Monday, February 21, 2011

Brane and Brown in Sauerland

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Germany, experiencing the restless feeling of neglecting my blog. We’re not drinking Spätburgunder, which should be the case, but two Margaux’s that cannot be compared. A second wine and a grand vin. A 2008 and a 2004. And two different estates. So there is no point writing about these two in one posting, as least not from an academic point of view – the only ceteris paribus being… the appellation.

But what the heck, this is a personal blog and not a book. And I’m enjoying two different representatives of the grand terroir of Margaux. The first is the Baron de Brane 2008 (second wine of Brane-Cantenac), and the other one is Château Cantenac Brown 2004.

It is too bad I can’t make and upload any pictures from here: I’m looking at two beautiful labels, one silver and one gold. Silver for the second wine, and gold for the Grand Cru Classé.

It is the silver one that I’m enjoying the most. The Baron de Brane is so… drinkable. And it’s nice from the very start. Its building blocks are ripe chunks of lively dark fruit, blackberry-like, and the scent is seductive and somewhat sweet. In a recent tweet I dared to call it sexy but didn’t get a RT from the château so perhaps that was just not ‘right on’. The Brane is actually a bit too elegant (and fresh) to be called sexy. But what I meant is the sex appeal that purity can have. I really wasn’t thinking about anything low, or filthy.

Then Cantenac Brown. The troubled estate with the scattered land, the many owners and the jumping price. Other than the Brane, this wine doesn’t convince at the first sip, and it took many sips and thoughts before I concluded that this Margaux is actually a bit edgy and austere. Not that I didn’t like it, and I love the classy label with the impressive château, the elegant, modest font type and the appealing French-English name. It’s a true Christmas table wine for sure, but the wine itself… is more difficult.

But then again, let’s not compare the two. We’re enjoying both, here, in Germany. And it is allowed here, as Bad Fredeburg is far away from any German wine region. “It’s beer country here,” the hotel owner said. So I will be drinking beer after these bottles are finished. Looking forward to it.

Baron de Brane 2008, Margaux

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