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The 2005 Cantenac Brown offers an intriguing combination of plush fruit and intense tannins. Ripe red cherry fruit, cedar, spice, tobacco, menthol, cedar and rose petal all meld together in this decidedly luscious, bold Margaux. Soft curves and silky tannins make the 2005 a total pleasure to drink today, but it has more than enough freshness to develop well in bottle for another decade plus. This sumptuous Margaux is an absolute beauty.Antonio Galloni | 92 AGShows blackberry, treacle tart and licorice aromas. Full-bodied, with wonderful vanilla, berry and milk chocolate character, followed by a long finish. Needs time to develop. Best after 2010. 10,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 91 WS
Subdued on opening, but with 30 minutes in a carafe it spills out rich pencil lead and liquorice notes, with blackberry fruits and smoky vanilla spice. Classic Margaux 2006, with fairly high acidity that emphasises a floral character, alongside refined tannins. Just beginning to evolve towards an older wine. An unusual vintage at Cantenac Brown, where they produced only 30% of the first wine, reflecting a new regime of greater precision in harvesting and sorting. 60% new oak. Drinking Window: 2022 - 2040Decanter | 93 DECA gorgeous nose of blackberry and plum jam, with a vanilla bean hint. Full-bodied and soft-textured, with round, chewy tannins and lots of fruit. A little loosely knit now, but will come together beautifully with age. Best after 2012.Wine Spectator | 90 WS
One of the finest wines to come from Cantenac Brown for many years, this is powerful and dense, dominated by Cabernet Franc tannins and fruits. The structure has a smooth, polished character that locates it firmly in Margaux, giving elegance and discreet fruitiness. Age this fine wine for many years.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEThe greatest Cantenac Brown I have ever tasted, the 2010 is one for the ages. Dense purple, with an extraordinary nose of sweet forest floor, blackberry jam, pen ink and graphite, this wine soars from the glass, giving it an aromatic dimension and intensity I have never seen from this estate. The tannins are present, as they are in most Cantenac Browns, but the wine’s sweetness, broad, skyscraper-like mouthfeel, dense, purple color and spectacular length (close to a minute) make this a giant classic and a fabulous sleeper of the vintage that still remains under-priced, considering how great its potential may be. This is a wine for those with cold cellars and youthful DNA. It is going to need at least a decade of cellaring and should last for 20-40 years. A classic!Robert Parker | 94+ RPThe 2010 Cantenac Brown feels a little muted on the nose compared to its peers, but with modest aeration it develops very attractive, leafy black fruit, tertiary in style and beautifully defined. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, very well judged acidity and plenty of substance towards the finish. I love the cohesion and focus of this Margaux. I wrote to buy this after its impressive showing at Southwold in 2014 - yet another blind tasting confirms its pedigree. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners 10-Year On Bordeaux horizontal.Vinous Media | 94 VMBeautiful dark inky purple with ruby highlights. The difference with 2009 is clear in terms of structure, style and knitted-down fruit. They are both brilliant, and quality-wise it’s hard to pick as they have such different personalities. Higher acidity in 2010 set against confident tannins means your mouth is watering by the mid palate and it doesn’t let up. Tons of black fruits and evident spice, slate, cigar box and liquorice bud, savoury and still zipped up. It needs a few more years in bottle before it will really start to soften. 45% of harvest in the 1st wine, 60% new oak. Drinking Window 2022 - 2038.Decanter | 94 DECA wine with firm tannins that are polished and reserved yet there’s an underlying richness of fruit. Plums, blueberries and citrus character. Some tar too. Juicy and delicious to taste. Try in 2016.James Suckling | 94 JSVery fresh, with a bold display of dark blueberry, loganberry and plum fruit aromas and flavors that push ahead, followed by singed spice, black licorice and toasty vanilla bean notes. Displays a polished feel on the finish, kept honest by a buried charcoal accent. Shows plenty of length for the cellar. Best from 2014 through 2028.Wine Spectator | 92 WS
