Château Cantenac Brown

Cantenac Brown slide 01Cantenac Brown slide 02Cantenac Brown slide 03

chateau cantenac brown

Technical Data

  • Vineyard: 48 hectares on gravelly soils
  • Grape varieties:
    • 65% Cabernet Sauvignon,
    • 30% Merlot,
    • 5% Cabernet Franc
  • Average age of the vines: 35 year old
  • Vine Density8500 to 10 000 vines / ha
  • Sustainable prduction approach (Certified)
  • Yield: 45 hl / ha
  • Pruning method: Double Guyot
  • De-leafing, removal of secondary shoots, green harvest
  • Manual harvest followed by two screening operations
  • Vinification in temperature controlled stainless steel vats
  • Vatting: 15 to 25 days
  • Malolactic fermentation: in barrels and vats
  • Ageing in oak barrels: 12 to 15 months
  • Age of the barrels: 50% to 70% new, 50% to 30% one year old
  • Racking every 3 months
  • Fining with egg whites
  • Bottled at the estate
  • Production: 11 000 cases
chateau cantenac brown

Vineyard

Everything has been done to obtain perfectly sound grapes with the best maturity: Leaf pruning, green harvest throughout the vineyard.
We have been working the soils for several years now, and we have noted that it is important to let the grass develop at the end of the season. This cover limits the water absorption by the vines when there are late rains. It is certainly one of the reasons that led to our best results in 2006.
Work and knowledge of the vineyard always make the difference; this is even truer this year.

Harvest

We started with the young Merlots from September 20 to the 22, and continued on September 25 with the old vines.
On September 29, Cabernets Francs were harvested.
On October 2, young plants of Cabernets Sauvignons were harvested; old vines were harvested from October 3 to 9.
This 4 week long harvest made it possible for us to perfectly link the vinification procedures to the different parcels. Extraction has been adapted to each vat. 2006 has been a precision harvest. We harvested some parcels in two times: first time, the border vines, and on the second time, the heart of the parcel, adapting the wine making techniques to each part.

Vinifications

In 2006, all the working techniques were revised. From the arrival of the harvest at the cellar to the last pumping-over, everything was carefully screened. The double selection, first of the grapes on the moving tables in the parcels, then of the berries on the vibrating tables between the destemmer and the crusher, made it possible for us to follow the exact condition of the harvest berry by berry. The day by day analysis of anthocyans and polyphenols rates, combined with the tasting, made it possible for us to precisely know the extraction condition of each vat and adapt the pumping-overs as correctly as possible. If it nowadays is common to say that in the word “terroir” we understand the soil, the climate and the men of this vintage, then man’s part holds an even more important place today than ever. Merlots are nice, round, colourful; Cabernets are full, rich with fine, silky and long tannins.

Wines proportion

Château Cantenac Brown 30%
BriO de Cantenac Brown 70%
Blend
Château Cantenac Brown : 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc
Ageing :
Château Cantenac Brown : 60% Barriques neuves
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 25% barriques neuves

Technical Data Château Cantenac Brown Vintage 2006

chateau cantenac brown

Vineyard

The 2007 Vintage is memorable due to an early flowering. Merlots matured very early, but because of harsh weather, the flowering was continued longer than normal. However, the Cabernets matured beautifully.
Due to lack of sunny days and dry weather, we had to work harder than usual in the vineyard in order to ensure early pruning of the vines. We had to combat the lack of sunlight in the vineyards.
« Aide-toi, le ciel t’aidera », as we say in French (i.e. the Sun will help you): September, the return of good weather kept with us until the end of the harvest, as well as the vintner’s grins!
The weather finally rewarded us. Due to the late harvesting, we were blessed with ripe and beautiful fruit!

