Chateau Margaux 2010 / 750 ml.
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The 2010 is a brilliant Chateau Margaux, as one might expect in this vintage. The percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the final blend hit 90%, the balance Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and only 38% of the crop made it into the Chateau Margaux. Paul Pontallier, the administrator, told me that this wine has even higher levels of tannin than some other extraordinary vintages such as 2005, 2000, 1996, etc. Deep purple, pure and intense, with floral notes, tremendous opulence and palate presence, this is a wine of considerable nobility. With loads of blueberry, black currant and violet-infused fruit and a heady alcohol level above 13.5% (although that looks modest compared to several other first growths, particularly Chateau Latour and Chateau Haut-Brion), its beautifully sweet texture, ripe tannin, abundant depth and profound finish all make for another near-perfect wine that should age effortlessly for 30–40 years.
Deep garnet in color, the 2010 Château Margaux features notions of minted blackcurrants, new leather and Black Forest cake with nuances of sautéed herbs, tar, underbrush and wild fungi plus a waft of cedar. Full-bodied, the palate has a rock-solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and bold freshness supporting the taut, muscular fruit, finishing long and earthy.
A mouthwatering tobacco leaf note leads the way, quickly followed by steeped black currant and fig fruit, with dark tar and ganache on the back end. Roasted alder and juniper hints hang in the background. Extremely backward, with a firm, tannic structure, this is girded for the long haul. Judging from the finely beaded acidity and lilting echo of lilac that peeks in now, this should acquire sensational aromatics and incredible grace with age. Best from 2018 through 2040. 10,833 cases made.
Liquid velvet, with stunning length and a caressing mouthfeel, as layers of creamed plum, blackberry coulis and steeped black currant fruit glides along, seamlessly intertwined with black tea, mulled blood orange, incense and lilac. Hints of mesquite and alder hang subtly in the background, and the structure, evident and massive, has melded wonderfully. —Non-blind Château Margaux vertical (December 2013). Best from 2018 through 2040. 10,830 cases made.
A great wine that is just starting out. The high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend gives the structured, black currant character. Dark chocolate and layers of wood are forward, revealing how young the wine is. And then the fruit, so rich and powerful, brings deliciousness to the firm, dense structure. Age for many years.
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99 pts. / Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate (27th Feb 2013)
98+ pts. / Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate (5th Mar 2020)
98 pts. / Wine Spectator (Mar 31, 2013)
98 pts. / Wine Spectator (Web only – 2014)
98 pts. / Wine Enthusiast (5/1/2013)
Where It's From
Region / Bordeaux
Bordeaux is known the world over for its exceptional wines, particularly red blends made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, among others. These Cabernets aren't typically the full-bodied Cabs you get from California, but rather medium-bodied wines that emanate elegance and sophistication.
You'll also find some refreshing Bordeaux whites and, of course, Bordeaux's famous dessert wine, Sauternes.
Country / France
The French did not invent winemaking. They simply perfected it. For centuries, France has been producing wines that inspire poetry, awe, and wonder; wines that blur the lines between nature, craftsmanship, cuisine and art. These are the wines that inspired cultures around the globe to follow in France’s footsteps, planting Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Semillon and more.
Yet as often as they are emulated, the magic of their terroirs can never be duplicated. You may taste Cabernet from around the world, but perhaps none as elegant and regal as Bordeaux. You may try Pinot Noir or Chardonnay from various climates, but none with the earth-bound soul and ethereal reach of Burgundy.
|Alternate Name||Château Margaux|
|Product Location - Location-Appellation||Margaux|
|Package Size||750 ml.|
|Bottles per Case||12|
|Can it be Shipped||Yes|
|Wine Type||Table Wine|
|Wine - Color||Red|
|Grape(s)||Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot|
|Primary Grape||Cabernet Sauvignon|
|Dollar Sale (Y/N)||No|
2010 / 750 ml.
Item #: 36547
Deep garnet in color, the 2010 Lafite Rothschild is a little mute on the nose at this stage, opening to reveal warm blackcurrants, baked plums and boysenberry scents with hints of chocolate mint, violets, cedar chest and pencil lead. Full-bodied, rich and densely packed with perfumed black fruit layers, it has a rock-solid backbone of fantastically ripe, grainy tannins and beautiful freshness, finishing very long and minerally. Still very youthful!