A rich, exotic wine, the 2015 Cantenac Brown is simply stunning. Dark cherry, plum, mocha, espresso, licorice and leather all flesh out in this ample, voluptuous Margaux. A rush of super-ripe dark cherry, plum, violet, lavender and sweet French oak builds as this plush, explosive wine shows off its bold personality. The 2015 is quite concentrated and extracted in style, and yet all the elements are wonderfully fused together. I would give the 2015 at least a few years to assimilate some of its new oak.Antonio Galloni | 95 AGPlump fruit, rich raspberry puree and cassis flavours, layered through with chocolate and grilled cedar. This was the same score as I gave it when tasting in barrel in October 2017. Things have closed down a little since then, as this is heading into its dumb phase, but it’s clearly extremely well structured and all the elements are in place for a long future. So wait to open, but this is a complex, nuanced Cantenac. 51% of production in the 1st wine, 60% new oak. Harvest September 17 to October 8. Drinking Window 2025 - 2045.Decanter | 95 DECBeautiful dusty tannins permeate this ripe wine. It has a smooth and rich texture, with bright blackberry flavors and a refreshing, vibrant close.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEThis brims with voluble plum cake, boysenberry and blackberry compote flavors, embedded with brambly structure while keeping a polished feel overall. Alluring black tea, roasted alder and licorice details line the finish. You’ll want to jump on this one. Best from 2022 through 2035. 9,583 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WSReaders who need more proof that Margaux was the place to be in 2015 just need to taste the 2015 Château Cantenac Brown. Based on roughly 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot it offers an extraordinary nose of crème de cassis, caramelized cherries, flowers, and spices. This medium to full-bodied effort has plenty of tannins, as well as toasty oak, yet is perfectly balanced and has a great mix of both freshness and richness. It’s a tour de force that will be drinkable in 4-5 years and last for 25-30 years!Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDThe blueberries, blackberries and fresh violets come through nicely on the nose. Full body with round, juicy tannins. Hints of vanilla. Lots of ripe fruit. A little tight now. Try after 2022. Reviewed in Hong Kong Chinese Wine Tasting July 2020.James Suckling | 94 JSThe 2015 Cantenac Brown is medium to deep garnet-purple in color with a nose of cherry cola, cassis and warm plums with touches of spice box and pencil shavings. The medium-bodied palate sports a lot of oak, with very firm and chewy tannins and a woody finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 90+ RP
The 2016 Cantenac Brown seems to have grown aromatically since I last tasted it a few months ago. More complex than I remember, this offers a cornucopia of scents: blackberry, briary, cedar and a lovely mintiness that recalls Palmer. The palate is silky smooth with great depth and delineation, satin-like, multi-layered, precocious black fruit laced with black pepper, tea leaves and cloves, all fanning out gloriously towards the finish. Bon vin! Tasted at the Cantenac Brown vertical at the château.Vinous Media | 95 VMThe 2016 Cantenac Brown comes from a Margaux estate that has upped its game in recent years. It has an intense bouquet with floral aromas filtering through the black cherries, cassis and boysenberry notes, in an odd way almost Saint-Emilion in style. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin. Silky smooth with very well-judged acidity, there is a sorbet-like freshness imbued into this Margaux and it just glides across the palate towards the quite sensual finish. This is certainly equal to the impressive 2015 Cantenac Brown.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 92-94 RP-NMThere is a good chance that this wine has closed down, but aromas nonetheless include subtle notes of violet, black cherry and cassis, presaging a palate of tannic finesse with density. The long finish has tonicity and lift. A few more years patience in the cellar will reward you. Drinking Window: 2025 - 2040Decanter | 94 DECThis has a very delicious and attractive nose offering ample dark berries and plums with cocoa and freshly cut bracken. The palate has a smooth, fan-like array of fine but sturdy tannins that carry very fresh and upbeat into the finish. Try from 2023.James Suckling | 94 JSRichly structured, this dense wine has solid tannins that balance with the black fruits. It is a complex wine, poised and confident while not losing sight of the Margaux elegance. Drink from 2025. Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEQuite dark in profile, with steeped boysenberry, raspberry and blackberry compote flavors forming a core that is coiled up with bramble, singed mesquite and anise notes. Lots of juicy energy through the finish, with a mouthwatering streak of graphite. Rock-solid. Best from 2023 through 2037. 9,333 cases made. — JMWine Spectator | 93 WSA solid step up and a brilliant Margaux, the 2016 Cantenac Brown checks in as 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Merlot raised in 60% new French oak. Black cherries, currants, smoke tobacco, graphite, and hints of earth all emerge from this beautifully layered, medium-bodied, and concentrated 2016 that shines for its purity and precision, while still offering beautiful depth of fruit. Give it 3-4 years and enjoy this fabulous effort over the following 2-3 decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 93+ JD
The 2018 Cantenac Brown is fabulous. Dark rich and expansive, the 2018 wraps around the palate with stunning depth. Dark red/black fruit, iron, cedar, chocolate, dried herbs and a whole range of earthy notes are pushed forward as this ample Margaux shows off its considerable allure. The 2018 is a big, rich wine. Give it at least a few years to fully come together.Antonio Galloni | 95 AGRipe black fruits shine through this balanced wine, showing strongly against a backdrop of rich, generous tannins. This estate is one to watch as it achieves the form the vineyard deserves. Expect this wine to be ready to drink from 2026.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEShows a touch of dark earth out front, with a mix of smoldering tobacco, espresso crema and singed alder notes before the core of warmed plum and blackberry reduction flavors finally starts to unwind. Just a touch burly for a Margaux, but certainly lots to like here and ample range and length. Time will likely add that last bit of refinement. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2023 through 2036. 10,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WSThis has a lot of elegance even though it is a powerful wine; there is a lovely lifting freshness through the palate along with ripples of blackberry and damson fruit. Just a touch of heat on the finish that dampens things down. Drinking Window 2026 - 2042.Decanter | 94 DECRich and polished aromas of blueberry, lavender, dark chocolate, hazelnut and sweet tobacco. It’s full-bodied with firm, velvety tannins. Creamy layers of ripe fruit and wood. Long and caressing. Lovely ripe fruit in the center palate. Try from 2024.James Suckling | 94 JSThe 2018 Cantenac Brown has a medium to deep garnet-purple color, wafting gently out of the glass with fragrant scents of redcurrant jelly, Morello cherries, plum preserves and fresh blackcurrants, plus suggestions of red roses, cedar chest and pencil lead. The medium-bodied palate (13.5% declared alcohol) has a sturdy frame of grainy tannins and plenty of freshness supporting the delicately styled red and black fruit flavors, finishing savory.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92+ RPA classic, elegant Margaux based on roughly 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot (I don’t know the exact blend), the 2018 Château Cantenac Brown offers up a pretty perfume of red and black currants, sandalwood, dried flowers, and cedar pencil. It’s not the most powerful or concentrated wine in the vintage, yet it has fine tannins as well as a wonderfully balanced, classical style. I suspect it will benefit from just short-term cellaring and keep for 20-25 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 92 JD
97–95. Barrel Sample. Now under new ownership, but with the same winemaking team, this estate has produced a wine with great concentration. The tannins are generous in feel, showing a dense, dry core that sits well with the powerful black currant fruits. It has great long-term potential. Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEThis has subtle aromas of blackcurrants and blueberries with hints of just-picked violets, light vanilla, licorice and crushed stones. Forest-floor notes, too. Medium to full body, layers of firm tannins and a velvety mouth-feel. Delicious crushed berries on the palate. Compact with a firm finish. Better from 2026.James Suckling | 95 JSThe 2019 Cantenac Brown is a brilliant wine from José Sanfins and his team. Unwinding in the glass with deep aromas of wild berries, licorice, loamy soil, burning embers and violets, it’s medium to full-bodied, seamless and layered, with terrific concentration, beautifully refined tannins and a seamless, elegant profile. Given its quality, this remains somewhat under the radar and is well worth a special effort to seek out.