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News

 

 

 

 

VINTAGE 2019 by Château Margaux

Globally, 2019 was the warmest year on record. In France, the average temperature was 13.7°C, 1.1°C to 1.2°C higher than usual. 


In Margaux, the winter of 2019 was mild at 1 to 2 degrees above the 30-year averages, with limited rain (30 mm less than the 30-year averages) and only three days of frost. Under these conditions, the date of bud-break ranged from March 29th to April 4th.
Spring was mild and temperatures were near-normal for the season, with abundant rainfall at the end of April and again between June 5th and June 18th. Flowering occurred between the 1st and the 9th of June and went relatively well. Only some older parcels of Merlot showed some signs of coulure. The rain, which risked causing occasional outbreaks of mildew, had no sanitary impact and the vineyards remained in a very good state throughout the year.
The summer stood in sharp contrast to the rainy spring. Anticyclonic conditions prevailed and only 64 mm of rain fell between June 21st and September 21st. However, the summer of 2019 will be best remembered for two heatwaves at the end of June and then from July 22nd to 24th when the temperature reached 39.9°C in Margaux!
The red grape harvest began on September 18th in ideal conditions, and the Merlot grapes were perfectly ripe and concentrated when picked. A weather disturbance between September 22nd and the 29th did not affect the health of the grapes and allowed them to ripen more slowly under conditions that were less aggressive for the vines, better preserving the acidity levels, with ultimately not too high levels of alcohol. The grapes picked between the end of September and the beginning of October benefited from the concentration developed after veraison (August 5th to the 10th), without being significantly affected by low slight dilution from the rain.
The harvest ended on October the 10th.

 

The Grand Vin of Château Margaux 2019 is an excellent vintage and one of the precious wines we have been lucky enough to produce this decade, in 2015, 2016, 2018 and now 2019.


Cabernet Sauvignon still forms the heart of the Château Margaux, accounting for 90% of the assemblage. Merlot accounts for 7%. In addition to our emblematic parcels, this year we have added the Merlots from the Haut du Jardin parcel which bring body and charm to the wine as a whole. The Cabernet Franc (2%) and the Petit Verdot (1%) complete the assemblage. Château Margaux represents 37% of the harvest.
The Grand Vin of Château Margaux 2019 will be the first to take full advantage of the new facilities in the second-year cellar, the construction of which was begun by André Mentzelopoulos at the end of the 1970s. Modified several times over the years, it recently underwent extensive renovation work and has been completed, we are delighted to say, just as his grandson, Alexis Leven-Mentzelopoulos, joins the Château Margaux team. He and his sister Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos represent the future of the Estate. (April 2020)

 

 

VINTAGE 2017

The quality of Château Margaux 2017 comes close to its illustrious predecessors without pretending to rival the generosity of 2015 or the elegance of 2016. Nonetheless, it has a rightful place in the estate’s lineage of great vintages: it is profound, complex, intense and long. In some respects, it even surpasses our hopes following September’s rainfall and demonstrates yet again to what extent great terroirs are capable of transmitting all their best qualities into the wine. 

The initial tastings in the winemaking process offered a moment of astonishment. The Merlot batches are remarkable: the aromas are fruity and soft, a roundness on the palate and rich volume made it possible to include them in a proportion of 8% for the first wine. The Cabernet Sauvignon is always the heart and the framework for Château Margaux, accounting for 89% of the blend. Upon tasting, the tannins were perfectly ripe, which reassured us that our decision to wait a few more days before harvesting was the right choice. The wines’ structure remains a rare combination of power and refinement. Cabernet Franc (2%) and Petit Verdot (1%) round out the blend for this wine. Château Margaux represents 37% of the harvest. (April 2018)

 

 

CHÂTEAU MARGAUX HONOURS PONTALLIER WITH 2015 BOTTLE

Château Margaux is to bottle its 2015 vintage with a special edition design that pays tribute to the late Paul Pontallier and marks the estate’s 200th anniversary.

It is the first time in the château’s history that a different design other than the usual white label featuring the famous Palladian house has been commissioned.

As the estate explained in a release, 2015 was a notable year for Margaux in three ways; both triumphant and also, ultimately, tragic.

To begin with 2015 marked the estate’s 200th anniversary, for which new winemaking facilities were built by Sir Norman Foster, secondly it was an exceptional vintage for the first growth which was widely considered the best wine of 2015 by many merchants and critics but also, sadly, it was the final vintage overseen by longstanding technical director Paul Pontallier who died in March 2016 after a long illness.

