x
  • Country ranking ?

    410
  • Producer ranking ?

    16
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    Now-2025
  • Food Pairing

    Rack of Lamb

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

Close

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.

The estate has 200 acres under vine. Each plot and each variety are treated differently from pruning throughout the growing season. Chateau Margaux’ goal is to nurture and maintain vines for as long as possible, as they believe vines need to reach 20 years of age to produce great wine. The estate is constantly trying to understand through experimentation how to improve soil health and fruit quality. Today, no insecticides are used, there is an important balance of healthy insects to counter pests, and any number of experiments with ploughing, organic farming, and biodynamic applications are ongoing. A final key point to note, Margaux has for the last 30+ years had among the lowest yields in the Medoc.

The wine was aged for 15 months, in 10% new oak and 90% second use barrels. Because of the particularities of the vintage, Cabernet Sauvignon made up an extremely high 88% of the blend, with Merlot only 12% of the blend. Importantly, the wine is held in bottle until ready to drink, which may not mean that vintages are released sequentially.

 

 

 

 

Close

Wine Information

This complicated year taught us many lessons, as it differed completely from the usual, very probably too simple, pattern of the great vintages. It may well be that the heavy rain which came at the end of September was, in fact, a help to the ripening of the Cabernet Sauvignon, as it very probably was the case in 1995, rather than the opposite as we feared. Whatever the explanation, this vintage ended up producing a wine which will go down in history for its classicism and purity. The Cabernet Sauvignon has seldom achieved such a perfection of style and such good balance. What is even rarer perhaps, is to find in a young wine, only just after its blending, the ability to impress and move us at once through the purity of its fruit, the density of its structure and the harmony of its shape.

Weather
After a very quick flowering, the summer was unsettled, with alternating periods of hot and cool weather and stormy showers, though less heavy in the Médoc than on the right bank. As from the 1st September, cool and very dry weather set in for three weeks. It then rained and fine weather returned for the harvesting of the Cabernets. (The picking began on 23rd September)



Château Margaux

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…
Today Corinne Mentzelopoulos, supported by her team led by Paul Pontallier, and following in her father André Mentzelopoulos' footsteps, devotes her time and energy to radiating her enthusiasm for this wine, whose name is synonymous with greatness, balance and harmony.
Pontallier drew most of his learning and production philosophy from Peynaud. Respect for the unique terroir of Margaux and applying this philosophy to wine in every unique year without the label of the wine maker represents Peynaud’s view that Pontallier has kept on honourably since Peynaud stepped aside from wine production in 1990.
The active and close co-operation between Pontallier and Mentzelopoulos has produced magnificent vintages: 1983, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003, and 2005. It remains to be seen how well the new generation can continue Corinne’s success in the history of the estate. It is certain that she is not stepping aside for a long time, but when she looks 50 years to the future, she says:
– Who knows what the world will be like then? I just hope my children are still around and are here managing the estate. But can things get much better for Margaux, when it already is in the minds of all wine lovers of the world? Should I keep my fingers crossed?

Soil: gravelly, clay-limestone
Production area: 82ha
Grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon (at least 75%), Merlot (between 10 and 15%) and finally Petit Verdot (around 5%) and a little Cabernet Franc
Average age of vines: 36 years
Harvest method: hand picked
Winemaking: The wine is fermented in oak vats
Ageing: over 18-24 months in new French oak barrels


Château Margaux
33460 Margaux
Tél. : +33 (0) 5 57 88 83 83
Fax. : +33 (0) 5 57 88 31 32
www.chateau-margaux.com

Close

Vintage 1996

The 1996s stand as a “classic” Bordeaux year, although – as Jancis Robinson MW has written – not in the “skinny” sense; although Farr Vintners’ director, Tom Hudson, told the drinks business that it was perhaps a “very good” rather than a “truly great” year as it wasn’t uniformly excellent across the region.

By way of a recap, 1996 was a particularly sterling vintage for Médoc wines. The Berry Bros & Rudd website extolls: “This is one of the great post-war vintages for Médoc Cabernet-based wines. They are rich, complex and beautifully balanced wines, packed with ripe, pure fruit and have the structure that will allow the top wines to age well into the next decade and beyond.”

The Right Bank by contrast are described as “distinguished” but “overshadowed” by the ‘95s – which was an especially good vintage for Saint Emilion and Pomerol.

It was also an excellent vintage for white Bordeaux.

Robert Parker’s scores tend to favour the Left Bank, though a few of the very best wines of the Right Bank received very respectable reviews as well.