Harvest

September 20th, 21st and 22nd the Merlots and young vines were harvested. As in the Sauternes region, a small team cut the first grapes on about 4 Ha.
The harvesters were directed to pick the darkest berries first and then the others. Our goal was to discern the differences of maturity on a single vine stock, due to the long lasting flowering period.
September 25th, our entire team harvested the Merlots; continuing on Thursday 27th and finally completing it on October 2nd.
Cabernets Francs were harvested on October 3rd and 4th.
We started the Cabernets Sauvignons on October 8th.
We were looking forward to that part of the crop: Impatient and excited, we were convinced of their potential.
This part of the harvest was much shorter than the Merlot harvest due to the shorter flowering period. We finished on October 15th.

Vinifications

We had a great vintage! The longer growing season made it possible to concentrate on each varietal, each plot of land with great precision… The Merlots were fresh and full of fruit.
The Cabernets matured slowly; They had beautiful colour and were full of aroma and soft velvety tannins.
Blending was the key!

Technical Data

Château Cantenac Brown 30% of the crop
Ageing: Château Cantenac Brown: 60 % new barrels
BriO de Cantenac Brown: 25% new barrels
Blend:
Château Cantenac Brown : 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc

Technical Data Château Cantenac Brown Vintage 2007

chateau cantenac brown

Vineyard

The burburst has been very slow due to the cool temperatures and the rains during the whole month of April. We have had to wait until beginning of May, with the first 10 sunny days, to see a fast shoot. Despite quite an early start (end of March), the vines controlled in May were not showing an advanced stage and the evolution fitted with last years’ averages.
The flowering started 8 to 10 days later than usual. The cool temperatures during the Merlots’ flowering and the warm ones during the Cabernets made it so that there is little difference between the two grape varieties.
The véraison has been slow. The first changes of colour came later than the average over the past 30 years.
The work from springtime to the harvest, sharper year after year, and in which we are much more reactive, has partially balanced the lack of climatic generosity. Nevertheless, Hervé Martin, our Vineyard Manager (on the estate since 1986) confirms it: “we never saw a crop evolving so well, less than two months before the harvest. September and October saved the quality of the berries.” 2008 will have to be listed in our good vintages.

Harvest

October 1st, 2nd and 7th, we started with the Merlots, harvesting the young vines and then the old ones.
October 9th, we harvested the Cabernet Francs. One day was enough due to the low percentage and yield.
October 13th to 19th, we harvested the Cabernets Sauvignons. The weather, better everyday, allowed us to reach an unthinkable maturity, early September.

Vinifications

After being sorted once by the harvesters, then on the sorting table in the vineyard, the whole crop is taken in trays to the cellar to be once again sorted between the de-stemmer and the crusher on the vibrating sorting table.
The attention given to each single plot, keeping the integrity of the berries, makes it possible to apprehend the work in the cellar with serenity.
The same softness and precision is being used by the team working in the cellar. Managed by Guillaume Dousset, our Cellar Master, and Gaël Crespy, our Quality Manager, everything is done to extract only the best.
Merlots are colourful and rich in alcohol, Cabernets have lots of flavour. The expressions of a fine wine are shown here.

Technical Data

Château Cantenac Brown 33%
Ageing:
Château Cantenac Brown : 60% new barrels
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 25% new barrels
Blend:
Château Cantenac Brown : 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 56%Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc

Technical Data Château Cantenac Brown Vintage 2008

chateau cantenac brown

Vineyard

The budburst is fast and spreads over the first two weeks of April.
The flowering of Merlots and Cabernets Sauvignons is rapidly taking place in late May with some very good weather conditions.
The « Véraison » starts on July 24th for the Merlots and July 31st for the Cabernets.
The months of August, September and October are truly exceptional. The temperatures differences during days and nights are often important with cool nights and hot days, perfect for a good maturity.
The summer’s climate remains until early October, then the temperatures drop quickly with morning frost on October 16th and 18th.

