Owner: Henri Lurton since 1992.
Background: The estate’s original name was Gorce (Gorsse), after its founders in the 18th century. In 1833 it was bought by Baron de Brane (having sold what is now Château Mouton-Rothschild), who gave it its name. The high price of its wines gave the estate its rank at the top of the second classed growths. In 1866 it was sold to the Roy family, who were also the owners of Château d’Issan. Brane continued to prosper, before it was bought in 1920 by the Société des Grands Crus de France (a consortium of merchants and growers). In 1925 Societé de Grands Crus was dissolved, and one of its assets, Château Brane Cantenac, passed to one of the shareholders, Léonce Récapet and his son-in-law François Lurton. They took over the whole of Brane-Cantenac and a majority share of Château Margaux. François Lurton was succeeded by his son Lucien Lurton, and since 1992 Lucien’s (third) son Henri has run Château Brane-Cantenac.
Classification: In the 1855 Classification Château Brane-Cantenac was classified 2nd Growth, the only Cantenac property classified as such, and historically it was considered ‘the first of the seconds’.
Vineyards, terroir | In 2017 there were around 68 hectares (170 acres) of vines in the commune of Cantenac. The main vineyards are:
- Those behind the château which comprise 15 hectares (37 acres).
- On the Plateau de Brane in front of the château comprising around 30 hectares (74 acres). This area has the deepest gravel (pale in colour).
- La Verdotte which comprises 10 hectares (25 acres) on gravelly sand over an iron-rich pan.
- Notton which comprises 13 hectares (32 acres) on a gravelly plateau.
Certification: 2011 Conversion to full certified organic status began on 18 hectares (44.5 acres). | 2016 Full organic certification for 68 hectares from the 2016 vintage. | 2017 Still certified (Nov 2017).
Margaux de Brane, Margaux AOC: This entry level wine is made from younger vines.
Château Notton: A second label.
Baron de Brane, Margaux AOC: The second wine. Named after Baron Jacques-Maxime de Brane, owner of the estate in the 19th-century.
Château Brane-Cantenac, Margaux AOC: The grand vin. Under Henri Lurton, whose first vintage was 1993, Brane-Cantenac has reached its potential, perhaps a little later than other chateaux, but without falling into the trap of hunting for “Parker points”. Henri Lurton is shy, introspective and other-wordly, yet was known as ‘Super Henri’ at school for his intellectual brilliance. His father Lucien added (vineyard) land to ‘feed’ the Brane brand as was common in those days but without the same perfectionist tendencies. Henri has exercised considerable selection, streaming only grapes from the best terroirs according to vintage into this wine. The result is better quality of tannins and greater concentration, without losing the delicacy of this sector of Margaux. | 2010 The first vintage for which an optical sorting machine was used.
F-33460 Cantenac (Gironde), France
Tel+33 (0)18.104.22.168.33 | www.brane-cantenac.com