2014 Branon, Pessac-Léognan (Previously $60)

SKU #1292049 93 points Wine Spectator

 Warm and inviting, with copious layers of boysenberry, plum and blackberry compote inlaid liberally with singed apple wood, bacon and licorice root notes. Lots of tarry grip underscores the finish. Rather muscular and hefty for the vintage. Best from 2019 through 2029. (JM, Web-2017)

91-92 points James Suckling

 A red with layers of berries, dark chocolate and stones that follow through to a full body, firm tannins and a fresh center palate.  (3/2015)

90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Château Branon 2014 is a blend of 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon that is matured in 100% new oak. The wood element stands out on the nose although there is sufficient fruit underneath to support it. The palate is medium-bodied with dense, quite rigid tannin. There is good density here, firm in the mouth, a 'solid' Pessac-Léognan that will hopefully develop more personality on the finish. (NM)  (4/2015)

89-92 points Vinous

 The 2014 Branon emerges from a two hectare parcel that now technically lies within Haut-Bergey, the Garcin family's other Léognan estate, but that retains its own distinct personality. Iron, smoke, game, savory herbs and dark stone fruits power across tha palate in an intense wine endowed with tons of pure density and mid-palate richness. Big yet well-integrated tannins support the explosive, powerful finish. This is another compelling effort from proprietor Hélène Garcin and her team. The blend is 50% Merlot , 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc. (AG)  (4/2015)

K&L Notes

Notes from The Wine Cellar Insider: "A new, fresh style of wine for Branon, now produced by the brother of owner Helene Garcin. Truffle, tobacco and blackberry notes lead to a more finesse driven approach with a tangy, dark chocolate and blackberry finish. Gone is the opulent style to which we have become accustomed, at least in this vintage. This will undoubtedly please some people but it may alienate fans of the estate’s older, more lavish vintages." 90-92 points, tasted April 24, 2015.

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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.


- 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.


Specific Appellation:


- 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.