette of subtle aromas, a generous mouth to the noble texture, and a harmonious finish, aromatic and delicate.

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Wine Moments

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

2020 Château Figeac/ Ruby. Scented, minerals, floral, bright nose, detailed, lifted, layered, refined and nuanced nose, almost like a silky scarf caressing your chins while smelling it. Violets like you would not believe it! Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, juicy, silky, velvet, juicy, detailed, bright, transparent deep, incredible balance (13,9% alcohol), it just gives and gives, in small pockets of different flavours. The most intriguing Figeac to date. So effortless and yet so deep. A symphony of harmonies. And the finish lasts into the sunset. 98-100

19d 9h ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cantenac . In a tasting of  650 wines 

2020 – the paradox vintage 

2020 began with mild temperatures even breaking temperature record highs at the beginning of February. These conditions led to a premature budbreak. Budding developed unevenly, very much depending on the locations although the coo and humid weather in April had not a very significant impact on slowing down the growth of the vines. Finally all the vines came into bloom at the end of May without any significant coulure or millerandage. At the start of June, frequent rain intensified the pressure of mildew. From mid-June, the weather changed. The whole Bordelais saw a period of very dry weather for two months. However, the earlier accumulation of water reserves prevented water stress. Around July 18 a heat wave began to build up but the cool nighty prevented water stress on the wines again. The veraison started at the end of July and went on till the beginning of August. The heatwave in August accentuated water stress, but shorter rainy episodes avoided a complete block. The dry and sunny weather in September encouraged the grapes maturity and harvest started on September 10 with a rather mild weather. Towards the middle of September, rain prevented the fruits from wilting but as its frequency was quite concerning, the haves was pushed forward. "Le diabolique" is the title given to this vintage by Véronique Sanders. It is a very special French word, which is not correctly translated with “diabolic” in English. In France, the expression means to overcome the devil. And the vintners succeeded. 2020 is clearly a vintner’s vintage which asked a permanent reinvention of the wineries, struggling hard with this difficult vintage. However, the vintage surprises with excellent wines, exemplary freshness and elegance and very dense structure. In former times it was said that the vine has to suffer to make exquisite wines, in this vintage the people have suffered to make a great wine. The first part of notes for this tasting with over 800 wines you will find today. More notes will follow over the coming days.

1m 8d ago

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