Bordeaux 2016: Leoville Barton and Brane Cantenac

Bordeaux 2016: Leoville Barton and Brane Cantenac
Today sees the release of two heavyweight second growths: Leoville Barton and Brane Cantenac. Pound for pound, they are two of the most impressive wines of the vintage. Brane Cantenac has backed up its superb 2015 with a 96-98 point wine. It is the highest scoring wine from Henri Lurton’s famous Margaux estate (higher than the legendary 1961) and one of the top rated wines of the vintage.

‘The 2016 Brane-Cantenac is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Carmenere picked from 22 September until 17 October (the tiny parcel of Carmenere picked three days later). The yields came in at 51 hectoliters per hectare and it is matured in 75% new oak and 25% one-year-old barrels, the final alcohol level 13.3%. It has a beautifully defined, very detailed bouquet with mineral-rich black fruit laced with cedar and graphite notes, living up to its nom de plume as the "Pauillac of Margaux." The palate is simply the best that I have ever tasted at the estate, without question. This has presence, but also weightlessness, filigree tannin and perfectly pitched acidity, with real intensity and drive. The tension here is outstanding and the persistence is incredibly long. It is not the showiest of all the 2016s by a long stretch, and yet it is everything you could possibly want from a Margaux. Like Beychevelle this year, the 2016 Brane-Cantenac puts recent vintages in the shade, thanks not only to the growing season, but also a new punching down system in their gravity-fed winery that was completed in 2015. The 2016 is a benchmark against which future vintages will be compared. Drink 2026-2060. 96-98/100'. - Neal Martin, robertparker.com

Hailing from one of the outstanding terroirs of St Julian, we have another undisputed champion, Leoville Barton. The 2016 is the most muscular and powerful young Barton we can remember – it’s a hugely impressive specimen that rather reminded us of the great Medocs from 1986. It is unapologetically classical – a wine built to reign for decades.

For us it’s a split decision…both are knockouts.

Please note that there is currently no stock available