The 2010 Lafite Rothschild, a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot (a 3% difference from the barrel sample shown two years ago), achieved relatively high alcohol of 13.32%, according to administrator Charles Chevalier. The wine is very impressive, not as fleshy, flamboyant and massive as the 2009, but nevertheless, a big, rich, full-throttle Lafite-Rothschild meant to age a half century or more. Deep purple, with notes of white chocolate, mocha, cedar and charcoal as well as hints of vanillin and creme de cassis, the wine is full-bodied yet has that ethereal lightness that makes it a Lafite. Rich, with good acidity, precision and freshness, this is a slightly zestier version of the 2009 as well as more restrained and structured than that particular vintage. It will need at least 10–12 years of cellaring and keep for 50+ years.
Rather tight, with an alluring whiff of cocoa that lures you in before disappearing into the core of steeped plum, roasted fig and blackberry coulis notes. Sandalwood, black tea and loam elements fill in on the long and expansive finish. This seems to be lying in wait for what could be a very long time in the cellar before unfurling fully. Best from 2018 through 2045. 15,833 cases made.
Deep ruby-purple. Closed but extremely pure and penetrating on the nose, offering delicate aromas of crushed blackcurrant, flint and graphite lifted by a perfumed violet topnote. Very refined and clean on the palate, with concentrated cassis, violet, ink and cedar flavors that are archetypal Lafite. Finishes with the hint of astringency that I find in a lot of 2010 Bordeaux. This is an extremely impressive Lafite but it needs at least a decade of cellaring.
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2010 / 750 ml.
Item #: 35703
Deep garnet in color, the 2010 Cos d’Estournel unfurls slowly, measuredly, releasing delicate notes of dried mulberries, stewed plums and blackcurrant pastilles before giving way to notions of potpourri, black cherry compote and chocolate box plus touches of dried sage, tobacco and new leather. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a rock-solid foundation of very firm, grainy tannins and very lively acidity supporting the remarkable intensity of tightly wound fruit layers, finishing very long and fragrant. Give it another 4–5 years in bottle and this will be stunning!
The 2010 is a more structured, restrained, less flamboyant version of the 2009. A final blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that hit 14.5% natural alcohol, this wine (which represents only 55% of the estate's production) is full-bodied, classic and built along the lines of the 2000 (although that wine was made before Reybier acquired the estate and upgraded quality significantly). This wine exhibits beautifully pure notes of creme de cassis, blueberry liqueur, pen ink, graphite and hints of toast and vanillin. The wine is full and rich, and although aged in 80% new oak, the wood is a subtle background component. This beauty will take longer to round into shape than the dramatic and compelling 2009. Forget it for 5–8 years, and drink it over the following three-plus decades.
An extremely well-sculpted, modern wine, with an enormous core of plum sauce, blackberry coulis and cassis fruit to match the ambitious roasted apple wood-, black tea- and tobacco-infused toast. Dense and chewy now, displaying the tannic spine of the vintage, this remains integrated, racy and incredibly long, offering a piercing chalky backbone that rivets everything together. Best from 2018 through 2038.
This is a complex and rich wine dominated by superripe fruit. It is a wine of extremes, of fruit, of dark tannins allied to some bitterness from the black chocolate extract. Ripe plums and sweet black fruits are given a lift at the end with bright acidity.
Full, bright ruby. Superripe but vibrant nose offers liqueur-like cassis, graphite, mocha and exotic oak scents; smells thick! Then plush, dense, large-scaled and seamless, offering extraordinary breadth and a 3-D texture to its dark fruit, graphite and mineral flavors. This very modern style of Cos finishes with outstanding, building, palate-saturating persistence and utterly sweet tannins.
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2010 / 750 ml.
Item #: 35714
One of the perfect wines of the vintage, Frederic Engerer challenged me when I tasted the 2010 Latour at the estate, asking, “If you rate the 2009 one hundred, then how can this not be higher?” Well, the scoring system stops at 100, (and has for 34 years), and will continue for as long as I continue to write about wine. Nevertheless, this blend of 90.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.5% Merlot, and .5% Petit Verdot hit 14.4% natural alcohol and represents a tiny 36% of their entire production. The pH is about 3.6, which is normal compared to the 3.8 pH of the 2009, that wine being slightly lower in alcohol, hence the combination that makes it more flamboyant and accessible. The 2010 is a liquid skyscraper in the mouth, building layers upon layers of extravagant, if not over-the-top richness with its hints of subtle charcoal, truffle, blackberry, cassis, espresso and notes of toast and graphite. Full-bodied, with wonderfully sweet tannin, it is a mind-boggling, prodigious achievement that should hit its prime in about 15 years, and last for 50 to 100.