The bottles have been decorated with a screen print that features the château, the entrance of the new chai designed by Foster and his team and a note to Pontallier at the bottom.

As the château said in its statement: “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.”

 

 

 

PHILIPPE BASCAULES APPOINTED MANAGING DIRECTOR OF CHÂTEAU MARGAUX

Mrs Corinne Mentzelopoulos, owner and manager of Château Margaux, has announced today the appointment of Philippe Bascaules as Managing Director of Château Margaux starting the 1st of March 2017. Philippe Bascaules, an agronomist engineer, has a thorough knowledge of Château Margaux's estate, having been its Estate Director between 1990 and 2011 under the leadership of Paul Pontallier, General Manager for 33 years and sadly prematurely deceased last spring. For the past 5 years Philippe Bascaules has been Managing Director of Inglenook, the Californian wine estate of Francis Ford Coppola, where he will be supervising the technical decisions.

At Château Margaux, Philippe Bascaules will rely on the experience of Aurélien Valance, HEC graduate and Deputy Managing Director who has worked at Château Margaux for 15 years, as well as that of Sébastien Vergne, agronomist, oenologist and recently promoted to Estate Director. Philippe Bascaules will also be reunited with Olivier Pinon, Managing Director based in the head office in Paris where he has been working since 1983. Corinne Mentzelopoulos thus reasserts her wish to rely on a competent, loyal and experienced team who will undeniably sustain the tradition of excellence Château Margaux has pursued over the past 5 centuries, while simultaneously maintaining its constant quest for progress and innovation. Corinne Mentzelopoulos and her daughter Alexandra are delighted at the return of Philippe Bascaules, whose brilliant career, quite logically, goes on at Château Margaux: "During the 20 years he spent at the estate, we all deeply valued Philippe's competence and wisdom. His great knowledge of the estate is an invaluable asset with which to guide and prepare the future of Château Margaux". "I am very honoured Corinne Mentzelopoulos has appointed me Managing Director of Château Margaux and I like to think that Paul Pontallier would have been happy for me to carry on his work. I am thrilled to be reunited with my former colleagues at Château Margaux and delighted to be working on the wines and vineyards of the estate" Philippe Bascaules adds.

 

 

 

Paul Pontallier of Château Margaux – 1956 to 2016 / Few Bordeaux châteaux manage to transmit the warmth, friendship and pleasure that comes with wine in the same way that Château Margaux did under the direction of Paul Pontallier.

 

Paul Pontallier, who died on 28 March aged just 59 years old, had been managing director of first growth Château Margaux in Bordeaux since 1990. He would have turned 60 on 22 April.

Margaux a ‘perfect fit’
Obituary: Paul Pontallier of Château Margaux – 1956 to 2016 He first joined the estate in 1983 aged 27, two years after graduating as an agricultural engineer with a doctorate at oenology. Besides 18 months teaching winemaking at the Catholic University of Santiago, Margaux was to be his only full-time professional role and proved a perfect fit.

Hired by owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos – following a recommendation from his mentor Emile Peynaud – just three years after she stepped into her father’s shoes, the two shared a complicity and friendship rarely seen between owner and director. Together they worked to ensure that the transformation of Château Margaux that had begun under André Mentzelopoulos continued until it reached the exalted position it holds today.

 

A partnership ‘unsurpassed’ – Steven Spurrier

Decanter consultant editor Steven Spurrier described their partnership as ‘something that has never been surpassed even by that of Jean-Bernard or Jean-Philippe Delmas with Haut-Brion. It is difficult to imagine Margaux without him’.

Early years

Born in the Bordeaux region, Pontallier spent his early life on his parents’ wine estate, Château La Loge Saint-Léger in AOC Bordeaux Supérieur and went to the city’s most exclusive school, the Catholic-run Sainte-Marie-Grand-Lebrun.

He first considered a career as a doctor, and once told Decanter.com in an interview that ‘wine was so natural to me that I couldn’t imagine it being a serious career choice’.

But, he decided to follow his heart into agriculture. He gained his first degree in 1975 from the Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon that is today known as AgroParisTech. From there he specialised in oenology and viticulture, first in Montpellier and then at the Bordeaux Institute of Oenology in Talence, where he wrote his PhD on the effect of barrel ageing on red wines.

 

Joining Château Margaux

His first seven years at Château Margaux were spent alongside Philippe Barré, and he took over as managing director when Barré retired in 1990. Under his direction, Château Margaux delivered consistently magnificent vintages and confirmed its position as one of the world’s truly great châteaux.

