Château Cantenac Brown ..................12
Scottish charm nestled in the heart of the famous Margaux vineyards
The Château Cantenac Brown is a vineyard located in the commune of Cantenac, appellation Margaux. In 1855 it was elevated to the rank of 3rd Grand Cru Classé.
The property which extends over 83 hectares consists of a charming and atypical Tudor castle (English Renaissance), an English garden, a nature reserve of 14 hectares and a vineyard (53 hectares). It was created in 1806 by John-Lewis Brown, a Scotsman who immigrated to Bordeaux for the wine trade. He decided to give him this architectural style to remind him of his native Scotland.
In 1843 the property was sold to a Parisian banker named Gromard. In 1860 the Château Cantenac Brown was bought by Louis Armand Lalande, a Bordeaux wine merchant and owner of several vineyards. He undertook the extension of the building and equipment. It remained in the Lalande family until it’s acquisition by the Vivier family in 1968 and then by AXA Millésimes. In 2006 Simon Halabi, a successful British businessman and wine connoisseur of Bordeaux, fell under the spell of Cantenac Brown and acquired it.He then entrusted the management of the property to José Sanfins leaving him this as the only instruction: the perpetual increase in quality! A successful bet since today the Château Cantenac Brown is a property well known to wine lovers as being a good and reliable value of
The estate is managed in «sustainable farming» and currently produces four wines: Château Cantenac Brown (Grand Cru Classé in Margaux), Brio de Cantenac Brown (Margaux), Château Brown-Lamartine (Bordeaux Supérieur),Alto de Cantenac Brown (Bordeaux Blanc).
VertdeVin: Where does the name of Château Cantenac Brown come from?
José Sanfins : The name is a combination of the communal name of Cantenac and of the name of the creator of the château «John-Lewis Brown».
V.d.V.: What is the signature of Cantenac Brown wines ? What allow to us to recognize your wines in blind tasting ? J. S.: To the label ?! The wines of Cantenac Brown are distinguished by a fair balance between finesse and density. These are concentrated wines without excess, with noble tannins and good aging potential. This last criterion truly represents the nobility of wine.That’s what we’ve always looked for in Cantenac Brown.
Since 2009 we have slightly increased the proportion of new wood in breeding to 60/70% while remaining very attentive that the wood never takes over the fruit!
As far as the white wine, Alto de Cantenac Brown, our objective was clearly to produce one of the best white wines of Médoc.The grape variety is essentially based on sauvignon blanc, we have logically inspired the great white wines of Sancerre. Our blend is 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Sémillon.We pick the ripe grapes, when the berries express notes of flowers, peach, citrus fruits and a certain acidity and fat.The small
portion of Sémillon brings a slight sweet note. From the feedback we have from our customers, I believe we have succeeded our goal.
For my part I would say that what characterizes the red wines of the Château Cantenac Brown is a fine finesse, a well balanced richness (dare I say a «fine richness»?!), depth, velvety tannins and a spicy side.
V.d.V.: Could you describe your passion for wine, what wine represents to you in three or four words? J. S.: I would say that for me wine is synonymous with passion, sharing and that it is soothing.When you share a good wine with a friend you are peaceful, happy, you remake the world, it is friendly and soothing.
V.d.V.: Do you have future plans for Château Cantenac Brown? J. S.: Yes we have in mind to redo the vats, to equip it with new tools.The idea is to anticipate what we will need later to go even further in our quality requirement.
Thanks to José Sanfins for his warm welcome. J.C.C.