Unbelievably pure, with distilled cassis and plum fruit that cuts a very precise path, while embers of anise, violet and black cherry confiture form a gorgeous backdrop. A bedrock of graphite structure should help this outlive other 2010s. Powerful, sleek and incredibly long. Not perfect, but very close. Best from 2020 through 2050.
Stern, almost severe initially, this great wine takes time to show its immense fruit power. Black currant and blackberry notes are packed into the wine, along with an impressive array of spices from new wood that gives a more exotic element. At the end, though, it has a fine, structured sense of proportion. Obviously for aging over decades, so don’t drink before 2022.
Dark ruby-red. Brooding nose hints at plum, cassis, brown spices and cedary oak. Sweet, fresh and highly concentrated, with brisk, intense cabernet sauvignon-dominated flavors of blackcurrant, blackberry, cedar and cocoa powder. Vibrant acidity gives this wine terrific lift and energy, but it's currently hard as nails. Finishes impressively long, with noble tannins and palate-staining concentration; nutmeg and licorice nuances emerge slowly with aeration. A knockout, but forget about it in your cellar for another 15 years. While I think the 2009 Latour has a magic spicy charm, the 2010 is more in keeping with this great estate’s DNA.
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2010 / 750 ml.
Item #: 36546
A wine of noble bearing and exceptional beauty, the 2010 Mouton Rothschild is a flat-out stunner. The aromatics alone are beguiling. On the palate, the wine is every bit as thrilling, with myriad layers of flavor that continue to open up in the glass. Graphite, gravel, smoke, plum, black cherry and savory herbs are all strikingly delineated throughout. Vivid and crystalline, the 2010 is a jewel of a wine, but it is impossibly young now. Readers who can be patient will be treated to a fabulous wine. Today, the 2010 reminds me of a more civilized version of the 1986. The 2010 is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon (the highest amount of Cabernet ever here). Dollops of Merlot round out the blend. Harvest took place between September 29 and October 13.
This remains the stunner, a battleship of a wine, brimming with cassis, blackberry and fig fruit that has melded together now, with the backdrop of alder, bay leaf and menthol starting to emerge a bit more. The long finish is loaded with grip, pulling the fruit and other components together. And then there’s that flash of iron at the very end. Awesome wine. — Non-blind Mouton-Rothschild vertical (March 2017). Best from 2025 through 2060.
Only 49% of the production made it into the 2010 Mouton Rothschild, which has a strikingly beautiful label by Jeffrey Koons. This is a truly great wine, with a very high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (94%) and the other 6% Merlot. At 13.9% natural alcohol, Mouton’s director, Philippe Dhalluin, has clearly produced another 50- to 60-year wine that has a chance at perfection in about 15 years time, when I suspect this wine will be rounding into drinking condition. It is dense, rich and full-bodied, with the classic Mouton creme de cassis, forest floor, licorice and floral notes, but also some blueberry and hints of subtle espresso and mulberry. The wine has more minerality and precision than the rich, extravagantly opulent 2009, and while that may please some, others will have their patience tested as they wait and wait for this compelling Mouton Rothschild to hit full maturity.
This strides in with distinction, starting off with a showy but integrated layer of espresso-infused toast, followed by plush tiers of crushed currant, plum and blackberry fruit interspersed with cocoa and well-roasted cedar notes. The long, tobacco- and loam-filled finish shows lots of heft, but stays polished. An impressive display of unadulterated, muscular Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2020 through 2045.
A dense, smooth and opulent wine bursting with ripe Cabernet Sauvignon flavors. It’s regal and well structured, balancing the natural exuberance of Mouton with a more severe side. This is a wine with power, yet not without its charms from the fruitiness and final acidity. This great wine will age many, many years.
Deep garnet in color, the 2010 Mouton Rothschild is a little closed to begin, slowly unfurling to reveal notes of baked black cherries, crème de cassis, blackberry compote and bouquet garni with suggestions of sweaty leather, pencil lead, cedar chest and black truffles plus a hint of crushed rocks. Full-bodied, the palate is solidly constructed of super firm, ripe, grainy tannins and lively acidity, framing the densely packed black fruit, finishing on a persistent mineral note.
