Brane Cantenac 2020

Margaux, Second Growth

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12 75cl Bottle Case 6 £300 per Case Cases Sold Out [Add to shopping basket]
Tasting Notes

The 2020 Brane-Cantenac screams with Cabernet Sauvignon character, concentrated by the natural richness of the year. Super-ripe dark blue/black fruit, blueberry jam, crème de cassis, lavender, sage and menthol meld together, giving the Brane-Cantenac an exotic quality that is impossible to miss. The oak imprint remains quite present, but at the same time, it is well balanced. Time in the glass brings out a whole range of floral and savory notes that add character and a feeling of updated classicism. Yields were 31 hectoliters per hectare as opposed to the more typical 40 or so.

Score: 96

Antonio Galloni, Maturity: 2026-2040 23 February 2023

The 2020 Brane-Cantenac is deep, fleshy and savory. Strong Cabernet accents open first, leading to a core of inky dark fruit, lavender, spice, mint and chocolate. There is some new oak that needs to integrate, but time should take care of that. I especially admire the sense of classicism and energy here. This is a superb showing from Brane-Cantenac and the team led by Henri Lurton.

Score: 94 - 96

Antonio Galloni, Maturity: 2028-2050 01 June 2021

The 2020 Brane-Cantenac was bottled towards the end of July, a little later than usual, partly due to the logistics. It takes time to open in the glass, offering gorgeous blackberry, pencil box and tobacco scents that gain intensity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and outstanding delineation. Very cohesive, this is a supremely focused Brane-Cantenac that lives up to the billing after such an impressive showing en primeur. So precise on the finish, with light graphite notes lingering on the aftertaste. Wonderful.

Score: 96

Neal Martin, Maturity: 2027-2057 08 February 2023

The 2020 Brane-Cantenac was picked September 14–28 and includes 13% vin de presse. It has exactly the same blend as last year since Henri Lurton and his team did not limit the Grand Vin to the 30-hectare plateau, a similar approach to Pichon-Baron when they reorganized their own vineyard. I allowed my sample an hour to open (during which I was discussing the wine with Lurton over Zoom). It has a beautifully defined bouquet of blackberry, wild hedgerow, fresh mint and light bay leaf scents. I have sometimes found a little greenness on the nose, but there is none in 2020. The palate is very well balanced with finely chiseled, precise tannins and beautifully judged acidity. Harmonious and poised, this is an absolutely fantastic Brane-Cantenac, in my mind superior to the previous two vintages, exuding wonderful mineralité on the finish. A must-buy.

Score: 95 - 97

Neal Martin, Maturity: 2027-2057 01 May 2021

Deep purple-hued, the 2020 Château Brane-Cantenac is another remarkable 2020 in the making. Beautiful blackberry and cassis fruits as well as notes of chocolate, lead pencil, and flower all define the nose, and it has the vintage's pure, focused, surprisingly fresh profile while still being concentrated and textured. The balance is spot on and the tannins are polished as well, so it should have some up-front appeal, yet smart money will be on giving this at least 4-6 years of bottle age.

Score: 94 - 96

Jeb Dunnuck, 25 May 2021

Extremely floral and beautiful with blackberry and blackcurrant aromas that follow through to a full body with a solid core of fruit and loads of dark fruit, sweet tobacco, bark and earth. Chewy, fine tannins. Perhaps the best of the trilogy years.

Score: 96 - 97

James Suckling, 23 May 2021

The 2020 Brane-Cantenac is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Carménère and 1% Petit Verdot. It weighs in with 13.7% alcohol and a pH of 3.71. Deep purple-black colored, it has a beautifully expressive nose of fresh redcurrants, blackcurrant jelly, kirsch and rose oil, plus hints of tobacco leaf, wild sage and crushed rocks. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly styled with a plush texture and plenty of freshness supporting the red berry and earthy flavors, finishing fragrant.

Score: 91 - 93

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2024 - 2040 20 May 2021

Full bottle 1,325 g. Cask sample taken 19 April. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% each of Petit Verdot and Carmenère. Cabernet Sauvignon was picked 17 to 28 September, Merlot 14 to 18 September, Cabernet Franc 18 to 25 September, Petit Verdot 21 to 22 September, Carmenère 30 September. Deep, dark purple. Very fragrant with hints of bergamot. Decidedly aérien on the nose and then super-gentle on the palate. Much lighter than most of its peers but by no means vapid. The tannins are almost negligible – apparently – but they dig in on the end of the palate. Very long. A decidedly graceful wine.

Score: 17

Jancis Robinson MW, 08 May 2021

Violet-edged, lovely vibrant colour. A low-yield wine that has kept an impressively fresh core, with expressive fruits and a vibrant grip through the centre of the wine. Powerful, tight tannins and the concentration becomes clearer in the glass, a ton of bilberry, sage and rosemary aromatics, with a generous helping of graphite and crushed stone. All of these wines are going to need very careful ageing - although the reasonable alcohols should help. A yield of 31hl/ha. 18 months ageing in a mix of new oak barrels and amphoras. 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenère completes the blend. Tasted twice.

Score: 94

Jane Anson, Maturity: 2028-44 01 May 2021