Outside of Château Margaux, in 1984 Pontallier started the venture that would become Domaine Paul Bruno in Chile with his longtime friend Bruno Prats, and also consulted for Stellenbosch’s Plaisir de Merle. More recently he helped his son Thibault Pontallier with the creation of the Pont des Arts wine brand. But there is no doubt that he will forever be linked to Château Margaux, a place that he loved and frequently said he would never be tempted away from.

An ‘extraordinary talent’

‘The world is a sadder place today for the loss of Paul Pontallier,’ Decanter’s managing director, Sarah Kemp, said. ‘An extraordinary talent, an extraordinary man. He was the embodiment of the wines he crafted; elegant and refined. His humanity and kindness enriched many lives. He will be missed.’

Philippe Bascaules, who worked alongside Pontallier for eleven years at Château Margaux before joining Francis Ford Coppola at Inglenook in 2011, said, ‘I admired not only his humility but his passion. He used to say that doubt is the driving force of all scientific research. This was something that he felt very deeply, and that made him both very open and very human. (Decanter) 

 

 

A SOTHEBY’S AUCTION EXCLUSIVELY DEDICATED TO CHÂTEAU MARGAUX WINES

 

An extensive collection of wines, drawn directly from our cellars, from the 1900 vintage up to the present day has been put up for auction. It is the first time in the history of Château Margaux that an auction has been entirely dedicated to our wines. The sale, which was organised last Saturday by Sotheby’s Wine, in New York, was a remarkable success. The entirety of the 239 lots, which had an estimated value of $1.4 million, was sold for a total of $2.8 million! Among the lots offered for sale were exceptionally rare vintages such as those of 1900, 1929, 1945, 1953, 1961, 1982 and 1990. A balthazar of Château Margaux 2009, estimated price between $30 000 and $50 000, was greeted with incredible enthusiasm and sold for $98 000. The auction surpassed all our expectations! A bottle of Château Margaux 1900, a legendary vintage, sold for $61 250, six times its lower estimate! This sale paid great homage to Château Margaux, as well as to the Mentzelopoulos family, owners since 1977.
 

TWO CENTURIES OF ARCHITECTURE IN TRIBUTE TO A GREAT WINE

On June 14th and 16th this year, Château Margaux celebrated the bicentenary of its architecture. In 1810, the Marquis de la Colonilla, then owner of Château Margaux since 1801, requested one of the greatest architects of the time Louis Combes, to design a new layout for the estate whose wines had been famous since the XVI century. The old buildings were demolished, except the XVIII century Orangery which served as a cellar during the construction. The project was completed in 1815. This building complex, which was registered as an Historic Monument in 1946, has remained unchanged until the present day.

 

Two centuries later, Corinne Mentzelopoulos, the current owner, decided to entrust the design of a new extension to the prominent British architect, Lord Norman Foster, with a view to responding to the challenges of the XXI century, with the construction of a new cellar next to the old ones with a Research and Development Centre in the middle, the construction of an underground Vinotheque and finally a new vistor centre to welcome the thousands of visitors who come from around the world.

Corinne Mentzelopoulos hosted the international press, on June 14th, at Château Margaux, for the dinner of the Conseil des Grands Crus Classés en 1855. Bordeaux wine merchants and importers were also invited on June 16th. On this occasion, Château Margaux inaugurated the new buildings designed by Lord Norman Foster. The dinner, prepared by three Michelin star - Guy Savoy, ended with a film about the bicentenary of Château Margaux architecture, directed by Bruno Aveillan.



 

End of the harvest        

How wonderful this 2014 harvest is! Just about the opposite of last year… The weather is still magnificent and so we’re picking the plots that have reached full maturity in quite a leisurely fashion. The alcohol content is high, very high even, and the acidity intense; a quite rare balance. We are exactly halfway through the harvest. By this evening there will only be five days left, and the weather forecast remains excellent!     Today it’s the « gerbaude », the traditional celebration to mark the end of the harvest. We finished the day before yesterday with the Petit Verdots, magnificent again this year. The cellar is far from full, but fortunately, the yields are largely superior to those of last year, without however reaching the average for the last ten years. Let’s not complain, the quality looks magnificent, as good for the Merlots as for the Cabernet Sauvignons. Of course, for 2014, we will have missed the beautiful month of August, so essential for very great vintages. But so many other examples have shown that a beautiful Indian summer can lead to a very good - almost great - vintage; we have good reasons to think that it will be the case for 2014. Let’s look forward to the moment of the blending to see what we have.        