Harvest

The harvest starts by picking the young plants of Merlots on September 23rd, with the Cantenac Brown’s team. The old parcels of Merlots are harvested on September, 28th and 29th to finish on October, 3rd. The Cabernets Francs wait until October, 7th.
The weather is on our side throughout the picking season, which allows us to apprehend the harvest serenely.
The Cabernets Sauvignons are beautiful. After picking the young plants and the first parcels between October, 8th and 10th, we harvest the old Cabernets from October, 12th to 15th. The grapes selected on the second sorting table after the destemmer are particularly promising. They are beautifully matured with intense red berries flavours. On the last day, temperatures fall to 5°C in the morning and 17°C in the afternoon : Fantastic! The colours will release even better !
The timing is perfect : The brutal drop in temperatures occurs the day after the end of the harvest.

The Wine

From the first pumping over on, our feeling is confirmed : the colours would be unbelievably deep, berries flavours are all around the cellar.
We deeply enjoy each single step of the 2009 vintage, from the choice of which parcel to harvest to each single decision for the plots vinification.
The creation of the ideal blend of Château Cantenac Brown and BriO, our second label, is a real pleasure.
All the difficulty will have been to create a “Bordeaux”. Indeed degrees are high but fortunately this vintage has also lots of freshness.
Tannins are intense and the lots will create round and fine wines, very balanced.
Mother Nature gave us everything : 2009 vintage is definitely exceptional, t is a great Bordeaux.

Technical Data

Château Cantenac Brown 42%
Ageing:
Château Cantenac Brown : 50% new barrels
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 25% new barrels
Blend:
Château Cantenac Brown : 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc

Technical Data Château Cantenac Brown Vintage 2009

chateau cantenac brown

Weather

The 2010 growing season was marked by dry weather all over the region. Winter to summer was very cold, with temperatures 2-3°C below the normal average. The weather started off mild in April, but May was much cooler. Overall, the weather has remained cool for two consecutive years, with morning frost at the point of harvest on October 18th. The solar weather patterns for the 2010 season are notable and similar those of 2009. The month of April was exceptionally warm and sunny.
Both years, 2009 and 2010, had great amounts of sun, even more than the great 2005 vintage year.

Vineyards

Our loyal vineyard crew works hard to assure our harvests to be of utmost quality down to the last grape, year after year. This year, the harvest was longer than usual, and it spread out over 5 weeks with a total of 12 picking days. This demonstrates our precise vineyard work. We waited patiently for the perfect maturity of each and every plot.
Our ally was the great weather, all the way though the end of harvest. Fall gave us an Indian summer with warm days and cool nights.
The harvest plots rapidly changed their leaf color as if to say they had let go after all their hard work.

Fermentation

Today the work in our cellars is put together perfectly, and with such perfect grapes to work with, it all becomes even simpler. The high alcohol and high tannin potential lead us to choose a low temperature fermentation (26°C/27°C) to keep the fruit flavor at a maximum. The color came through immediately, showing great signs of maturity. The first run just was exceptionally thick. One of our cellar workers, Bruno Hydié, who has seen over 20 vintages here, said he couldn’t believe his eyes.
Our first tastings of this wine confirmed the great potential of this vintage.

Vintage

Great vintages follow one another, but they are never the same. The 2010 vintage is much different that of 2009.The freshness of this vintage is remarkable with such naturally high alcohol content. Amazingly, the acid, alcohol, and tannins form a perfect harmony.
Surely this is what makes the 2010 vintage so powerful. It’s exceptional to see how such harmony, with all the extraordinary elements, gives us such a “sumptuous” wine.

Harvest

Merlot: September 29th and 30th, October 1st, 5th, and 6th
Cabernet Franc: October 7th
Cabernet Sauvignon: October 13th – 20th

Percentage of Harvest

Château Cantenac Brown 45%
Oak Ageing:
Château Cantenac Brown : 60% new barrel
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 25% new barrel
Oak Ageing:
Château Cantenac Brown : 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc

Technical Data Château Cantenac Brown Vintage 2010

chateau cantenac brown

Vineyard

After an early budbreak at the end of March, the unusually sunny days in April and May created a considerably advanced flowering, equally rapid for all of the grape varieties.
After this early budbreak, a heat wave at the end of June unfortunately burnt some of the exposed young grape clusters.
This dry weather was felt even more by extending the « veraison » time. The raid in mid July finally brought some relief to the situation. The vine was relieved a bit, as we could see it through the color of the leaves and the berries finally starting to grow larger.
The humidity in August slowed the maturation down and allowed us to see a better and more encouraging harvest, with a two week advance compared to the last vintages. In this time right before harvest, we vigorously continued to prepare the harvest by cropping off all of the altered grapes, only keeping the healthy and homogenous ones ready for harvest.

