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Margaux 2015 nearly triples release price

When it was announced that Margaux 2015 would be released in a commemorative bottle, its bid price jumped from £6,600 per case of 12 to £7,500 in a matter of days – a considerable leap from its En Primeur price of £4,260. Today, it commands a market price of £12,000 – early buyers are no doubt delighted with these rapid returns.

The 98-100 point wine (Neal Martin) is in good company. The 1990, 1996 and 2005 vintages have also scored top marks, with the 2000 scoring 99, yet their prices remain comparatively low. As Liv-ex notes, the 1996, at £5,866, is available at a 51.1% discount to the 2015. How much of the 2015’s value, then, can be attributed to its unique bottle? And as Liv-ex questions, with the vintage becoming physical in the UK later this month and undoubtedly leading to increased trade, might some be tempted to switch vintages?

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The Story

Since the 17th Century, the first wine of Château Margaux has been recognised as being one of the greatest wines in the entire world. It owes its unique qualities to the genius of its terroir as well as to the passionate work of a succession of generations. It’s a remarkable wine that comes from a combination of characteristics that are only rarely found: finesse, elegance, complexity, density, intensity, length and freshness. Although its tannic concentration may be exceptional, it’s rare to detect astringency.  

The great vintages are distinguished by their formidable ability to move us. The lesser vintages give pleasure to wise enthusiasts. They offer the advantage of evolving very rapidly and, reveal, after a few years, instead of power, this subtlety that is the prerogative of great terroirs.  Château Margaux has an extraordinary ability to evolve. Over the years, it has developed a finesse, an aromatic complexity and a remarkable presence on the palate.

Château Margaux has sought to achieve excellence in its wines for over 400 years now through painstaking and necessarily long studies of its terroir, through a constant desire to learn and innovate, by remaining sensitive to demanding markets, and above all through a passionate commitment that has been shared by the families that have succeeded each other at the estate. At the end of the 17th century, it became part of the nascent elite “First Growths” – long before being established officially by the Classification of 1855. Since then, Château Margaux has known fame and fortune, seeing by experience how ephemeral both are.

 

 

 

 

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Vintage 2015

Excitement about the potential of the 2015 Bordeaux vintage – and wine made in several other parts of France last autumn – has been rising for months. In Bordeaux,  but also in Burgundy,  Champagne and the Rhône, conditions were close to  ideal last summer.

Hours of sunshine and average temperatures were the highest since records began – even higher than in “mythical” wine-growing years such as 1921 and 1947. “We think we have something very special but we are holding our tongues until the tasting begins,” said a family member at one of the most sought-after châteaux in the Médoc growing region. 

Denis Dubourdieu, professor of wine at the University of Bordeaux and one of the most successful Bordeaux winemakers, told The Independent: “I don’t think there can be any doubt. This will be an exceptional year, in line with memorable years like 2009 and 2005.

“Everything about the growing season last year was perfect. And from what I’ve seen at the wine-making stage and in the barrel later on,  this is going to be a wonderful vintage.” Mr Dubourdieu says that  producing wine is like a horse-race with five meteorological “fences”. In 2015, he says, Bordeaux jumped all the hurdles with ease.

The vines flowered early in warm sunshine; the tiny grapes appeared in perfect dry weather; they turned purple in ideal conditions of slight drought in mid-July; they expanded and ripened in a warm, dry August with just a little rain; and they were picked in a dry autumn with cool nights. This is like getting all the numbers right in the lottery. 

There were excellent claret vintages in 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010 and a reasonable year in 2012. In the past two years, to the annoyance of many people in the industry, Bordeaux has been criticised or faintly praised. There have also been complaints about the fact that the top châteaux kept their prices high, despite the apparent dip in quality. 

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

16 tasting notes

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Written Notes

2015 Margaux (barrel sample) 98-100p

Grand Vin is 38% of total crop and composed of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Exceptional concentration, richness and complexity, super strong backbone, elegant and sophisticated, perfectly balanced, incredibly aromatic, extraordinary finish. For sure, this is wine of the 2015 vintage in red. A great, great testimony/hommage to Paul Pontallier!

  • 98p
Chateau Margaux: Very concentrated ripe red and dark plum, berries, cherry, sweet spices, violet. Extremely floral and perfume. Very long finish with never-ending acidity and silky tannin. Oaky, vanilla and toasty flavour can be caught at the end of the palate. It is a perfect mix of power, structure and elegancy for this wine. A refined, layered, delicated and sophisticated masterpiece as the final vintage of Paul Pontallier. He will be truly missed when we talk about and drink Margaux 2015 in the future. This is my best pick of Left Bank and one of the Top 5 of this 2015 vintage. 98-99+
  • 99p
Dark purple colour with almost black core. Very complex and expressive nose, elegant fruit, mild spices, hints of minerality, in the background dark chocolate and floral notes. A wine with very complex character on the nose. On the palate mild spices, ripe and silky tannins, a wine aromatic start, complex mid-palate and great length, creating an extraordinary tension on the palate. This wine is the perfect definition for elegance and persistent.
  • 98p
Medium deep colour. Lovely cherry, cola, herb aromas. Silky smooth beautifully balanced wine with red currant, red cherry plum flavours with graphite, espresso, chinotto notes, fine loose knit lacy slightly graphite textures and roasted coffee mocha notes. Fruit expands towards the back palate with light graphite plume at the finish. One of the great wines of the vintage and an evocative salute to Ch Margaux’s great winemaker Paul Pontallier (22nd April 1956 – 27th March 2016). 98-100 points 
  • 100p

Information

Origin

Margaux, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Good

Fake factory

None

Inside Information

For the first time in its history, and for this year only, Château Margaux wanted to create a special bottle for its Grand Vin 2015, which is exceptional in three respects. Exceptional for the quality of this vintage which benefited from perfect weather conditions, features of the very great years like 2005, 2009 and 2010. Exceptional also for its historical importance since it arrived to celebrate 2 centuries of architecture and the inauguration of our new buildings designed by Lord Norman Foster. Exceptional, finally, because it is Paul Pontallier’s last vintage, and it is our desire to pay tribute to him. Therefore, the Château Margaux 2015 bottles have been decorated with a magnificent silk-screen print, specially conceived for this vintage, affixed to the glass in place of the usual labels. By means of this unique bottle we wish to immortalise the 2015 vintage which seems to have been created for eternity and which will remain a fantastic vintage for all of us, tinged with very special emotion

 

 

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