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After fermentation, the wine is aged for 12 to 15 months in French oak barrels (made of split oak staves form the forests of Central France) 50% to 70% of the barrels are new and 50% to 30% are one-year old.
Air slowly penetrates through the pores in the wood and gently oxidizes the wine. The oak contributes to the elegance of its tannins. At the same time, the restricted volume of the barrel facilitates the precipitation of the lees over the months.During this ageing process the wine is finely racked, thus separating the clear wine from the lees.
Each racking process is carried out from barrel to barrel and clarity is checked by holding a glass of the wine before a candle. Two cellar workers are responsible for this job throughout the year. When one racking cycle has been completed, it is time to start the next one.
Once aged, the wine is returned to the vats to prepare for bottling. At this point, and to ensure that all bottles are perfectly identical, another assembling operation is carried out: The wine from the new barrels and the wine from the one-year old barrels have aged differently.
The following fining process uses egg whites to clarify and stabilize the wine and any particles precipitate to form a deposit, preventing the sediment being transferred to the bottle.
The budburst is fast and spreads over the first two weeks of April.
The flowering of Merlots and Cabernets Sauvignons is rapidly taking place in late May with some very good weather conditions.
The « Véraison » starts on July 24th for the Merlots and July 31st for the Cabernets.
The months of August, September and October are truly exceptional. The temperatures differences during days and nights are often important with cool nights and hot days, perfect for a good maturity.
The summer’s climate remains until early October, then the temperatures drop quickly with morning frost on October 16th and 18th.
The harvest starts by picking the young plants of Merlots on September 23rd, with the Cantenac Brown’s team. The old parcels of Merlots are harvested on September, 28th and 29th to finish on October, 3rd. The Cabernets Francs wait until October, 7th.
The weather is on our side throughout the picking season, which allows us to apprehend the harvest serenely.
The Cabernets Sauvignons are beautiful. After picking the young plants and the first parcels between October, 8th and 10th, we harvest the old Cabernets from October, 12th to 15th. The grapes selected on the second sorting table after the destemmer are particularly promising. They are beautifully matured with intense red berries flavours. On the last day, temperatures fall to 5°C in the morning and 17°C in the afternoon : Fantastic! The colours will release even better !
The timing is perfect : The brutal drop in temperatures occurs the day after the end of the harvest.
From the first pumping over on, our feeling is confirmed : the colours would be unbelievably deep, berries flavours are all around the cellar.
We deeply enjoy each single step of the 2009 vintage, from the choice of which parcel to harvest to each single decision for the plots vinification.
The creation of the ideal blend of Château Cantenac Brown and BriO, our second label, is a real pleasure.
All the difficulty will have been to create a “Bordeaux”. Indeed degrees are high but fortunately this vintage has also lots of freshness.
Tannins are intense and the lots will create round and fine wines, very balanced.
Mother Nature gave us everything : 2009 vintage is definitely exceptional, t is a great Bordeaux.
Château Cantenac Brown 42%
Château Cantenac Brown : 50% new barrels
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 25% new barrels
Château Cantenac Brown : 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Much like 1947, 1961 and 2005, 2009 is a year of almost overly (for Bordeaux) flamboyant and opulent wines with high maturity and low acidity. The tannins are exceptionally ripe, while the wines are quite voluptuous in style. The Left Bank recorded more hours of sunshine than legendary vintages such as 1947 and 1982, and the grapes had higher sugar concentrations than in 2003 and 2005. The key was significant diurnal temperature variations that allowed the grapes to withstand hot daytime temperatures. An exceptional vintage on all levels.