Brane Cantenac tasting

My good friend Panos Kakaviatos organized another one of his fabulous wine events in DC last week, this time featuring the wines of Chateau Brane-Cantenac and hosted by owner Henri Lurton.

The wines we had were

2010 and 2021 Baron de Brane
2000, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2020 Brane-Cantenac.
2021 Brane-Cantenac Blanc

I thought the red Brane-Cantenac wines were universally excellent. It has been a long time since I have had a Brane Cantenac and I was impressed. My favorite wines were the 2005 and 2016. They just seemed to me to be the most complete wines with the longest finishes, the most balancing acidity and the most complexity. If I had to pick between them, I might pick the 2005, but that may be because it was older (although still not near ready to drink). For me, this wine had just an extra bit of finesse than did the other wines. But, the 2016 could ultimately be as good or better. What a great vintage in Bordeaux.

The 2000, 2009, 2010 and 2020 were all rich wines that were consistent with Bordeaux from modern, rich vintages, although more well balanced than many modern wines (not at all over the top) and pretty nice to drink. The 2009 IMHO was aging faster than were the others, but was very nice and not pruny as so many 2009s can be.

I was impressed also by the 2004. Not as much fruit as the other vintages, this was just a beautiful, well balanced wine that is ready to drink.

Finally, I was very intrigued by the 2021 Blanc. Very young and very lemony, it was hard for me to see the future of this wine (I don’t drink that much white Bordeaux) , but it seems to have a lot of fruit hiding behind the acidity and I think this wine could be pretty special over time.

Thanks again Panos for including me in this wonderful event.


Thanks for the notes Howard! The 2000 Brane Cantenac was one of my first “wow” wines, though tastes have changed a bit. Reaffirming my decision to keep buying!

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Curious if you have tasted Rauzan Segla, which is around 20% more, but for me, is a far better wine and well worth the difference.

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Ugh, would have killed for an invite to just such an event! Brane-Cantenac have become my selection of choice for my children’s birth years, as that is what the budget can allow in volume. MacArthur Beverages have several bottles of 1983 Brane-Cantenac at the moment, one of which I bought and opened last month. It was towards its closing stages, it really only seemed to last through to about the third hour, but it opened with incredible aromas of blood, iron, and carried this lovely fine note of vanilla extract through the end. There was always this gentle “suggestion” of red fruit, that would never quite tell you its character. They seem to have a style that hinges quite successfully, as you have said, on balance and finesse. Glad you enjoyed the event!

Interesting to get your note on the blanc as well, as I’ve been very curious what drove them to start producing it and what the long-term plan is with that.

What fun that sounds! Thanks for posting Howard even if you have made me jealous!

I love Brane, always have. I’ve enjoyed the 04 recently and the 00 is a star. I haven’t been brave enough to open a 2005 yet and it sounds as if I shouldn’t. I didn’t even know that they made a white - sounds interesting.

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As always Howard, your posts are always so informative. And also timely, I was just on the verge, or perhaps I should say considering, purchasing the 2020. I think your notes tell me to move on. I do like the 2016 very much.

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I have had several vintages of Rauzan Segla (but not much in the same vintages) and like it a lot. I really liked, for example, the 1986.

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Thanks for the notes on what must have been a nice tasting, Howard!

You are so right. A great vintage for Brane Cantenac and Bordeaux in general.

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