Harvest

We started with … our white grapes, starting harvesting on August 30th. This is our first white wine, and we are extremely proud. (See technical sheet).
The young vines and the Merlot grapes harvest started on September 13th.
The older vine Merlots were harvested later due to the need to watch and wait for any risk. We patiently waited to start harvest until September 21st. Cabernets Francs were harvested immediately afterwards and finally the Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from September, 24th to 29th.

Vinification

The key word is “SORTING”. It was important for this 2011 vintage. After concise work in the vineyards and an initial hand sorting, we finalized the harvest with another Optical sorting.
The alcoholic fermentation went well, with a lower than normal temperature control (26°C and 27°C) to preserve the fruit. This controlled extraction gave us elegant, rich and silky wines.

Selection

Château Cantenac Brown 50%
Blend:
Château Cantenac Brown : 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Ageing:
Château Cantenac Brown : 50% barriques neuves
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 20% barriques neuves

Technical Data Château Cantenac Brown Vintage 2011

chateau cantenac brown

Surprising 2012!

Afterward, it is always easy to explain qualities of a vintage: At first, the 2012 vintage was to be difficult: whether our oceanic climate would have been forgotten in the last few years, we’ve been definitely reminded of our location, which is indeed rather good to produce great quality wines, but sometimes also quite humid.
The vineyard had seldom needed such an amount of work, and all along the season, we kept going all through the vineyard. On the first 2 weeks of July, to compete the lack of sun, over 140 people came to “écharder” 100% of the vineyard.
End of August, as we wanted to definitely homogenize the maturity, it’s been decided to “clean” clusters from each single still green and pink berry, in order to only keep the best.
Finally, thanks to such a precise work and naturally low yields, maturity was reached only 1 week later than usual.

White wine with AltO de Cantenac Brown

Whites have been picked by hand on September 12th in perfect sound conditions. They are aromatic, round and fresh.
After fermentation, AltO is as good as we had hoped with lots of flavors and a nice acidity. Fermentations and maturation in 1-year-old barrels will bring fullness.

Red wines with Château Cantenac Brown and BriO,
Harvesting

Each single day, vinestock after vinestock and bunch by bunch, vintners made even better from what Mother Nature had given. Even if some rains at the end of September araised some doubts, the knowledge and experience of our technical team made it possible to keep cold blood. We started harvesting Merlots on October 1st, and finished Cabernets Sauvignons on October 17th. Even if botrytis had be seen in the vineyard, it didn’t disturb our decision on what lot to harvest and when. Deleafing and optimized sun exposure of the clusters have been particularly favorable.

Fermentation

All grapes have been sorted carefully: First by hand, cluster by cluster, on tables in front of the vat room. Then sorted again, berry by berry, between destemmer and crusher, also by hand or through optical sorting machine. Only good grapes entered into the fermentation vats.
We got cheered up by the first pumping overs. First juices were deep colored and had soft tannins. And after ageing and tastings, relief changed to enthusiasm.
2012 is a very good vintage, you’ll get surprised!

