Based on the Left Bank of the Gironde in the commune of Margaux, Château Brane-Canterac, once called Château Gorce, traces its origins back to the 18th century when the Gorce family cultivated what was eventually ranked years later as a Second Growth at the Bordeaux Classification of 1855, under its new owner, Baron Hector de Branne. The Baron had once owned what is known today as Château Mouton Rothschild (then Château Brane-Mouton), but sold it to finance the purchase of Brane-Canterac. Determined and focused, he successfully dedicated himself to the property, making it one of the finest producers in Margaux. By 1922, however, the estate had lost much of its luster when it was purchased by the Lurton family, who have continued to retain ownership. Henri Lurton, the current owner, is a traditionalist who prefers history over technology when it comes to winemaking.
The estate, which abuts Château Cantenac-Brown and Château Boyd-Cantenac, features approximately 95 hectares, with 75 located just behind the Château, and the remaining 15, referred to as Notton, resting above it on a higher plateau. The land is comprised of an excellent combination of gravel-based soil with large pebbles, making for excellent drainage. It readily nurtures the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Carménère, the last being somewhat unusual given its past inability to thrive in Bordeaux’s characteristic maritime climate. Climate change has impacted the region, piquing the curiosity of winemakers and inspiring them to revisit the varietal with more interest. So far, so good, as Carménère has found a small place in the estate’s Grand Vin alongside Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Produced in quantities of 30,000 cases per annum, the signature Grand Vin is aged for 18 months, all in new oak. The estate’s second wine, Baron de Brane, is aged for only a year, but also in new oak. Brane-Cantenac also produces an additional label called Château Notton using grapes from the small vineyard by the same name, and a generic Margaux with grapes from its younger vines.