This must surely be one of the best ‘price to quality’ ratios that we will see among the 2018 releases…See Simon's offer, below.
If there was one wine on the Left Bank that I tasted from the 2018 vintage that showed a rare poise and balance in what was clearly a more extreme vintage, it would be Château Brane-Cantenac. I was stunned by the quality here, and unlike certain wines that one could cite, there was no lofty alcohol level (a very normal 13.4 degrees), nor any hard-edged tannins. Brane-Cantenac came through in fine form on account of a meticulous approach to the vineyard and a very careful handling of the fermentation. Brane’s terroir coped well with the dry weather, and proprietor Henri Lurton commented that the Merlot was some of the finest he had harvested in some years. The Cabernet Sauvignon was seriously impressive, too.
I include my note and Antonio Galloni's note below.
2018 Château Brane-Cantenac, 2ème Cru Classé, Margaux
£315 per 6 bottle case in bond
A blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Revealing aromas of violet and fresh, soft-skinned, admirably ripe berry fruit, the 2018 Brane-Cantenac is striking. The palate follows suit with finely textured tannins and a gently building concentration of fruit. This is a velvety nuanced vintage, layered and pure, with gravelly mineral notes adding complexity as well as hints of background toast. This is a wonderfully complete Brane – effortless, nothing forced, with terrific depth. Just how good is it? Along with the 2016 this should rate as one of the finest this estate has produced. While vintage contrasts can be meaningless, there is something that reminds me of the fruit quality apparent in the 1989. A very fine example and a great success. Drink 2025-2045. (SL)
(92-95) points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
The 2018 Brane-Cantenac captures all of the natural richness of the year. Ample, creamy and resonant, the 2018 offers quite a bit of intensity while retaining its mid-weight sense of structure. Dark red cherry, mint, spice, and dried rose petals are some of the signatures. Even with its obvious volume the 2018 retains lovely aromatic freshness and nuance. The 2018 is an especially juicy, open-knit Brane-Cantenac. Grilled herbs, menthol, spice and anise add an attractive upper-register to the perfumed finish. The blend is 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Tasted three times.
A reminder to read our 2018 Bordeaux Report if you haven't had the chance to do so yet. We are also listing all pricing that we think may be of interest, as and when wines are released.