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A new wine for the new century: BriO de Cantenac Brown was born in 2001.
Through the style of its label, but also through the quality of our work from the selection of the lots to the bottling, it aims at expressing the modernity of our Château.
The lots supposed to be the main part of BriO are pre-selected because of their evolution all through the year, which means that we focus on each different lot of the winery, from the budburst through the flowering to the ripeness control.
A meticulous attention
The lots for BriO often need more work: more leaf pruning, some green harvest, for example on the young vines, to help them to deal with the weather conditions.
Our two labels are made from vines located on a beautiful terroir where you find gravelly soils, and we want the vinification of BriO to lead to an elegant wine with lots of flavours, a compromise between strength and finesse.
So, if you like the fruits, you can start to drink it from 2 to 5 years after the harvest.
The blend between Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot is different for each vintage but the Merlot percentage is usually more important than the one in the Château Cantenac Brown.
The 12 months-long ageing in 20% to 25% new oak barrels is traditional; we rack it every 3 months. Before the bottling, we do the fining with egg whites.
It is on purpose if the bottles of BriO are different from the ones of Cantenac Brown: we want BriO to become a brand on its own, and it’s true that we talk much more about “BriO” than about “BriO de Cantenac Brown”.
We want BriO to be a wine you drink before, during and after a meal; just for your pleasure.
Cantenac Brown Estate
At the beginning of the 19th century, John-Lewis Brown (1769-1851), bought a vineyard and designed in the village of Cantenac, a traditional Tudor style château, reminding him of his Scottish origins. His name is forever linked to the Grand Cru Classé. His grandson, John-Lewis Brown (1829-1890) esteemed animal painter and “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur”, spent time there during his childhood.
In 1843, Mr. Gromard, banker, took over the estate. After the 1855 Grand Cru Classification, Louis Armand Lalande (1820-1894), Bordeaux winemerchant and owner of several estates in Médoc, extended the building. Surrounded by a remarkable British style park, Château Cantenac Brown is since then among the most original in Médoc.
José Sanfins presently manages Château Cantenac-Brown. He does his utmost to make the best of the magnificent terroir, lavishing the greatest of care on the soil and the vines, with great respect for the environment.
This meticulous attention to detail continues into the cellar, where everything possible is done to produce an exceptional wine.
John-Lewis Brown (1769-1851) acquired the estate in the early 19th century and decided to build in the village of Cantenac, a Tudor style chateau reminiscent of his Scottish origins.
The building is one of the most unusual in Médoc region and is surrounded by a remarkable English-style ground.
The quality of the wine was acknowledged in the 1855 classification, when Château Cantenac Brown was included into the growths.
The Bordeaux winemerchant and owner of several estates in Médoc, Louis Armande Lalande (1820-1894), extended the building, keeping the same architecture.
One hundred fifty years later, the Simon Halabi family has given a new impetus to this estate with a British atmosphere
…which they are determined to raise to the very highest level.
José Sanfins presently manages Château Cantenac-Brown. He does his utmost to make the best of the magnificent terroir, lavishing the greatest of care on the soil and the vines, with great respect for the environment. This meticulous attention to detail continues into the cellar, where everything possible is done to produce an exceptional wine.
Cantenac Brown Vineyards
The vineyard is managed in a more environmentally friendly way: the “sustainable approach” goes without saying.
The vines are cared for throughout the year and yields are perfectly controlled.
Strictly plant-based fertilizers are applied in a moderately and balanced way in tune with the needs of the vines.
This respect for Nature explains why the Château Cantenac Brown team continues to use the traditional soil maintenance techniques, which gradually enhance the structural, chemical and biological properties of the earth.
Over 400 000 vinestocks are managed every year. Pruning, removal of buds, leaves and secondary shoots, hand harvest …, several times per year the whole team works vine by vine and checks each single cluster.
Such a sharp selection does not replace the environment. The finest wines are given by the Nature.
Marquis d'Alesme Margaux is made from 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.
Argot Bastard Tongue Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Sonoma Pinot Noir.
Inheriting an unbroken string of success, the “Bastard Tongue” arrives fully-formed and ready to impress. Always a blend from multiple Pinot Noir vineyards, this iteration of “BT” was selected from three distinct sites, each making their own unique contribution of Sonoma County terroir to the wine’s character.
Exploding forth on a tidal wave of high-toned, intense red and black fruits, this is a Pinot Noir that no stemware can contain. The palate’s profound depth is balanced by an inherent freshness, allowing the wine to crackle with brambly energy, while sustained by bass notes of underbrush, black tea, pie spice and baker’s chocolate. A formidable rendition of “Bastard Tongue”, and a deserving successor to its line.
Night harvested by hand throughout September, cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing. 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top bins. Average time on the skins, 14 days. Aging 20 months in French oak, 100% new. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
Very versatile for pairing. Goes well with grilled meat, vegetable, fish, poultry and cheese.
Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2020 Pinot Noir Bastard Tongue comes bounding out with energetic notes of black cherry compote, black raspberries, and pomegranate with a beautiful undercurrent of violets and dark chocolate. The full-bodied palate is vibrant and pure, with fine-grained tannins and a lively backbone, finishing very long and perfumed. This is perhaps the best 2020 Pinot I've tasted!
