Possibly the “wine of the vintage,” the 2008 boasts an inky/blue/purple color as well as a glorious perfume of spring flowers, blueberry and blackberry liqueur, camphor, truffles and crushed rocks. With great fruit on the attack and mid-palate, a medium to full-bodied, multidimensional mouthfeel and a skyscraper-like finish, this prodigious effort over-delivers, even for this phenomenal terroir. Give it 5-8 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 40-50 years.
17.5 Points - Jancis Robinson "Tasted blind. Sweet and easy. Not dramatic but well mannered and all in balance. Inky and very Margaux. Henri Lurton and his sustainable viticulture will presumably be very pleased that his wine was the group's second-favourite Margaux after Ch Margaux in this Southwold tasting."
96 Points - Neal Martin "The 2016 Brane-Cantenac has been on a roll of late, under the watchful eye of Henri Lurton. This latest bottled vintage is superb. The divine, pure blackberry and bilberry bouquet develops touches of graphite in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, silky-smooth texture and a superb bead of acidity. This is not a powerful Brane-Cantenac, and it is perhaps less austere than I suspected en primeur, but it should drink beautifully over the next three decades. If you have a penchant for traditional claret, it really doesn’t come better than this."
96 Points - James Suckling "So much ripe and sweet tobacco on the nose with currant and blackberry character. Full body, intense tannins with density and beauty. It’s a wine with great structure and panache for this estate. Try after 2024."
93 Points - Neal Martin
The 2015 Clerc Milon seems to have tempered the flamboyant aromatics that it displayed out of barrel to manifest a more refined and yet still outgoing bouquet laden with black cherries, raspberry, cedar and freshly picked mint. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, slightly lactic on the entry and with a smooth, almost velvety texture. There is a seam of graphite that becomes more prominent toward the finish, black olive and allspice lingering on the long aftertaste. This is simply an excellent Clerc Milon replete with grace and finesse.
The 2015 Grand-Puy-Lacoste was an impressive Pauillac from barrel and likewise, it continues to impress in bottle. It has an intense bouquet with blackberry and strawberry fruit laced with cedar and graphite and as I mentioned in my original note, the Merlot component is a little more expressive compared to other vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and well-judged acidity. This feels so harmonious and caressing, very tensile and poised, fanning out wonderfully with a graphite-infused finish that is perhaps more approachable than recent vintages, just a wonderful wine for long-term aging.
93 Points - James Suckling
96-98 Points - Neal Martin
The Grand Vin was picked between 21 September and 4th October for the Merlot, with the Cabernet Franc picked on 6th October. A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc (aged in 80% new oak) it has Burgundy-like minerality and purity on the nose that is taciturn at first, but blossoms nicely in the glass whilst maintaining a sense of restraint and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with very pure fruit and a silky texture. The acidity is extremely well judged, the Cabernet Franc lending this wine just a touch of edginess. There is sublime focus on the mineral-laden finish. One day, Denis Durantou will make a wine that does not merit a stream of superlatives. But that day seems a long way away. Tasted April 2013.
92-94 Points - Robert Parker
98 Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
16.5 Points - Julia Harding MW (JancisRobinson.com) "Fragrant, lively and pure-fruited. Cassis and cedar and almost floral. Sweeter and more oak-marked on the palate, with spice and milk chocolate. Chewy but generous and long. Needs time to gain elegance but all the parts are there."
92 Points - James Suckling
Really refined tannins with a creamy, mouth-filling texture. Full to medium body. Juicy fruit with a lovely finish. So enjoyable now. Why wait?