New dry white from the Médoc meets increasing demand

Brane Cantenac Blanc 2019

By Panos Kakaviatos for 

2 February 2021

The label contrasts royal blue and white, evoking perhaps the Mediterranean Sea.

But this is no Greek dry white, but another from the Médoc, known for its great red wines. Made from vines on 3.2 hectares on siliceous, clay soils, this maiden 2019 vintage of Brane Cantenac Blanc blends 72% Sauvignon Blanc 28% Semillon.

Owner Henri Lurton, of the excellent second growth in Margaux, Château Brane Cantenac, decided to introduce this dry white wine no doubt out of his passion for winemaking, and he thus joins a growing number of white wine producers from the Médoc.

Production is not going to be substantial and yet market demand is growing for dry white wine. As this recent market report summarizes, “the global dry white wine market is anticipated to rise at a considerable rate during the forecast period, between 2021 and 2026.” Indeed, this year the report indicates dry white wines sales already “growing at a steady rate”.

So it makes sense for Bordeaux appellations like Sauternes to produce more dry whites (given lower demand for the “sweet wines”). An increasing number of red wine producers in Bordeaux are following suit, which seems less clear. Indeed, I do not recall tasting as many dry white wines from the Médoc as I did late last year to assess the 2018 vintage of dry white wines from Bordeaux, tasting notes here.

Harvested fairly early in this maiden vintage to retain freshness, the Brane Cantenac Blanc (appellation Bordeaux AOC) exhibits a steely aspect but also fine freshness. There is citrus, some exotic fruit and subtle notes that integrate the 25% new oak quite nicely. The wine was aged for eight months on lees in 225- and 500-liter French oak barrels.

However, I wonder about the €58 (retail) price tag, as one can find comparable quality for less.

Chalk it up to the prestige of the estate as a selling point?

The wine clocks in at 13.5% alcohol, with 4.71 grams of acidity per liter and with pH 3.09. More information about the wine here.



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