An estate with a remarkably storied history, it may well hold the record for most name changes of any property in Bordeaux! Brane-Cantenac, as we know it, is a 2éme Grand Cru Classé in the 1855 Classification. It came to be in the early 17th century when it was known as Domaine Guilhem Hosten. The wine was produced here early in the estate’s life those many centuries ago, with the vineyards first developed by the Gorce family, owners in the late 1700’s, who named it Château Gorce-Guy.
Their wine was so highly regarded that it was one of the most expensive wines in all of Bordeaux, selling for almost as much money as Brane-Mouton (later of course purchased by the Rothschild family), the first property of the Baron of Brane who would sell Mouton in 1833 to fund his purchase of Cantenac.
Finally, on the cusp of receiving its modern title, the Baron combined his own with the name of the nearby village of Cantenac in the Margaux appellation, just to the West of which the estate’s vineyards are still to be found.
The Winemaking and the wine
Today it is run by the extremely capable Henri Lurton. Henri has overseen a huge programme of vineyard replanting, density increasing and drainage improvements. The total vineyard is 75ha with 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39.5% Merlot, 4.5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 5% Carménère (used for the first time in the 2011 vintage). The 45ha used to produce the Grand Vin are mainly surrounding the château.
Henri’s arrival precipitated extensive investment in the winery, as well as vastly improved vineyard management techniques. Consequently, the wines are consistently showing weight and concentration, alongside that haunting bouquet and quintessential elegance that characterise the wines of Margaux.