Without doubt one of the stand-out wines of the 2022 vintage based on our own tastings is Henri Lurton’s exceptional Brane-Cantenac, released this afternoon at £360 per 6 bottle case in bond.
When in Bordeaux in April, as we were trying to get our heads around the wines and how they navigated, or didn’t, the warm, dry conditions of the vintage, we arrived at Château Brane-Cantenac to be absolutely blown away by a wine of vibrant, pure fruit with a palate showing ripe, fragrant fruit, a spicy touch, long with tannins of ripeness and finesse, a velvety texture and incredible energy and persistence. Having followed this Château for many years, and co-hosted a dinner with Henri in London, the success of the 2022 should have been unsurprising yet still our breath was taken away.
Comments from the various tasting notes below from Neal Martin, Antonio Galloni and William Kelley certainly chime with our own view: Haunting poise, unashamedly classic, nothing that is overdone, one of the most under-the-radar wines on the Left Bank, a terrific 2022.
2022 Château Brane-Cantenac, Margaux
£360 per 6 bottle case in bond
96-98 points, Neal Martin, vinous.com
The 2022 Brane-Cantenac, as usual, is a wine that you must sit and contemplate before words gush forth. It was picked from 7 September to 10 October (their tiny plot of Carmenère) at 31.5hL/ha and contains 16% vin de presse from the Cabernet Sauvignon. It is well-defined and fresh, a very subtle Margaux, precise with blackberry, wild strawberry, cedar and tobacco scents. As previous vintages have proven, there's a kind of "hidden depth" that will become apparent post-bottling. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, very elegant and unashamedly classic in style. This is blessed with haunting poise, composed and detailed on the finish. This Margaux is not a show stopper, which in any case, is not really Henri Lurton/Brane Cantenac’s signature style. Instead, it is a wine that 15 to 20 years down the road, you are going to treasure. Drink 2030-2065
95-97 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
The 2022 Brane-Cantenac is captivating. Aromatic, savory and layered, the 2022 is so alluring from the outset. The natural radiance of the year is very much on display, and yet there is nothing that is overdone about the 2022. Hints of blood orange, spice, rose petal and minerals open over time, offering stunning contrast to the sheer intensity of the fruit shaped by low yields and tiny berries. Brane-Cantenac is, in my view, one of the most under-the-radar wines on the Left Bank. The 2022 is a stunner. Drink 2030-2052
95-97 points, William Kelley, robertparker.com
A blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and the balance Cabernet Franc, Carmenère and Petit Verdot, the 2022 Brane-Cantenac unwinds in the glass with aromas of dark berries, crème de cassis, black truffles, loamy soil, burning embers and violets. Medium to full-bodied, deep and velvety, with a fleshy core of fruit, terrific concentration and lively acids, it concludes with a long, perfumed finish. This is a terrific 2022 that may rival or even surpass the 2019 if it realizes all its potential in bottle.
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