I loved the 2021 Château Brane-Cantenac, and I'd put this up with the top wines in the appellation. Medium-bodied, silky, and pure, with considerable elegance, it has lots of red and black fruits, some floral and herbal, tobacco nuances, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It's a quintessential Margaux with its complexity and nuance.
Jeb Dunnuck (June 2022)Score: 92-94/140
The 2021 Brane-Cantenac notably marries fruit intensity with energy and structure. There is an exotic richness to the 2021 that is impossible to miss. Kirsch, red plum, blood orange, cinnamon, new leather and spice all meld together. The 2021 is bold, sumptuous and alluring. There is certainly a lot to look forward to. The oak needs to fully integrate, but that is what élevage is for. Brane-Cantenac was impressive on both occasions I tasted it.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous (May 2022)Score: 93-96/100Drink 2031-2061
Tobacco, roses, currants and bouquet garni kick off the perfume. The wine is soft, fresh, medium-bodied, and quite charming, as well as vibrant, finishing with a touch of spice on top of all the sweet red fruits you find on the backend. You will be able to enjoy this on release. The wine blends 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenere 12.7% ABV. The harvest took place September 23-October 7.
Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider (May 2022)Score: 94/100Drink 2023-2050
The 2021 Brane-Cantenac was picked from September 23 until October 7 at a respectable 41.2hL/ha and aged 100% new oak. It has a fragrant nose of dark red fruit, undergrowth, pencil box and light minty scents, understated at first but opening up nicely in the glass (it always requires patience). The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and fresh as a daisy, displaying impressive tension. This focused, precise Brane-Cantenac conveys a great deal of harmony. The tensile, graphite finish lingers long in the mouth. While not quite reaching the lofty heights of "peak Brane,” this is a very commendable and quite cerebral wine for the vintage.
Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2022)Score: 92-94/100Drink 2028-2055
The 2021 Brane-Cantenac is composed of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, and 1% Carmenere, harvested from 23 September to 7 October and with 11.3% press wine in the blend. Deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps with vibrant notes of ripe black and red plums, boysenberries, and warm cassis, plus wafts of cedar chest, wet slate, and bay leaves. Light to medium-bodied, the palate is soft and refreshing with a good intensity of earth-laced black fruits and a mineral-tinged finish. pH 3.66.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (May 2022)Score: 86-88/100Drink 2026-2036
A dark seductive nose, liquorice, sweet and sticky with a real depth to the aromatics, black chocolate and perfumed blackcurrants - that glamour that Margaux does so well. High acid here, crunchy fruit with bite and ample appeal. This is a little high-toned still, with the focus on the mineral, slightly austere sides to the bright and youthful strawberry fruit with toasted wood edges. Tannins are so supple and integrated however, they give a plumpness but this is still quite a linear wine, with such tension and drive - it's tightly-knitted no doubt but has the most gorgeous herbal Cabernet elements on the fresh finish which I totally love. You get understated power, this feels well controlled, sophisticated and totally delectable. What a lovely 2021. Eric Boissenot consultant. 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenère complete the blend. 3.66pH.
Georgie Hindle, Decanter (April 2022)Score: 95/100Drink 2027-2047
The 2021 Brane-Cantenac shows considerable promise, exhibiting a deep bouquet of wild berries, cassis, spices and violets, followed by a medium to full-bodied, layered and impressively concentrated palate that's framed by powdery tannins, concluding with a long, mouthwatering finish. This seamless and enveloping wine is a blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and the balance Carmenère and Petit Verdot. Once again, it's derived from the château's best holdings on the plateau of Brane and is maturing in entirely new barrels.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2022)Score: 93-95/100
Dark plum colour, attractive rich texture, with high aromatics and clear power on the nose. Not exuberant, more red and blue, cool fruits, with purity and power, this has concentration and is one of the best in Margaux in this vintage. Has personality and balance, with curls of black chocolate and liqourice, balacing out the ever-present fresh acidities of the vintage. 100% new oak, 3.63ph. 12.7ph. Harvest September 23 to October 7. 41.2hl/h yield, high for the year, but without dilution which was a potential pitfall of high yields. A potential upscore in bottle.
Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux (April 2022)Score: 94/100Drink 2027-2042
Dense and rich, the 2021 Brane-Cantenac is one of the deepest expressions of Margaux this year – with a signature voluptuousness. Dark, ripe fruit and chocolate-covered cherries mingle with a chalky structure that suggests this will age well. There’s plenty of vibrant acidity and the 12.9% alcohol well integrated producing a cohesive and balanced overall impression. As at m"any addresses, there’s a little more Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend than normal this year. Aged entirely in new oak, the wine is 12.9% - having seen a little chaptalisation and saignée. Blend: 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Carménère
FINE+RARE (April 2022)