Our main team arrived yesterday. Most of them were part of last year’s harvesting team, and a lot of them have been loyal to us for years. Last week was very quiet ; we only picked two plots of particularly early Merlot. It’s really now that things get serious ! The fine weather is staying with us and the forecast is excellent, at least until the end of this week. The prospect of a very good, or even a great vintage is starting to become a reality…        

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History

It was 1977, and young, 24-year-old Corinne Mentzelopoulos was very impressed as she stepped out to the bright white stairway of the palace that was built in the 19th century. They had just finished lunch that had taken place in a dark, ramshackle dining room. She could not yet foresee that as a result of the handshake between the two gentlemen on the stairs, her life would soon change. Her father, André Mentzelopoulos, became the first Greek winegrower in Bordeaux, as he bought the Château Margaux from Pierre Ginestet for 75 million francs.

The historic estate had changed hands once again. The estate has been occupied since at least the 12th century, but it was only with the arrival of the Lestonnac family in the 16th century that wine production became of particular importance, and in the 1570s Pierre de Lestonnac cleared many of the grain fields to make way for grapes. By 1700 the estate covered its present area of 265 hectares, and the 78 hectares devoted to vines has remained essentially unchanged since then.

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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Vineyards

Terroir is a concept so French that the word doesn’t have an equivalent in any other language. Terroir is a genetic heritage of great wines. Without it, nothing is possible, however its character is only truly revealed as a result of the work and determination of men. In fact, without this passionate work and attention of men, a mound of gravel would never become as “privileged” as a great vineyard. It has been necessary to choose the best adapted grape varietals, define their growing conditions and refine the vinification and ageing techniques. This work has been going on for nearly five hundred years.

At the end of the year’s work comes, at last, harvest time. Everything is finished, or nearly finished: the ripening is completing “August develops the must”, the great balances are happening, or not, in the grapes. However, a bit of suspense remains, because it’s in these last days that a good vintage still has a chance of becoming great. First, we have to choose the date, examine the grapes and analyse them, squeeze them, feel under our fingers and our tongue the softness of the pulp and the firmness of the tannins; ignore the big clouds rolling around in the sky in order to gain several more days and allow the Cabernet Sauvignon to finally reach perfect ripeness. In the meantime, we’ve formed our two hundred pickers into five teams, each made up of wine growers, and a majority of young students, who, instead of experience, bring us their willingness and their good humour. The pickers, more than half of whom come back year after year, receive training. 
Here they are now, working hard in our plots. First, the Merlot, always earlier, then the Cabernet Franc, and finally the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, always later. The thinning operations in the summer have already allowed us to dispose of the unwanted clusters but a last rigorous sorting is imperative. The responsibility comes back directly to each picker and then to a specialist team for a final sorting before the grapes are destemmed.

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Winemaking

It’s the alcoholic fermentation that is responsible for the transformation of grape juice into wine. This spontaneous phenomenon was empirically mastered well before being scientifically explained by Louis Pasteur in the 19th century. The biochemical transformations brought into play by fermentation are multiple and complex. That’s why this process should be carried out in the best possible conditions. 
This is undertaken under rigorous temperature monitoring so as to avoid the heat produced by the fermentation hampering and finishing by killing the yeasts that are responsible for it. Equally, by pumping the must from the bottom to the top of the vat, this favours the dissolution of the composition of the grapes, as well as the small amounts of oxygen required for the metabolism of the yeasts. The more recent use of selected strains of yeast enables certain difficult vintages to avoid a languid fermentation. 

Once the alcoholic fermentation is finished the maceration continues until the running off: the wines are almost “finished” at this point. But so that they are completely stable, a last biochemical transformation has to be accomplished: the fermentation by bacteria of malic and lactic acids. It’s spontaneous, but it doesn’t always start easily: the wine has to be maintained at a temperature of at least 20°C (68°F). The objective of ageing in barrels is to allow the wines that so deserve to acquire a potential of harmonious ageing in bottles. During this period of about two years, a certain number of physico-chemical transformations occur naturally, which lead to a perfect transparency and a better wine stability, as well as a refinement of its organoleptic character. 

