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2024 - 2040
Reviewed by Lisa Perrotti-Brown
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.
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.
(70% CS, 26% M, 2% CF, 1% CARM, 1% PV; 35% harvest, 13.7% ABV)
Dense, lightly “dry” blackcurrant Cabernet, markedly and very finely mineral; rich, full, concentrated but absolutely without excess, lightly oaky in aroma and texture, deep and subtly juicy, darkly ripe Cabernet fruit, long and close-grained to taste, very mineral, with a feel of effortlessly contained richness and wonderful black fruit and mineral persistence. And for all the ripe fruit, a delicious freshness, too. Classically proportioned, complete and beautiful. 2028–60+.
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.
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.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.
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.
Blackberry liqueur, creme de cassis, violets, tobacco leaf and earthy nuances create the attention seeking nose. Dark in color, with equally dark, palate-coating fruits with layers of velvet-textured, sensuous, sexy, deep red berries. The fruits display a majestic sense of purity. The elegant, silky finish remains with you for close to 60 seconds, expanding and building in intensity. This is a wow wine that fans of the estate should run, not walk and buy as soon as its offered. The wine blends 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere 13.7% ABV pH 3.71. The harvest took place September 14-September 28. 96-98
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.