Deep ruby-red. Great soil-driven aromas of cassis, licorice, graphite and loam. Hugely dense, seamless and concentrated, but with ripe, harmonious acidity giving definition to the plush flavors of creme de cassis, bitter chocolate, minerals and loam. Most impressive today on the mounting, palate-staining finish, which is almost painful yet manages to convey a light touch. Endlessly complex and vibrant wine with decades of positive evolution ahead of it. One of my favorites of this outstanding vintage.
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2016 / 750 ml.
Item #: 58300
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Château Margaux (blended of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot) sashays out of the glass with glamorous red currants, candied violets, kirsch and crushed blackcurrants scents followed by notions of tilled black soil, forest floor, cast iron pan and cigar box with subtle wafts of lavender and oolong tea. Medium-bodied, mineral laced accents hover over the palate with an ethereal sensation of weightlessness, yet it is super intense with layers of red and black flavors supported by a firm texture of silt-fine tannins, finishing wonderfully fragrant and incredibly long. (Lisa Perrotti-Brown)
A purity of fruit marks this Margaux with lots of currant and berry character. Full body, bright acidity and round tannins. It’s a larger and more expanded style of Margaux. A wine with a heart and body. Strong.
The 2016 Château Margaux has an intense bouquet of blackberry, briar, crushed stone and subtle cedar aromas that enrapture the senses; hints of pencil box and sous-bois emerge with time. The harmonious palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and a fine bead of acidity, and a touch of bitterness lends tension on the finish. Impressive—very impressive. Tasted blind at the Southwold tasting. (Neal Martin)
The 2016 Chateau Margaux is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc, plus 1% of Petit Verdot, representing 28% of the total production. This is the highest proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon apart from 2013, which was due to the poor Merlot. It was cropped around 50 hectoliters per hectare depending on the grape variety, for example it could be up to 65 hectoliters per hectare in some sectors. Lucid in color, it has a detailed and precise bouquet with mineral-rich blackberry, raspberry coulis and limestone scents. It feels very perfumed, though not powerful like many Grand Vins in 2016. The palate is a different creature to the aromatics. Here is the intensity of the vintage with shimmering black fruit laced with spice, a killer line of acidity and an irresistible crescendo on the finish. Then, graphite lingering on the aftertaste, a nod to Pauillac perhaps. The aftertaste is so long you could probably write a letter to your friend enthusing about this wine before the aftertaste fades. Doubtless it is destined to be compared to the magnificent 2015 Château Margaux and to be truthful, there’s a hair’s breadth between them. In a word: crystalline.
This Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine is packed with firm tannins and a dark, dense structure. It is seriously concentrated and powerful in its impression. Magnificent fruit contrasts with the structure to suggest a wine ready for long-term aging.
The 2016 Margaux is magnificent in the best tradition of the Château Margaux style, which always speaks more to finesse than power. Above all else, the 2016 is a wine of superb persistence, understated power and total refinement. There is wonderful depth and intensity to the ripe red and purplish-hued fruits, accompanied by mint, rose petal and sweet spice overtones that develop in the glass. The 2016 finishes with great aromatic lift and freshness. It has been absolutely compelling on the two occasions I have tasted it so far.
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2009 / 750 ml.
Item #: 40313
A brilliant offering from the Mentzelopoulos family, once again their gifted manager, Paul Pontallier, has produced an uncommonly concentrated, powerful 2009 Chateau Margaux made from 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest primarily Merlot with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. As with most Medocs, the alcohol here is actually lower (a modest 13.3%) than most of its siblings-. Abundant blueberry, cassis and acacia flower as well as hints of charcoal and forest floor aromas that are almost Burgundian in their complexity are followed by a wine displaying sweet, well-integrated tannins as well as a certain ethereal lightness despite the wine’s overall size. Rich, round, generous and unusually approachable for such a young Margaux, this 2009 should drink well for 30–35+ years.
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2018 / 750 ml.
Item #: 55280
So much ash, tobacco and earth to the bright blackberry and currant aromas. Flowers too. Fresh. Full-bodied with seamless tannins that spread across your palate and caress every square centimeter. It’s shows loads of ripe-berry, cherry, currant and chocolate character, as well as walnut and light cedar. Then the finish goes on for minutes. Extremely refined and elegant, despite the structure. 90% cabernet sauvignon, 4% cabernet franc, 4% merlot and 2% petit verdot. A joy to taste, but drink after 2025.