Nowadays, the barreling is effected as early as possible after the completion of the fermentations, towards the end of October or the beginning of November. It almost always takes place in new, French oak barrels, of which the aromatic finesse and the powerful tannins have a natural complicity with our wines. The temperature and humidity conditions that are prevalent in these two large cellars follow more or less the rhythm of the seasons: the winter cold favours the precipitation of the unstable components, therefore the stability of the wines, whereas the moderate highs of the summer temperatures speed up the chemical reactions and allow the wine to evolve both in finesse and sweetness. 
The beautiful sobriety of these cellars, the one constructed at the beginning of the 19th century, the other in 1982, is a marvelous symbol of the personality of our wines which know how to combine with so much pleasure, power, finesse, strength and voluptuousness.

Few decisions are as important in the life of a wine than blending, because we have to produce three wines: Château Margaux, Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux, our second wine, and then a third. The blending, therefore, is primarily an operation of selection but also of creation during the course of which several plots merge as one, producing a wine greater than the best of the individual constituents. For us, it is a real new beginning. Of course, we think about it from the first day, when, toward the end of the harvest, we start to taste the result of the vinifications, carefully separated, from each plot. But it’s only after putting it in barrels that the moment of blending arrives. 

Two, sometimes three, grand tastings bring us together during the month of January around a long table covered with samples. The atmosphere is slightly solemn. We eagerly find the generous fruit in the Merlots, the delicate sweetness of the Cabernets and the slightly rustic strength of the Petit Verdots. It’s with emotion that we discover the finesse that was hiding behind the slightly severe tannins, or the balance that we never suspected under this power, still raw. Little by little the blendings of the first, then the second, then at last the third wine are built and refined. 

The Pavillon Blanc also is subjected to very rigorous selection. Only a low percentage of the Sauvignon harvest is retained in the final blending which takes place during March, as as barrel-ageing only lasts six to seven months for the whites. Thanks to this selection, we obtain a perfectly balanced Pavillon Blanc.

After eighteen to twenty-six months’ ageing in barrels, it’s in bottles that our wine will spend the rest of its life. It will experience the vagaries and the fatigue of travel before finding the tranquility of the bottom of a cellar and ending its days in the hands of a wine enthusiast or connoisseur. Ten, twenty, thirty years, sometimes a lot more, will have passed. Time doesn’t frighten it. But it’s important to take the greatest care with the conditions for the bottling process, starting with the wise choice of date. 

At the end of its ageing process in barrels, the wine has “matured”: its aromas have lost a little freshness but have gained a lot in complexity, its tannins have become more rounded and softer, it has acquired a somehow indefinable ripeness that can only be recognised by the experience of those who love it. When it has arrived at this delicate balance, it becomes fragile and can go off very quickly. If we don’t pay attention, it can spoil like the ripe grapes that it’s made from. It’s at this stage that it must be bottled whatever other pressing issues we may have at that moment.

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3 different wines with 174 vintages

Winemaking since 1572

  • PAUL PONTALLIER

    MANAGING DIRECTOR
    “I believe that progress has to be based on experimental science”
  • CORINNE MENTZELOPOULOS

    OWNER AND MANAGER
    Doubt as a driver, progress as an objective, scientific research as a tool. Innovation does not stem from our dreams, it is not the result of a trend, it is experimental science in action.

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Erin Larkin, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Margaux . In a tasting of  14 wines 

CHATEAU MARGAUX 2017 / 89% cabernet sauvignon, 8% merlot, 2% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot/ 100% new oak. Red currants, succulent and intense, also sweet… great harmony and choral resonance… I realise I’ve drifted off in my own thoughts with this wine… the flavour lingers so. This is BDX, it is the best wine we’ve had today (this week/month etc) and it is the reason why we seek to make and drink better wine. Holy crapola.

1m 4d ago

 Valeria Nebunu  tasted  9 wines  from  Château Margaux . In a tasting of  9 wines 

Everyday is a present.

3m 14d ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Margaux . In a tasting of  73 wines 

Château Langoa Barton 2020 – Sister property to Leoville Barton and similar to her big "sister" in terms of the quality. Big scaled on the nose and palate with creamy blackcurrants, graphite, fat tannin, strong backbone, and striking complexity. Classy stuff.  53.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 8.5% Cabernet Franc. 13.5% alcohol.


94+p. 

3m 21d ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Margaux . In a tasting of  56 wines 

Bordeaux 2020 Vintage - Château Smith Haut Lafitte 2020- lots of aromatic blackcurrants and black cherries on the nose, powerful on the palate with a strong backbone, big concentration, multilayered and with great length. Long, long finish. Impressive effort. 96-97p.

