2010 Branon, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1066779 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Once again in 2010, notes of mocha, espresso roast, chocolate, creme de cassis and scorched earth soar from this opaque purple-colored wine. It is aged in 100% new oak, but that is hardly noticeable given the wine’s sensational richness and extravagant fruit. This wine is classic, full-bodied and intense. It’s just a shame that less than 8,000 bottles are usually made. This wine is still backward, but very full, rich, and impressively pure in texture. Give it another 5-8 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 20+ years. From a small but fabulous jewel of a property owned by the Garcin family, sandwiched between Malartic Lagraviere and Haut-Bailly, this blend of 50% Merlot and the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely sensational. The debut vintage, 2000, continues to show tremendous potential and clearly reveals the high quality terroir Branon possesses.  (2/ 2013)

93-94 points James Suckling

 This has great fruit. So pure and beautiful, with blueberry, currant and raspberries. Full, yet very reserved, with a long, long finish. $$.  (3/ 2011)

88-91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Fully saturated inky-ruby. Sexy aromas of balsamic plum, smoke, sweet spices and wild herbs. Dense, sweet and rich, with the palate showing more vibrancy than the nose suggests. Dark berry flavors are complemented by vanilla, balsamic vinegar and menthol but are currently slightly overwhelmed by smoky oak and cocoa. The wine finishes long but with mounting and rather astringent tannins that detract considerably from its pleasure quotient. I greatly prefer the 2009.  (6/ 2011)

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Price: $149.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Pessac-Leognan/Graves

- Graves is the large red and white wine region located to the southeast of the city of Bordeaux along the Garonne River. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the red wines from the area, while the whites are mixtures of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The most important area within the Graves is the village of Pessac-Leognan. Most of the great chateaux, including Haut Brion, a premier cru and the only wine outside of the Medoc to be included in the 1855 Classification, are located in this small appellation. Graves derives its name from the rocky, stony terrain of the region. Many people believe that the stony soil radiates the day's heat at night and thus makes the grapes ripen earlier than the other regions in Bordeaux.