Only two wines received 100-points: Lafite and Latour, Margaux was rated 99, Léoville Las Cases 98, Ducru Beaucaillou 96 and Pichon-Comtesse 96.

La Mondotte was the highest rated Right Bank wine on 97-points, Ausone was the next best rated on 93 as was L’Eglise Clinet, while Gomerie, Petrus and Le Pin settled for 92 and Cheval Blanc for 90.

With the passage of nearly 20 years, the wines have naturally appreciated and now that they are well into their drinking window demand will almost certainly begin to push prices up even further for the most in-demand among them.

The figures are often impressive, to date Lafite has seen a rise of 657.9% since its release, its second wine Carruades is up 592%, Latour has risen 437%, Petrus 400% and Pichon Baron 240%.

Close

Average Bottle Price

2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005
512€ -5.7% 543€ -6.7% 582€ -19.5% 723€ +4.9% 689€ +209.0% 223€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

18 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full, Brownish and Pale

ending

Long, Lingering and Spicy

flavors

Coffee, Blackcurrant, Cedar, Voluptuous, Toasty and Tobacco

nose

Intense, Refined, Complex and Seductive

recommend

Yes

taste

Well-structured, Balanced, Concentrated, Mature, Full-bodied, One-dimensional, Firm, Rich, Ripe and Silky tannins

Verdict

Impressive and Fine

Written Notes

Our last pair was Margaux, beginning with the 1996 Margaux. The Margaux nose was super sexy, jumping out of the glass with its candied edge, almost like a root beer float without the root beer. Make that an ice cream soda, that’s what it was, black ‘n white with a little egg cream. The nose was toasty, spicy and spiny, full of coffee, nut and leather aromas, with enough t ‘n a for an S & M dungeon. The palate was thick and long with great acidity, and flavor and aromas of beef bouillon complicated matters in this complex wine (97)

  • 97p
Ruby, seductive nose as always, layers, intense of violets, lillies, cassis and leather, stunning refinement. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, gorgeous texture, flirting, seductive, gorgeous length.
  • 96p
Load more notes

Information

Origin

Margaux, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory

None

Glass time

2h

Inside Information

Wine Advocate #110
Apr 1997
Robert M. Parker, Jr. (99) Drink: 2004 - 2035 $548-$1582
Chateau Margaux, along with Leoville-Las Cases in St.-Julien, was among the handful of properties that did not finish their Cabernet Sauvignon harvest until October 12. Whether that was a factor or not, both of these estates undoubtedly produced compellingly great wines in 1996. At Chateau Margaux, the Cabernet Sauvignon was picked between October 1 and October 12. The final blend produced a wine with nearly 13% natural alcohol, and relatively low acidity. I have tasted some extraordinary Margauxs over the last 18 years, but I have never tasted a Chateau Margaux as rich and Cabernet-dominated as the 1996. Certainly the 1986 came close to this level of quality at the same stage of development, but the 1996, which is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, and 10% Merlot, contains 10% less Merlot than the 1986. Unequivocally, the 1996 Margaux is a candidate for perfection. The Mentzelopoulos family has made a number of spectacular wines since they took over this estate in 1977, but the 1996 is so extraordinary that it may prove to be more prodigious than the legendary wines they fashioned in 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, and 1990. Paul Pontallier and Corinne Mentzelopoulos confirmed that they had never before picked Cabernet Sauvignon with such high sugars. The 1996 Margaux boasts an opaque black/blue/purple color that resembles ink. The nose offers extraordinarily sweet, jammy, blackcurrant fruit that has totally absorbed the effects of four months in 100% new oak barrels. I noticed this phenomenon with most of the top 1996s, and I consider it to be indicative of just how rich in extract the finest wines of this vintage are. I cannot recall a young vintage absorbing and masking the new oak as well as the finest 1996s have done. The wine hits the palate with extraordinary purity, richness, and equilibrium. Every component in this seamless, velvety as well as voluptuously-textured wine is stunning. As I was slushing the wine around on my palate, chills suddenly ran down my back as I realized I was in the presence of one of the greatest young wines I had ever tasted. Given the high Cabernet Sauvignon content, I expected the tannins to be more obvious, but this wine is so rich that the high tannin level is buried beneath the wine's extraordinary levels of glycerin, extract, and fruit. It is difficult to imagine when this wine might reach full maturity. I suspect it will exhibit more tannin in 1-2 years than it does at present, but the wine possesses such amazing sweetness and richness, that I suspect it will be approachable when young. It will not hit its peak for 15 or more years. It will be a fascinating wine to follow over the next 3-4 decades. Kudos to Corinne Mentzeloupolos and her mother, as well as their talented administrator, Paul Pontallier. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2035.
Read more