-Wine Independent 96 Points
Argot Le Rayon Vert Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
"Le Rayon Vert", the phenomenon which occurs as the sun dips below the horizon, and a brilliant green flash occurs when sunlight prisms through Earth's atmosphere. Jules Verne wrote "a green which no artist could ever obtain on his palette”, akin to the ethereal, green halo all truly pedigreed Chardonnays radiate from the glass.
Wafting from the glass like a freshly opened stick of Wrigley's gum. Both intense and vibrant, the full-bodied palate delivers Granny Smith apple and stone fruits; confections of custard and sticky vanilla bean; animated by bursts of spearmint and pine forest.
The 2020 Le Rayon-Vert comes bounding out of the glass with bold notions of lemon meringue pie, fresh apricots, and sea spray, giving way to nuances of struck flint, wet pebbles, and Marcona almonds, plus wafts of lime leaves and mandarin peel. The medium to full-bodied is simply electric, delivering super-intense citrus and mineral layers with a crisp backbone and a very long, chalky finish.
-The Wine Independent 96 Points
Avennia Sestina Red Blend is made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc.
The Sestina is a poetic form from Medieval France. Just as a contemporary poet can use an old form like the Sestina to express modern ideas, we use the traditional Bordeaux blend to make modern wines that express Washington fruit. Sestina is our vision for an old vine blend where the focus is on structure, balance, and complexity. This wine is designed for the cellar, but is enjoyable now.
Sestina: This wine is a blockbuster, with black currant, black raspberry, saddle leather, freshly tilled earth, vanilla, and violet on the nose. Exceedingly rich and balanced on the palate, with great poise and structure for long aging. The finish echoes with fresh black fruits, minerally touches, and floral notes.
The 2020 Sestina showed beautifully, with lots of ripe black fruits, tobacco, and spring flower notes in a medium to full-bodied, fresh, focused, elegant style. It has fine tannins and a great finish and should drink nicely right out of the gate. The tannins here are terrific.
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 Points
Bressia Monteagrelo Malbec is made from 100 percent Malbec.
Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. No filtration and no fining.
Bressia Monteagrelo combines the soul of each varietal, its intimate relationship with the origin and its deep roots with a unique terroir in the world...Monteagrelo is our family of wines and, as in any family, each one expresses their own identity and varietal personality that makes them unforgettable and unrepeatable." - Walter Bressia
Monteagrelo Malbec is sourced from vineyards in Tupungato, La Consulta & Agrelo. Planted 6,500 plants per hectare.
Attractive and intense red-colored wine with purple tones. It exhibits ripe red and black fruit aromas, mixed with vanilla, chocolate and coffee nuances. Good concentration, great structure, delicate tannins and a long, harmonious finish.
"The 2020 Malbec Monteagrelo was aged for 12 months in French oak. Purple in the glass. The intense aromas feature plum liqueur, cassis and hints of blackberry in an oaky, cigar box frame. The palate is broad and full-bodied with a channeled but voluminous, grippy flow. - Joaquín Hidalgo"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (January 2023), 92 pts
Cabrieres Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge Les Silex is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah .
The vineyard is situated on the high tablelands, which are characteristic of the northern area of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The terrain consists mainly of alpine diluvium and chalky Miocenian soil, with large flint pebbles covering the surface. These pebbles conserve the heat of the day during the night, thus avoiding too much evaporation.
This 2020 has opened up and is drinking great right now. A blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. Elegant cherry red color, with expressive notes of red fruits (strawberry and raspberry). Mellow tannins, well-balanced on the palate. I feel I need to point out the freshness, it is bright and lively on the palate, something we don’t see a lot of in this region. This also makes it extremely food friendly as it can hold up to fatty proteins.
Very good with white meat, red meat, charcuterie and cheese.
Argot Simpatico Ranch Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Powerful aromas of key-lime, white flowers, orange blossoms and a fierce, flinty, sauvage note define a wildly complex nose. Once in the mouth, gracefully pronounced textures coat the palate delivering an exotic interpretation of cool-climate Chardonnay character — lime peel, orange blossom, ginger and clove —lingerings deep into a vibrant finish.
Planted 1978. Shallow volcanic soils on the gently-sloped, south-facing foothills of Bennett Peak on Bennett Valley’s floor. One of California’s coolest Chardonnay vineyards. In the final year of 3-year draught cycle, Simpatico Ranch saw its earliest ever harvest and smallest crop, exposing a reserve of exoticism and minerality previously untapped. A watershed vintage for both the vineyard, and appellation. Night harvested by hand on 9/16, whole-cluster pressed direct to barrel; no settling to ensure maximum lees contact. Barrel fermented on heavy lees. Malolactic fermentation. 16 months in French oak, 50% new. Finished 2 months in steel tank, low Sulphur during barrel elevage.
The 2021 Chardonnay Simpatico Ranch needs a lot of swirling before it shoots from the glass with notes of lemon tart, orange blossoms, candied ginger, and fresh nectarines with hints of crushed rocks, struck flint, and nutmeg. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers amazing tension, with tight-knit citrus and spice layers and a fantastically well woven satiny texture, finishing long and layered. "We only get about 1.5 tons per acre here," said owner/winemaker Justin Harmon. "This comes from old vines on AXR rootstock."
-Wine Independent 97 Points