The 2018 Château Margaux is composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, representing 36% of the crop this year. The wine has a pH of 3.8 and 14% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it slowly unfurls to reveal tantalizing scents of crème de cassis, wild blueberries and Black Forest cake with hints of redcurrant jelly, rose oil, dark chocolate and cedar chest plus a touch of star anise. The medium to full-bodied palate bursts with opulent black fruit, fragrant earth and floral layers, supported by a rock-solid structure of exquisitely ripe, finely grained tannins and seamless backbone of freshness, finishing with fantastic length. This is classic Margaux at its most seductive, although it is, rather amazingly, approachable and absolutely delicious right now. But, to enjoy its full glory, you will want to cellar it for at least 6–8 years and then watch it metamorphize over the next 40+ years.
Based on 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% each of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Château Margaux is a magical, incredibly sexy expression of this Château that sports a dense purple color as well as a thrilling bouquet of blueberries, cassis, acacia flowers, scorched earth, sandalwood, and violets. Incredibly concentrated and full-bodied on the palate, it nevertheless has an almost Burgundian sense of finesse and elegance, with an ethereal texture, silky yet massive amounts of tannins, notable freshness, and brilliant length. The alcohol hit a whopping 14%, which is high by this estate’s standards, but everything is flawlessly integrated, the balance is perfect, and I certainly can’t find anything that could be better. This 2018 is going to be relatively drinkable at an early age (do your best to hide bottles for 7–8 years) yet last for 75+. (Jeb Dunnuck)
The 2018 Margaux is an infant. Today, the tannins are unusually searing, but then again, the 2018 is a wine in which all the elements are dialed up to the maximum. Time in the glass releases the fruit, revealing a luxurious, opulent Château Margaux built for the cellar. Cedar, tobacco, dried flowers and mint develop with a bit of coaxing. Rich, deep and utterly beguiling, the 2018 is a dramatic wine that will thrill readers lucky enough to own it.
While this wine reflects the richness and density of the vintage, it also shows all the elegance of which a great Margaux is capable. The wine is powerful and beautifully structured, both ripe and restrained. It will age magnificently. Start to think about drinking from 2028.
This struts along with supreme confidence, as a cashmere-textured structure effortlessly carries a prodigious set of warmed cassis, plum reduction and blackberry compote flavors, pulling in alder, bergamot, black and red tea and iron notes. Still manages to come across as restrained in the end. A beautiful wine. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2028 through 2040. 10,833 cases made.
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2017 / 750 ml.
Item #: 51958
The 2017 Chateau Margaux is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it needs a little coaxing to reveal alluring notes of blackcurrant cordial, Black Forest cake and black raspberries with suggestions of candied violets, tilled soil, fallen leaves, licorice and espresso plus wafts of underbrush and rosehip tea. Medium-bodied, the elegance and finesse on the palate is simply bedazzling, exuding a quiet intensity of fresh black fruits layered with oh-so-subtle floral and earth nuances. It has a soft, velvety texture and seamless freshness to support the tightly wound flavors, finishing long and perfumed. Beautiful! This grand vin accounts for just 37% of the crop.
Despite Margaux being a slightly more difficult region for the Medoc in 2017, this estate has fashioned an incredible 2017 Chateaux Margaux that’s unquestionably in the same league as the 2015 and 2016, and that’s saying something. Based on 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot representing a draconian selection of just 22% of the total production, it reveals a deep purple/ruby hue as well as stunning notes of creme de cassis, blueberries, crushed violets, unsmoked tobacco, and Asian spice. With flawless tannins, medium to full body, brilliant concentration, and a great, great finish, it’s easily one of the standouts in the vintage. It’s already stunning, yet a good 7–8 years of bottle age are warranted, and it should cruise for 20–25 years in cold cellars. (Jeb Dunnuck)
One of the clear highlights on the Left Bank, the 2017 Margaux is magnificent. Soaring in intensity, the 2017 exudes class from the very first taste. Margaux is so often a wine of charm and seduction, but the 2017 is anything but that. Instead, Margaux is dark, somber and mysterious, with layers of sepia-toned nuance that opens up with time in the glass. Cabernet Sauvignon, picked 5 days later than first anticipated, is especially prominent. The 2017 is going to need a number of years to be at its very best, but it is a super-promising wine. Wow.