Highlights

Latest news

TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Gaja's Idda wine project in Sicily? / Tasting with Giovanni Gaja
WINERY NEWS Weingut Robert Weil / A milestone in the history of the Rheingau Riesling dry! 98/100 Points!   "Produced   more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS NEW: TASTINGBOOK PRESENTATION AND INSTRUCTIONS! / tastingbook.info
WINERY NEWS Torbreck / JAMES SUCKLING | OCTOBER 2022 BY TORBRECK VINTNERS By James Suckling, October 2022 www  more ...
WINERY NEWS Bodegas Roda / Bodegas RODA launches its first white wine: RODA I Blanco   The winery from Barrio de   more ...
WINE NEWS: Rare Rose 2012 / Rare Champagne releases Rare Rosé Millésime 2012 & Magnum Millésime 2006   more ...
WINERY NEWS Château Lascombes / Château Lascombes has been sold to Napa winery owner. Château Lascombes, the Margaux-  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Gaja’s Super Barbaresco / By Juha Lihtonen
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS CHAMPAGNE -HALL OF FAME 2022 / by Champagne Magazine and Tastingbook
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS PENFOLDS COLLECTION 2022 / by Andrew Caillard MW
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS BWW 2022 – The Best Wine Critics of the World  / TOP 30
WINERY NEWS Château Lafleur / “Twenty twenty-one has a multi-vintage profile; it is difficult to summarise. It was key to re  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS BWW 2022 – The Best Wine Critics of the World have been selected  / Jeb Dunnuck is the surprise Winner!
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 100 BEST CHAMPAGNES 2022 / by Champagne Magazine and Tastingbook.com
WINERY NEWS Cloudy Bay / Cloudy Bay defies NZ shortage to release two new Sauvignon Blancs Despite confirmed shortages of   more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Anthony Barton, Legendary Bordeaux Winery Owner, Dies at 91 / A dashing figure for decades in the wine trade, he raised châteaus Léoville Barton and Langoa Barton to iconic status
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Gérard Basset Foundation announces 14 funding grants to fuel diversity in the wine industry / The Trustees of the Gérard Basset Foundation have awarded funding grants to 14 institutional and community partners to fund diversity wine education programmes after raising over £1,200,000 at the Golden Vines awards ceremony and related auctions.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Harlan Estate and BOND appoint Kerry Wines as China distributor / Napa Valley icon Harlan Estate and BOND, pet project of Harlan’s owner Bill Harlan, have announced a partnership with Kerry Wines to be their distributor in China.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 100 Years of Jaboulet | A Connoisseur’s Collection | Finest & Rarest Wines / At the conclusion of a momentous year for Sotheby’s Wine, our London team is delighted to present our final auction before Christmas with: 100 Years of Jaboulet | A Connoisseur’s Collection | Finest & Rarest Wines.

Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.
Incorrect Information
If you found some information that is wrong, let us know
Are you sure you want do delete this wine? All information will be lost.
Are you sure you want to recommend this wine?
Are you sure you want hide this written note ?
Are you sure you want show this written note ?
UPGRADE MEMBER PLAN
Upgrade your membership now, it's quick and easy. We use PayPal, the world's largest payment system, it accepts all credit cards. Once you've chosen your membership level, you'll go directly to PayPal. You can cancel your membership at any time.
Thank you for your support!
 

Member

 

Pro Member

 

Winemerchant Member

 

Winery Member

 

User

 

HOW TO USE TASTINGBOOK?

We recommend you to share few minutes for watching the following video instructions of how to use the Tastingbook. This can provide you a comprehensive understanding of all the features you can find from this unique service platform.

This video will help you get started



Taste wines with the Tastingbook


Create Your wine cellar on 'My Wines'



Explore Your tasted wines library



Administrate Your wine world in Your Profile



Type a message ...
Register to Tastingbook
Sign up now, it's quick and easy.
We use PayPal, the world's largest payment system, it accepts all credit cards.
Once you've chosen your membership level, you'll go directly to PayPal, where you can sign up for a free 7-day trial period. You can cancel your membership at any time. We wish you a rewarding journey to the world of Fine Wines.

Free 7 days Member trial

 

Member

 

Pro Member

 

Winemerchant Member

 

Winery Member

 

User

  Register