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94+ RPThe 2019 Cantenac Brown is flashy and opulent, while also conveying the slightly cooler nature of the year vis-à-vis the 2018. A big, heady Margaux, Cantenac Brown is endowed with tremendous pedigree and class. Expressive savory accents round out the potent brooding finish. The 2019 has a ton to offer. It’s a fine effort by the team lead by José Sanfins. Tasted two times. Antonio Galloni | 94 AGGood expression on the nose full of bramble fruit aromas. Nicely framed, this has an initial ripe, jammy sweetness - raspberries and strawberries but also touches of dark black fruit and liquorice. Quite a suave style, concentrated but polished. I get the cooling effects, liquorice and mint at the end. Overall, lovely power and drive. (Drink between 2025-2045)Decanter | 94 DECShows the hallmarks of the vintage, with steeped plum, blackberry and boysenberry fruit paste flavors that are broad and lush, while singed wood, violet and anise notes filter in. Features underlying freshness, with finely beaded acidity providing support. A step ahead. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2035. 9,583 cases made. Wine Spectator | 93 WSThe 2019 Château Cantenac Brown is terrific, surpassing the 2018. Lots of ripe black and blue fruits as well as scorched earth, leather, and crushed stone notes define the bouquet, and it’s a rich, medium to full-bodied, juicy wine that has the fresher, lively style of the vintage yet still brings beautiful fruit. It doesn’t have the tannin quality of the top wines in the appellation, but as I wrote after tasting it from barrel, it’s one sexy Margaux. Give it just a few years and enjoy over the following 20 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JD
The 2020 Cantenac Brown is an outrageously beautiful wine. Ample, vertical and soaring in its intensity, the 2020 is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. Punchy red berry fruit, lavender, spice, mint and rose petal abound. What I like most about the 2020 is the way it balances fruit intensity with vibrancy and energy. Cantenac Brown is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage.Vinous Media | 94-97 VMFantastic depth of fruit with layers of firm, chewy tannins that are medium-grained and long in the mouth. Full and dynamic. One of the best ever.James Suckling | 96-97 JSThis grand estate that recently changed hands has produced a seriously promising wine. Bold black fruits and dark tannins are just beginning a fine interplay, reinforced by the wine’s acidity. Expect a good future for the wine. Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEI loved the 2020 Château Cantenac Brown, a pure, medium to full-bodied, beautifully textured Margaux that shines in the vintage. Offering up lots of classy cassis fruits as well as spicy oak, violets, and flowers, it has plenty of mid-palate depth, outstanding balance, and a great finish. There’s no trace of the often firm chewy tannins found in this appellation in 2020, and it’s unquestionably a beautiful wine.Jeb Dunnuck | 92-94 JDDeep garnet-purple in color, the 2020 Cantenac Brown slides effortlessly out of the glass with pronounced notes of licorice, tar, tapenade and fertile loam over a core of warm cassis and plum preserves, with a waft of charcuterie. The medium-bodied palate is refreshing, bursting with crunchy black fruit and herbal sparks with a well-managed, grainy texture, finishing long and earthy.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91-93+ RPSilky with touches of caramel, chocolate, blueberry, raspberries and boysenberries - all those autumnal fruits that have texture and acidity to them, with the signature gloss of Cantenac Brown. Clear peony, violet notes also. A linen texture that slows the passage of the wine through the mouth. Retasted at UGC and this is again good quality, the austerity on the tannins is marked right now, but there is plenty of life ahead here. New owner Tristan le Lous as of 2019, and this wine also includes the new 9.5ha vines of vines from Château Charmant and la Galiane (bought in July 2020). The fermentation was conducted at temperatures 4-5 °C lower than average to preserve fruit. 60% new oak. Harvest 10 to 30 September. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044.Decanter | 93 DEC
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