4m 5d ago

 Achim Becker / Wineterminator.com, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Margaux . In a tasting of  15 wines 

The Rewards of Patience - from Cheval Blanc 1955 to Harlan Estate 2010.

4m 18d ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Margaux . In a tasting of  20 wines 

My overall impression after tasting over 300 wines from across all appellations of Bordeaux is that it is generally an excellent vintage for red wines. The 2020 red wines have as much depth and concentration as the previous two vintages, 2018 and 2019, but tastes lighter, less denser on the palate. For example, the four first growths I tasted – Mouton, Lafite, Margaux and Haut-Brion were outstanding in their sculpted expression of their own individual terroirs. Anyone who really wants to understand the character and terroir of Lafite for example, should really seek out the 2020 vintage. What I loved about Margaux in this vintage is the sculpted, precise, detailed expression despite the immense concentration of flavors. Haut-Brion was incredibly layered and complex while Mouton was expressive and deep with amazing freshness.

4m 21d ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Margaux . In a tasting of  26 wines 

Château Margaux 2018 - 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Impressed greatly with an incredibly scented nose, elegance, sophisticated and refined touch, astonishing complexity, and length. Simply a proper "iron fist in the velvet glove"! Amazing stuff. 99-100p (98-100p).

4m 25d ago

 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Margaux . In a tasting of  17 wines 

2020 Smith Haut Lafitte/ A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot aging in 60% new barriques, the very deep purple-black colored 2020 Smith Haut Lafitte makes an impactful entrance, opening with flamboyant notes of blackcurrant pastilles, chocolate-covered cherries and molten licorice, leading to nuances of ground cloves, woodsmoke, crushed rocks and dusty soil. The medium to full-bodied palate bursts with opulent black fruit preserves and shimmering mineral sparks, framed by exquisitely ripe and fantastically firm tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with epically long-lasting earthy and savory layers. This is the singular voice of Smith Haut Lafitte at its finest, and wow-oh-wow is it worth a listen. This 2020 has an alcohol of 14.5% with a pH of 3.65. The tannins this year were a little higher than 2018 and 2019. A little less than a third of production went into this grand vin. 98-100p

5m 1d ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  3 wines  from  Château Margaux . In a tasting of  15 wines 

2014 Mastroberardino Taurasi Riserva Radici /Ruby. Cherries, anise, liquorice, dark fruits, some spices, exotic spices, cinnamon and light tobacco note nose. Faintly floral. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, juicy with texture, anise, fruit driven, fuller bodied than last bottle I had of this, lovely balance, drinking very well now, long finish. My best bottle to fate of this. Just starting development. Piero Mastroberardino himself suggest up to 60 years storage and compares it with the fresh 1968 vintage. 13,5% alcohol. 92

5m 2d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Margaux . In a tasting of  153 wines 

2020 – the paradox vintage - part two

5m 14d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Margaux . In a tasting of  650 wines 

2020 – the paradox vintage 


2020 began with mild temperatures even breaking temperature record highs at the beginning of February. These conditions led to a premature budbreak. Budding developed unevenly, very much depending on the locations although the coo and humid weather in April had not a very significant impact on slowing down the growth of the vines. Finally all the vines came into bloom at the end of May without any significant coulure or millerandage. At the start of June, frequent rain intensified the pressure of mildew. From mid-June, the weather changed. The whole Bordelais saw a period of very dry weather for two months. However, the earlier accumulation of water reserves prevented water stress. Around July 18 a heat wave began to build up but the cool nighty prevented water stress on the wines again. The veraison started at the end of July and went on till the beginning of August. The heatwave in August accentuated water stress, but shorter rainy episodes avoided a complete block. The dry and sunny weather in September encouraged the grapes maturity and harvest started on September 10 with a rather mild weather. Towards the middle of September, rain prevented the fruits from wilting but as its frequency was quite concerning, the haves was pushed forward. "Le diabolique" is the title given to this vintage by Véronique Sanders. It is a very special French word, which is not correctly translated with “diabolic” in English. In France, the expression means to overcome the devil. And the vintners succeeded. 2020 is clearly a vintner’s vintage which asked a permanent reinvention of the wineries, struggling hard with this difficult vintage. However, the vintage surprises with excellent wines, exemplary freshness and elegance and very dense structure. In former times it was said that the vine has to suffer to make exquisite wines, in this vintage the people have suffered to make a great wine. The first part of notes for this tasting with over 800 wines you will find today. More notes will follow over the coming days.

5m 15d ago

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