Percentage of the harvest

Château Cantenac Brown 50%
Blend:
Château Cantenac Brown : 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Ageing:
Château Cantenac Brown : 60% new barrels
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 25% new barrels

Technical Data Château Cantenac Brown Vintage 2012

chateau cantenac brown

2013 Vintage: A challenge met !

In recent years, we have forgotten what a « normal » vintage means. In one way or another, Mother Nature’s excesses have become the new standard. 2013 is a perfect example ».
Weather conditions in the first half of the year, week after week, dampened our natural optimism.
Late budbreak: « No big deal, the vines will catch up later… »
Cold, rainy, dreary spring: « 2012 was the same, and we still managed to make very nice wines… »
Very difficult weather conditions during the flowering: « We have a nice amount of crop on the vine, we’ll have enough, and if it’s smaller it will ripen easier… »
Beginning of July, summer suddenly shows up. Temperatures soar. The vine doesn’t suffer however, as it finds plenty of water in the soil. But the sun is generous, and our morale is up. We deleaf, we do « échardage », and we work with precision in the vineyard.
Nonetheless, cooler temperatures in August prevent the vines from catching up. We hope for a warm and sunny Indian summer which makes great vintages. Humidity in September decides otherwise.

Harvesting

From the onset of harvest, we are on all fronts. Daily, we evaluate the potential of each single plot to determine its ability to continue to ripen in the face of possible diminished quality. We slow down today on this area, accelerating the next day on another.
The low yields turn an evil into a blessing. This small crop of well aerated grapes has benefited from its poor conditions. This is in part what saved the vintage. As a team we also had to be responsive to the conditions, with precision and creativity. We had to « get the job done ».
We harvested some days more than 7 hectares a day, unlike the normal 3-4 hectares, with 3 teams of over 180 harvesters ; Twice our normal size.
We rose to the challenge, and met it.

Our foresight, observation, and hard work made the difference in the 2013 vintage. The harvest, albeit historically small, allows us to proudly present wines worthy to be called CANTENAC-BROWN.

Harvest Dates

Merlot: September 27, October 1 and 2; Cabernet Franc: October 7
Cabernet Sauvignon: October 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10

Percentage of the harvest

Château Cantenac Brown 40%
Blend:
Château Cantenac Brown : 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc
Ageing:
Château Cantenac Brown : 60% new barrels
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 25% new barrels

Technical Data Château Cantenac Brown Vintage 2013

chateau cantenac brown

2014, Moving from Doubts to Hopes

Vineyard

After quite a warm and rainy winter, an early budburst, and a fast and homogeneous flowering, cautious vine-growers and winemakers experienced a slow véraison.
Once again the weather was good to us: all seasonal vineyard tasks in the first part of the year that are now part of our usual routine (such as getting rid of base bud shoots, leaf pruning, “échardage” (i.e. getting rid of laterals shoots specifically located in the cluster area), green harvest), could not compensate for the cool temperatures of the beginning of the summer. We began to doubt that we could produce a wine as great as vintage 2014. We desperately needed more sun and warmer temperatures…
From the end of August on, average temperatures came back to normal, and a very hot and sunny September led to mature grapes and soft tannins, thanks to a sound and healthy vineyard. Hence, a harvest of high quality.

Serene Harvest!

Our doubts disappeared thanks to an exceptional late season. We started the 2014 harvest with a large smile.
Hervé Martin, Vineyard Manager at the estate since 1986, organized everything and we started harvesting on September 25th with the young Merlot vines and finished on October 15th with the old plots of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Harvesting over four weeks made it possible to harvest each lot at perfect maturity.
Merlot: September 25th, 26th , 30th & October 1st
Cabernet Franc: October 6th
Cabernet Sauvignon: from October 7th until October 15th (with several breaks)

The Wine

The technical team of Château Cantenac Brown tasted all lots, choosing the best tanks. Milliliter by milliliter in the test tube, the blend became more and more refined.
Will the “Le Basque” Merlot plot perfectly synergize with the “Benqueyre” Cabernet Sauvignon plot in the final blend?
After several tastings, with various percentages, the blend was there!
It’s balanced. It’s round. It’s full and nicely tense with a long finish.
Cantenac Brown 2014 was ready.

Percentage of the harvest

Château Cantenac Brown 50%
Blend:
Château Cantenac Brown : 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Blend:
Château Cantenac Brown : 60% new barrels
BriO de Cantenac Brown : 25% new barrels

Technical Data Château Cantenac Brown Vintage 2014

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