The trend towards increasing release pricing for 2022 Bordeaux has led us to by-pass a number of wines that would have interested us if they had opted for a fairer pricing policy.
Château Cantenac-Brown is up 17.5% on the 2021 vintage, but I thought the 2022 was exceptional, and again, one of those wines where quality far exceeded expectation. It is up, but again, I wouldn’t have advocated buying the previous vintage on quality grounds.
William Kelley’s comment regarding the acquisition of an additional 22 hectares of old vine Cabernet Sauvignon is the key change here, and it has boosted my appreciation for the wine. I found a certain raciness in the 2022 Cantenac-Brown; packed with dark fruits, it possesses beautifully refined tannins with a graphite-like mineral vein that enlivens the palate. Certainly concentrated but this vintage doesn’t lack finesse. This struck me as an impeccably balanced Margaux and one with great potential for ageing, leading to Neal Martin’s assertion that it drinks until 2070. I may not be quite so brave, but this will surely have the longevity to evolve for three decades or more.
2022 Château Cantenac-Brown, Margaux
£243 per 6 bottle case in bond
94-96 points, William Kelley, robertparker.com
A few years ago, this estate purchased 22 additional hectares in the heart of the plateau of Margaux, including old vine Cabernet Sauvignon that is now making an appreciable contribution to the blend, and that helps to explain why the 2022 Cantenac Brown is so good. Unwinding in the glass with notes of dark berries, plums, charcoal, pencil shavings and violets, it's medium to full-bodied, rich and elegantly muscular, with a layered core, refined tannins and a penetrating finish. The finest wine that José Sanfins has produced to date, the 2022 only improved during the several weeks I spent in Bordeaux. It's a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon and 31% Merlot.
94-96 points, Neal Martin, vinous.com
The 2022 Cantenac Brown has an elegant nose, showing pure black cherry, wild strawberry, blackcurrant pastilles and cedar aromas. I appreciate the mineralité here. The palate is medium-bodied with supple but firm tannins, nicely structured. There's a crescendo of fruit toward the mineral-driven finish. Cohesive and full of character, this is another superb Margaux from an estate in the ascendant under winemaker José Sanfins. Drink : 2030-2070
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