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Château Brane-Cantenac


Winegrower Bordeaux

Château Brane-Cantenac
It would have been dreadful if an area of such natural beauty should have fallen into the hands of sorcerer’s apprentices, veiled as winegrowers…. Because this area inherently brings together all the qualities for making the finest wines in the world; it is indeed the “MARGAUX” appellation.

First of all, consider its geographical features. One of the largest appellations of origin in the Médoc (1 500 hectares), it stretches across a strip of land measuring 6 kilometres in length and 3 km in width and includes five villages, of which Margaux. At the heart of this appellation, on the Margaux-Cantenac plateau, lies the most outstanding terroir of this appellation. This area is remarkable too from an historic point of view, with 21 growths classified since 1855 and for its soils containing average-sized Garonne gravel widely spread by alluvions of the quaternary era. Besides the supposed austerity of gravelly soils, this fantastic geological formation offers an ideal environment for vine growing and vines flourish here, because they are encouraged to dig deeply, so that their roots can draw rich nourishment from the tertiary bedrock.

This terroir is classed amongst the most prized of the southern part of the Médoc and this is undoubtedly due to all these blessings derived from the natural formation of the Margaux-Cantenac plateau, which overlooks marshy lands below.

Brane-Cantenac, a wine from the peak!

Related to the sacrosanct “LURTON” lineage by his father Lucien, who was also viscerally attached to the land and to vine growing, Henri Lurton is the eldest of numerous siblings and possesses the same attitude of constantly seeking perfection that motivated his father throughout his professional life. To honour the heritage with which he has been entrusted, his intention is to continue his father’s achievements … A vineyard covering a total of 90 hectares at present, with 45 hectares in one single piece of land, the quality of which was already acknowledged by the 1855 classification. Henri Lurton’s aim, that clearly asserts his physical attachment to the land, is not to blindly rival with the latest technical innovations or wine-making developments, but to gain an in-depth understanding of his terroirs to try to attain a perfect balance between soils and vines. The plan established could not be clearer: “To reach the highest standard of quality for the first wine “Château Brane-Cantenac” and for “Baron de Brane”, the second wine.” As well as his impressive professional know-how gained before taking over the management of Château Brane-Cantenac, experiences are in fact the elements that guide Henri Lurton in his understanding and professional commitment. In twelve years, as various tests progress, it is this carefully planned satisfaction of harvesting grapes at their peak of quality, in terms of ripeness and health, which naturally impresses and stimulates him. Vine growing methods are also closely linked to the results of research which is essential for drawing the perfect expression from the “legendary” Brane hillcrest.

Ploughing the soil is considered imperative, as well as organic manuring, Médoc-style pruning (vines are pruned low so they can benefit fully from the particular advantages of these gravelly soils) is adapted to the sturdiness of each vine, and keeping yields low allows grapes to reach ideal ripeness. All these meticulous methods ensure the elaboration of the finest wines. Each grape variety is harvested separately, plot by plot, at a date set by Henri Lurton, after he has tasted the grapes. Once picked, the grapes are thoroughly sorted, and if the malo-lactic fermentation is carried out in new oak barrels for several batches, it will be because the weather conditions of the vintage will have especially favoured these plots. This is considered as a mini-revolution in terms of quality for the first wine; it gains far more complexity and delicacy in its aromas, the woodiness is more melted, and the tannins are rounder and silkier. Or could this could be due to a two-month long maturation on fine lees, which softens the tannins and enhances the richness?

Château Brane-Cantenac 2006 is most certainly the wine with which the quest for the greatest perfection will be achieved! Unprecedented, this wine is exceptional, full of contradictions due to chaotic weather conditions that year! Once again this proves that the bold, but sensible approach the owner of this estate has chosen for his vineyard can provide him with the wine of his dreams …

As for the 2007 vintage, despite a difficult start to weather conditions during the ripening period, since the same principles of precaution have been used, we can foresee that this wine too will serenely follow the path that leads to excellence.

Anne-Marie Nouaille

Château Brane-Cantenac
Tél. : 05 57 88 83 33
Fax : 05 57 88 72 51