x
  • Country ranking ?

    475
  • Producer ranking ?

    19
  • Decanting time

    6h
  • When to drink

    from 2020
  • Food Pairing

    Garlic Roasted Pork Shoulder

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What a relief after the difficult moments we had in 2013! This succession of very different vintages makes Bordeaux a unique place where experience can be learned from, without having the temptation to repeat it! Besides, in 2014, the cellar designed by Norman Foster opened our eyes to new possibilities and showed where other experiments are going to sustain the progress for the coming years. A new chapter has just begun, and we have had the joy of opening it in the euphoria of a calm and easy harvest! In 2014 we went back to almost normal quantities, certainly superior to those of 2013 but not yet to the level that we would like to reach in view of the state of the vineyard; big efforts probably need to be made in order to improve the yield on a few top quality plots. As usual, when conditions are not those of a great vintage, the gap widens between the best terroirs and the others that weren’t able, in spite of a great September, to catch up completely on the time lost in August. Only our emblematic plot of Merlot, « l’Eglise », was able to be included in the first wine, which represents only 5% of the Merlot in the blend… but it is superb and counts among the best successes of these last ten years. All the great Cabernet Sauvignons are in the right place – that is to say, the best!

 

They provide 90% of the first wine. 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot complete this blend, all in all classic these last few years. Château Margaux 2014 contains 36% of the harvest, the hard core of the great quality. It is probably illusory to imagine going above this, and perhaps dangerous to go below because each constituent, at this stage, is necessary to the overall balance. It’s a powerful wine, fleshy, whose silky tannins almost make one forget the great concentration and fine acidity. It will not rank among the greatest vintages of this century -2000, 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010- but can certainly claim a place just below.

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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.

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.

 

 

 

 

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Wine Information

A Snap-shot of the 2014 Vintage by Markus Del Monego MW

2014 had an early start with budbreak around 10 days ahead of the 10 years average. End of May flowering started on the early terroirs in heterogeneous conditions, whereas the later varieties such as Cabernet-Sauvignon and Franc as well as later terroirs took advantage of a warm and sunny period beginning of June. July and August where quite cool and humid and in the second half of August the vintners prepared themselves for a vintage even worse than 2013 but at the end of August everything changed. A spledid indian summer througout September and October saved the quality. Harvest started for the white grapes started three days later than in 2012 but two weeks later than 2011. For the red grapes the harvest startet with Merlot at the end of September and ended with the Cabernets in the second half of October. The cool climate during summer provides a higher acidity, the indian summer is responsible for the right ripening.

The dry white wines are on a very good quality level showing crisp acidity and ripe flavours. The noble sweet white wines also take advantage of the higher acidity balancing the opulent sweetness. Therefore this vintage seems more on the elegant side. The presentation of red wines depends very much on the grape varietes and terroirs. Overall the red wines are on a higher quality level than the three previous vintages. Saint-Emilion is excellent on the plateau calcaire and shows in general very good wines.

 In Pomerol the centre of the plateau was in advantage over the surrounding areas. Fronsac was a very positive surprise for 2014. In the Médoc the southern part proved to be more heterogenous than the northern part, where especially Saint-Estèphe was homogenous and excellent. South of Bordeaux Pessac-Léognan presented a very homogenous picture of a very good quality level with outstanding wines from Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion.

One last observation: This vintage digests oak in a great way. The oak is even not obvious in wines with a 100% new oak barrels for maturation. Now there are roughtly twelve month to follow for the maturation of the 2014s untill the bottling in 2016. A lot can happen in this period. Let us see how the wines will present themselves after bottling, it will be a very interesting tasting again. 2014 is not a great vintage like 2005, 2009 or 2010 but it will be able to secure a position as one of the very good vintages of Bordeaux.

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Vintage 2014

Bordeaux Vintage 2014 - is not a great vintage like 2005, 2009 or 2010 but it will be able to secure a position as one of the very good vintages of Bordeaux.

Generally scheduled between the end of March and the beginning of April, Primeur Week in Bordeaux is always an exciting time because it allows a first glimpse of the latest vintage. The sheer number of wines available for tasting is impressive and a week almost seems short. This is why the Union de Grands Crus offers a well-organized blind tasting for the press every morning of the week. The previous weekend, the Grand Cercle des vins de Bordeaux organizes blind tastings of more than 200 samples. These impressions are supplemented by tastings in different Châteaux and tastings organized by the Bordeaux trade. Therefore, some wines may be tasted twice or even more often during this week to check quality and style.

 

An interesting fact is the weather situation. Low weather pressure means wines can close, while high weather pressure presents wines in a more open and flavorful style. This year the wheat was pretty bad during the first few days of the tasting week, but improved a lot in the second half of the week. This had an influence on the tasting notes in general which must be taken into account. Another effect was the late harvest in 2014, which shortened the period between harvest and early tastings by up to a month. A month less time for maturation has effects on the tasting results, which is another aspect to consider, always keeping in mind that each tasting result remains a snapshot and is not an absolute judgment and definitive.

 

The year 2014 started early with bud burst about 10 days before the average of the last 10 years. At the end of May, flowering began on the first terroirs in heterogeneous conditions, while the later grape varieties such as Cabernet-Sauvignon and Franc as well as the later terroirs benefited from a warm and sunny period at the beginning of June. July and August were quite cool and wet and in the second half of August the winegrowers prepared for an even worse vintage than 2013 but at the end of August everything changed. A splendid Indian summer in September and October saved the quality. The harvest began for the white grapes three days later than in 2012 but two weeks later than in 2011. For the red grapes, the harvest began with the Merlot at the end of September and ended with the Cabernets in the second fortnight of October. The cool climate during summer provides higher acidity, the Indian summer is responsible for good ripening.

