A product of the Castillon hills, this cru is proudly representative of its Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux appellation, with its blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Since the 2014 vintage, a small percentage of Petit Verdot has gradually been making an appearance in the blend.
With the same care taken with the vines and sorting of the grapes, Château La Brande is vinified (at Château Mangot in St. Emilion) in temperature-regulated stainless steel tanks. A long, gentle vinification process extracts all the tannic richness, thanks to pumping over and rack and return over 25 to 30 days, before running off and pressing. Malolactic fermentation takes place in concrete tanks to preserve all the fruit and freshness of this cru. For the 12-month maturing period, the wine is deliberately divided into 3 batches: 1/3 in concrete tanks, 1/3 in 400-litre barrels and 1/3 in 225-litre barrels, mainly in 1, 2 and 3-year old barrels.
The 2016 La Brande has a tightly wound bouquet that felt rather reticent despite coaxing. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly hard tannin. I appreciate the fruit profile here, and it is quite dark and brooding. Hopefully it will lighten up by the time of bottling, because there is good substance and it may reside at the top of my banded score. 88 Points – The Wine Advocate