Chateau Cantenac Brown 2018
2018 is an unprecedented vintage of great quality, all varietals showing a perfect maturity, mixing concentration, roundness, and balance.
Blend: 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Rich 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.
The 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. Rating: 92+
A 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.
The Cantenac Brown soil is typical Medoc gravel. This beautiful, brilliant quartz, formerly called "Medoc diamonds" reflects the sun's rays onto the grapes by day and then releases the heat stored during the day to warm the grapes by night. Cabernets, in particular Cabernet Sauvignons, do well in this soil. They produce fine wines, with an intense bouquet, which are suitable for aging. Merlot, with which they are blended, provides color, richness and smoothness.
Silky, seductive and polished are the words that characterize the best wines from Margaux, the most inland appellation of the Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux.
Margaux’s gravel soils are the thinnest of the Médoc, making them most penetrable by vine roots—some reaching down over 23 feet for water. The best sites are said to be on gentle outcrops, or croupes, where more gravel facilitates good drainage.
The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification but it is nonetheless important in regards to history of the area. In 1855 the finest chateaux were deemed on the basis of reputation and trading price—at that time. In 1855, Chateau Margaux achieved first growth status, yet it has been Chateau Palmer (officially third growth from the 1855 classification) that has consistently outperformed others throughout the 20th century.
Chateau Margaux in top vintages is capable of producing red Cabernet Sauvignon based wines described as pure, intense, spell-binding, refined and profound with flavors and aromas of black currant, violets, roses, orange peel, black tea and incense.
Other top producers worthy of noting include Chateau Rauzan-Ségla, Lascombes, Brane-Cantenac, and d’Issan, among others.
The best wines of Margaux combine a deep ruby color with a polished structure, concentration and an unrivaled elegance.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.