 

The dry white wines are of very good quality showing crisp acidity and ripe flavors. Noble sweet white wines also benefit from the higher acidity balancing the opulent sweetness. Therefore, this vintage looks more elegant. The presentation of red wines depends a lot on the grape varieties and terroirs. Overall, the red wines are at a higher level of quality than the previous three vintages. Saint-Emilion is excellent on the limestone plateau and generally shows very good wines.

In Pomerol, the center of the plateau was advantageous over the surrounding areas. Fronsac was a very positive surprise for 2014. In the Médoc, the southern part turned out to be more heterogeneous than the northern part, where especially Saint-Estèphe was homogeneous and excellent. South of Bordeaux, Pessac-Léognan presented a very homogeneous image of a very good level of quality with exceptional wines from Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion.

One final observation: this vintage digests oak wonderfully. Oak is not even evident in wines with 100% new oak barrels for maturation. Now there are about twelve months left for the maturation of the 2014s until bottling in 2016. A lot can happen during this period. Let's see how the wines will present themselves after bottling, it will again be a very interesting tasting. 2014 is not a great vintage like 2005, 2009 or 2010 but it will be able to secure a position as one of the very good vintages of Bordeaux.

by Markus del Monego MW

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

ending

Long, Lingering and Vibrant

nose

Youthful, Opulent, Seductive and Charming

taste

Average in Acidity, Warming, Concentrated, Multi-dimensional, Youthful, Focused, Fragrant and Silky tannins

Verdict

nice but not special and Well-rounded

Written Notes

2014 Chateau Margaux - totally undeveloped yet great fragrance and acidity. Far, far too young to taste right now. This wine has an unlimited potential. 95+p.

  • 95p

They provide 90% of the first wine. 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot complete this blend, all in all classic these last few years. Château Margaux 2014 contains 36% of the harvest, the hard core of the great quality. It is probably illusory to imagine going above this, and perhaps dangerous to go below because each constituent, at this stage, is necessary to the overall balance. It’s a powerful wine, fleshy, whose silky tannins almost make one forget the great concentration and fine acidity. It will not rank among the greatest vintages of this century -2000, 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010- but can certainly claim a place just below. (October 2018)

The purity of cabernet sauvignon fruit is what impresses here. Subtle and energetic plum and currant aromas follow through to a gorgeously harmonized palate of wonderful fruit and an ultra-long finish. Current bush and light earth adds to the complexity. Lasts for minutes. Drink in 2022.

  • 97p

The 2014 Château Margaux, has a fragrant bouquet with blackberry, graphite and light violet aromas. This feels very refined, very Margaux as banal as that sounds. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite precise tannin. This is an unreservedly understated First Growth, more masculine then I remember from barrel and just after bottling, firming up a little for the long-haul. In some ways, the higher Cabernet Sauvignon renders this a little more Pauillac-like in flavour profile, although it has the finesse that is synonymous with this estate. Excellent. Tasted at the property. 2025 - 2055

  • 94p
2014 Margaux - A valentine of dark chocolate and roses melded with the aromatics of licorice, blackberry and cocoa create a complex perfume. The wine is elegant with a refined character, supple tannins and a burst of fresh cassis, cherry and cocoa that builds on the palate. The most striking quality to this wine is the clarity of fruit in the finish. While this vintage lacks the weight and density found in vintages like 2009 and 2010, the length is quite similar. Produced from a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.68. This represents 36% of the harvest. 95-97 Pts
  • 96p
Deep purple red with violet hue and almost black centre. Persistant but elegant nose with ripe fruit, blackberries, blackcurrants and elderberries, hints of vanilla , white pepper and discreet toasted flavours, good structure, elegant acidity, excellent lenght with a long lingering finish displaying hints of fruit and minerality.
  • 97p
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Information

Origin

Margaux, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Above Average

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory

None

Glass time

3h

Inside Information

What a relief after the difficult moments we had in 2013! This succession of very different vintages makes Bordeaux a unique place where experience can be learned from, without having the temptation to repeat it! Besides, in 2014, the cellar designed by Norman Foster opened our eyes to new possibilities and showed where other experiments are going to sustain the progress for the coming years. A new chapter has just begun, and we have had the joy of opening it in the euphoria of a calm and easy harvest! In 2014 we went back to almost normal quantities, certainly superior to those of 2013 but not yet to the level that we would like to reach in view of the state of the vineyard; big efforts probably need to be made in order to improve the yield on a few top quality plots. As usual, when conditions are not those of a great vintage, the gap widens between the best terroirs and the others that weren’t able, in spite of a great September, to catch up completely on the time lost in August. Only our emblematic plot of Merlot, « l’Eglise », was able to be included in the first wine, which represents only 5% of the Merlot in the blend… but it is superb and counts among the best successes of these last ten years. All the great Cabernet Sauvignons are in the right place – that is to say, the best! They provide 90% of the first wine. 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot complete this blend, all in all classic these last few years. Château Margaux 2014 contains 36% of the harvest, the hard core of the great quality. It is probably illusory to imagine going above this, and perhaps dangerous to go below because each constituent, at this stage, is necessary to the overall balance. It’s a powerful wine, fleshy, whose silky tannins almost make one forget the great concentration and fine acidity. It will not rank among the greatest vintages of this century -2000, 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010- but can certainly claim a place just below.

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