Chateau Brane Cantenac Margaux [Pre-arrival] 2020 3L
JS96-97: Extremely floral and beautiful with blackberry and blackcurrant aromas that follow through to a full body with a solid core of fruit and loads of dark fruit, sweet tobacco, bark and earth. Chewy, fine tannins. Perhaps the best of the trilogy years.
VM95-97: The 2020 Brane-Cantenac was picked September 14-28 and includes 13% vin de presse. It has exactly the same blend as last year since Henri Lurton and his team did not limit the Grand Vin to the 30-hectare plateau, a similar approach to Pichon-Baron when they reorganized their own vineyard. I allowed my sample an hour to open (during which I was discussing the wine with Lurton over Zoom). It has a beautifully defined bouquet of blackberry, wild hedgerow, fresh mint and light bay leaf scents. I have sometimes found a little greenness on the nose, but there is none in 2020. The palate is very well balanced with finely chiseled, precise tannins and beautifully judged acidity. Harmonious and poised, this is an absolutely fantastic Brane-Cantenac, in my mind superior to the previous two vintages, exuding wonderful mineralité on the finish. A must-buy.
JD97: This estate has been on a roll, and their 2020 Château Brane-Cantenac is another brilliant wine that readers will love. Largely in the mold of the 2019, it has a deep purple hue as well as an incredible bouquet of blackcurrants, black cherries, freshly sharpened pencils, tobacco, and flowers. This medium to full-bodied, richly textured, concentrated, yet remarkably elegant 2020 has the vintage's fresher, focused, elegant profile but still brings plenty of flesh and opulence. Beautifully done, it’s going to evolve for a solid 30 years in cold cellars and offer incredible pleasure all its life.