Seamless from start to finish, with a thoroughly caressing mouthfeel to the mix of damson plum, black cherry and black currant fruit, inlaid with a range of lilac, lavender and rooibos tea accents. The finish unfurls slowly, revealing a mouthwatering mineral edge buried deeply in the seductive fruit. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2024 through 2038. 10,833 cases made.
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2000 / 750 ml.
Item #: 17834
If a wine can ever be perfect, this is as perfect as a wine can get. Right from the beginning this was the wine of the vintage, and nothing has changed. Margaux was the last of the first growths to be bottled because it just needed that extra time in barrel. The wine now has huge, intense black cherry and blackberry fruits, and marvelous tannins that are sweet and powerful. To finish, the magnificent Margaux perfume of sandalwood and ripe fruit dominates, leaving an impression of finesse and power.
Absolutely compelling in two tastings of this vintage, the 2000 Margaux is composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. The extraordinary seductiveness, complex aromatics, and purity it exhibits lead me to believe it has reached its window of full maturity. Medium-bodied, with layers of concentration, stunning blue, red, and black fruits intermixed with spring flowers, a subtle dosage of new oak, and a distinctive personality that is elegant while at the same time powerful and substantial, this is a multi-dimensional wine that was extremely approachable and drinkable in both tastings I had of it. The color remains a healthy, even opaque bluish/purple, but there is no reason to hesitate to drink it. It should evolve for another 30–40 years, so there is no hurry either.
Muscular yet classy. Breathtaking aromas of black licorice, violets, berry and cherry, with light hints of spices and minerals; it’s all there in the nose. Full-bodied, with an ultrafine tannin structure, and a finish that persists for minutes. This may turn out to be even better than the 1995 due to its layers and layers of fine tannins and fruit, but I can’t give it more than 100 points. Best after 2015.
Bottled in late November, 2002, the 2000 has turned out to be a colossal example of Chateau Margaux that is tasting even better from bottle than it was from cask. Only 40% of the crop made it into this 2000 Margaux, a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. The 2000 possesses a saturated ruby/purple color to the rim as well as an extraordinarily promising nose of creme de cassis intermixed with white flowers, licorice, and hints of espresso and toasty oak. There is great intensity, compelling purity, a multi-layered, full-bodied palate, and a finish that goes on for nearly 70+ seconds. Bottled naturally, with no filtration, it is a monumental example of the elegance and power that symbolize this extraordinary vineyard. A tour de force in winemaking, many of my colleagues predicted, far earlier than me, that it would be the “wine of the vintage.” It is certainly one of the wines of the vintage, but there is plenty of competition, even at this lofty level of quality. Absolutely awesome! Anticipated maturity: 2012–2050.
Penetrating, highly perfumed aromas of sappy dark berries, violet and minerals; seems less oaky today than the ’01. Offers compelling mouthfilling concentration and perfume. A wine of great power and consistency, with a pungent minerality lingering on the palate-staining finish. This somehow doesn’t flag or grow narrower even after one swallows or sips. Makes the 2002 seem almost dry in comparison. Wine-of-the-vintage material.
Paul Pontallier happened upon the 2000 vintage at Margaux, having prepared the vines since 1983, and having gained a certain level of intimacy with their produce over the years. He doesn’t take credit for the particular balance of water retention in the soils at Margaux, for the light rains that refreshed the vines in August, though he can take some credit for knowing how to manage those vines and when to pick them. For without his history at the château, the 2000 vintage might have been merely great. But there’s something of his spirits in this wine, along with the essence of the Margaux vineyard, the glint of the soil and the grandeur of the building, which taken together will stop you in your tracks.
Clearly the wine of the vintage, this will age gracefully for decades into the new century, and will likely be one of the oldest surviving wines in a vertical tasting at the start of 2100.
[Barrel tasting] Lovely perfumes of blackberries, cherries, minerals and light toasted oak. Full-bodied, with super well-integrated tannins and a long, long caressing finish. A big, silky, sexy red. It has the potential to be 100 points. Fantastic. Margaux has such power, yet it’s refined and elegant. Still not in bottle in early December.
[Barrel tasting] Black ruby in color, with violet and raspberry aromas and hints of currant and spices. Super, full-bodied, with thick, polished tannins. Should be chewy, and it is. But it remains fine and classy. Another 1995? I can’t give more than 100 points.
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