During one of the many visits of chateaux I have done lately I have come across one that I particularly enjoyed. Maybe because of its notoriety, its strong interest in expressing terroir and its commitment towards organic agriculture.
I am talking about Chateau Brane Cantenac, a Second Cru Classé in Margaux whose history dates back to more than 250 years ago.
Owned by the Lurton family since 1922, the chateau now has an increasing attention towards eco-friendly viticulture and has a unique deep gravel soil from the quaternary era. Here they grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a tiny percentage of Carmenere. Also, they make use of oak, stainless steel and concrete vats in the winemaking.
Let’s have a look at two great vintages: 2006 and 2010. I tried their first wine from 2006. The second wine is a 2010 and is named Baron after the Baron Jacque-Maxime de Brane, who owned the chateau in the 19th century and was known as the ‘Napoleon de vignes’.
- 60% cabernet sauvignon, 36%merlot, 4% cabernet franc
- Nose: smoky, toasted, with black pepper notes. Also primary aromas come out in a second moment, in particular black fruits. Very complex.
- Mouth: Notes of black cherry, tobacco, leather and black pepper. Strong yet pleasant tannins. Very long length. Great aging potential.
- Average price: 70 euros (ex-vat, based on Wine Searcher)
2010 Baron de Brane
- 53% cabernet sauvignon, 47 %merlot
- Nose: Ripe red cherry and blackberry notes. A touch of spices.
- Mouth: Very round and smooth. Very Approachable. Good length and aromas of blackberry, cocoa and coffee.
- Average price: 32 euros (ex-vat, based on Wine Searcher)
Two exceptional vintages, in particular 2010, which had cool nights during the summer that helped achieve full aromatic expression. 2006 was great despite a cool and and dump late summer. The first wine is one of the best expressions of Margaux, with great complexity and length. An outstanding wine you can keep for decades. The Baron is a very good wine that shows once again how 2010 has been very good for Bordeaux. A wine that is very food-friendly, approachable and smooth.
Tasting these two wines at the chateau has been a great experience and I have to admit that I was very positively surprised also by the quality of the Baron, which has a great quality/price. The 2006 has been the highlight of the tasting: a wine for the ages, yet very much enjoyable now. A special thanks goes to Georgia, who showed me the estate and let me try thee special wines at the chateau.
Deep gravel terroir