2009 Chateau Cantenac Brown

Year: 2009
Appellation: Margaux
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 90
Vinous Media: 89+
Jeff Leve: 93
James Suckling: 93
Red Wine
Price :
Sorry, this product is not currently for sale.

"This is perfumy and very pure, with lovely lilac and blackberry aromas followed by plum, cassis and black cherry fruit. The supple finish is caressed with toast that leaves a lingering, perfumy feel. Best from 2013 through 2023." (WS)

"Tasted twice in Bordeaux, I must say that whatever was shown to me in cask certainly did not appear to be performing as well from bottle. It could be just that the wine has closed down, but I had thought this was an extraordinary wine and one of the big time sleepers of the vintage. The tannins have taken hold, and although the wine is still outstanding, any hopes of achieving a mid-90 point score, as I had hoped, seem highly questionable. Dense ruby/purple with notes of graphite, blackberries and forest floor, the wine is full-bodied, powerful, excruciatingly tannic and closed, and that may be why it’s not showing as well as I predicted. Certainly, this was the biggest discrepancy between barrel and bottle that I saw in the vintage, but the wine is still outstanding, just not profound. It will be interesting to revisit this wine in a number of years. Forget it for 7-8 years and drink it over the following 30." (WA)

"($80) Full ruby-red. Brooding aromas of blackberry, espresso and licorice complicated by truffley underbrush. Then intensely flavored, juicy and tight, dominated today by its firm tannic spine and sound acidity. Quite primary in a positive way, this rather backward wine may merit a 90-point rating with five or six years of cellaring." (IWC)

"Truffle, mint, coffee, tobacco, jammy blackberry and subtle vanilla scents lead to a polished, fleshy, fresh, sweet, cocoa and boysenberry filled wine. 93 points - Tasted May 1, 2012" (JL)

"Wonderful aromas of crushed raspberries, flowers, and hints of vanilla bean. Full body, with silky tannins and a juicy finish. Fresh and minerally. Best in 2018." (JS)


In my many years of extensive wine tasting, I have sampled several dozen vintages of Cantenac-Brown, and never until this 2009 did I think much of the Chateau in both great and just so-so vintages The along came this 2009 and it was one of the outstanding wines at the event and by far the greatest surprise. A fantastic tribute to the wine maker Jose Sanfins and his team. Price wise the wine will probably be in the $60 to $90 range and well worth it.

I am not the only one who noted this great change in Cantenac-Brown; Robert Parker seems to have found the same (as has Christian Navaro at Wally’s, Steve of L.A. Wines). I fine myself in full agreement with Robert Parker when he says of this wine, “The greatest Cantenac Brown I have ever tasted, this monumental effort possesses enormous concentration, with loads of black and blue fruits intermixed with damp earth and forest floor. I have never seen a Cantenac Brown so seamless, so powerful, yet at the same time, so elegant and densely complex. They have certainly done something here that has not been accomplished over the last three decades I have tasted this estate’s wines. Opaque purple in color and full-bodied, this big-time sleeper of the vintage merits serious attention for the first time in my professional career. Kudos to the new ownership and team at Cantenac Brown. This wine should evolve over a 30-year period. (Tasted two times.).”

What more can I say, this is one 2009 you don’t want to miss!

(Martin's Guide to Wine Bargains)