Chateau Cantenac Brown’s estate covers more than 30 hectares in the south of the Margaux appellation, mainly in the Cantenac commune. 17 hectares are planted on top of well-drained, sandy siliceous gravels with very little clay but with extremely deeply rooted vines that produce drop dead gorgeous, concentrated Cabernet dominant wines.
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 really well in this soil. They produce fine wines, with an intense bouquet, which are suitable for aging.
Every year, this winery is treated to a myriad of high scores, but understandably in a 98-point Left Bank vintage dubbed “nearly perfect” and “the second highest rated to only the legendary 2010 vintage, Cantenac Brown produced what few would argue is their very best Margaux to date.
Check out the plethora of positive press in the ‘Expert Reviews’ section.
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95 Points, Decanter
Poised and precise, this is excellent quality with well-defined black fruits. It feels like the fruit is ripe but not overly so, carefully delineated by great freshness and touches of slate, rosemary and dark chocolate. The extremely precise nose slowly reveals itself, gaining in power. I loved this en primeur and it’s even more striking today. A great job by the Cantenac Brown team, it lives up to the quality of their 2015. 49% of production went into the grand vin, matured in 60% new oak.
95 Points, Neil Martin – Vinous
The 2016 Chateau Cantenac Brown seems to have grown aromatically since I last tasted it a few months ago. More complex than I remember, this offers a cornucopia of scents: blackberry, briary, cedar and a lovely mintiness that recalls Palmer. The palate is silky smooth with great depth and delineation, satin-like, multi-layered, precocious black fruit laced with black pepper, tea leaves and cloves, all finning out glorious towards the vinish. Bon vin!
94 Points (Editors’ Choice), Wine Enthusiast
Richly structured, this dense wine has solid tannins that balance with the black fruits. It is a complex wine, poised and confident while not losing sight of the Margaux elegance. Drink from 2025.
94 Points, Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2016 Cantenac Brown comes from a Margaux estate that has upped its game in recent years. It has an intense bouquet with floral aromas filtering through the black cherries, cassis and boysenberry notes, in an odd way almost Saint-Emilion in style. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin. Silky smooth with very well-judged acidity, there is a sorbet-like freshness imbued into this Margaux and it just glides across the palate towards a quite sensual finish. This is certainly equal to the impressive 2015 Cantenac Brown.
94 Points, James Suckling
This has a very delicious and attractive nose offering ample dark berries and plums with cocoa and freshly cut bracken. The palate has a smooth, fan-like array of fine but sturdy tannins that carry very fresh and upbeat into the finish. Try from 2023.
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