Château Cantenac Brown 2015
• Domaine: Château Cantenac Brown
• Appellation: Margaux
• Classification: Third Growth, 3ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
The striking Tudor architecture of Château Cantenac Brown sets this Third Growth apart from the other properties in Margaux. There’s a proud but friendly atmosphere here. And there is a lot to be proud of at Château Cantenac Brown. From the estate’s charming Scottish roots to the expertly crafted and critically acclaimed wines, Château Cantenac Brown is truly one of the gems of the Margaux region.
Château Cantenac Brown’s story begins with the well-known Scottish animal painter, John Lewis Brown, who purchased the estate in the 19th Century. He decided to change the architecture of the property to a Tudor Mansion, and thus the iconic red brick façade was built. The property changed hands several times both before and after it was ranked as a Third Growth Estate in 1855. This could have been due to a variety of reasons, including the fact that Château Boyd Cantenac was situated in a part of Cantenac that has produced traditionally hard, tannic wines. It was owned by Remy Martin, AXA – the owners of Château Pichon Baron, and the Halabi family. In 2019, the estate was acquired by the Le Lous family, who own the property today. They are incredibly passionate about Château Canteanc Brown, and they believe they can take the estate to new heights in terms of quality.
Tristian Le Lous hails from Burgundy and was introduced to the wines of Bordeaux by his future wife. He fell in love with both the woman and the wines and began an intensive renovation process after purchasing Château Cantenac Brown. His latest and most impressive project consists of building an earthen cellar below the estate. The purpose of this new cellar is to further connect Château Cantenac Brown to the land and create a one-of-a-kind cellar that produces wines of the highest quality. The cellar is projected to guarantee thermal inertia with the perfect humidity thanks to its walls. The project was designed by Philippe Madec, a pioneer in eco-construction. When it is finished, the winery will be a gravity flow winery, preserving the essence of the grapes.
The 62.5-hectare vineyard has plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and small plantings of Cabernet Franc. A small amount of white wine is produced here, and one can find plantings of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon on the property. Though the terroir here is a bit more challenging, with limestone and sand, it is very apparent that those involved in the viticultural processes are able to craft wines that transcend any of nature’s limitations. Château Cantenac Brown practices sustainable viticulture, honoring and respecting the land around them. There is a valuable ecosystem here, with rare trees such as Sequoias and Spanish Firs. The estate produces its own honey, which is a product of the biodiversity campaign they have introduced with insect hotels and wildflower hedgerows.
The wines of Château Cantenac Brown are not meant to be drunk young. They require some time in the cellar and are usually a bit better with 12-15 years in bottle.
"The 2015 Cantenac Brown follows their excellent 2014 with another great Margaux. Here, a nuanced nose that does not come racing from the blocks, but keep your nose in the glass and it reveals detailed blackberry, cranberry and strawberry aromas that are neatly embroidered with the new oak. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite tensile tannin. There is breeding interwoven into this Margaux, palpable sophistication, and it finishes with panache, fanning out with lightly spiced red and black fruit. It is not the most ostentatious Margaux in what is a fecund season for the appéllation, but I suspect it will surprise a few wine-lovers as its ages." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2016, Issue 224), Ratings: 92-94, Drink: 2020-2045
"Readers 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, Let The Good Times Roll: 2015 Bordeaux from Bottle (11/30/2017) Rating: 94
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