2011 Margaux



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£875.00
£1,745.00

Average critic rating : 94.06 points

93

93

The renowned Chateau Margaux’s 2011 boasts a dark ruby/plum color as well as a fragrant perfume of spring flowers, sweet, supple, well-integrated tannins, medium body, and the elegance and nobility expected from a great first-growth. Although it is not as powerful or concentrated as the 2009 or 2010 (no 2011s are), it possesses finesse, elegance, purity and suppleness. The wine is surprisingly approachable already yet should keep for 15-20 years. Wine Advocate.April, 2014

93-95

93-95

Representing 38% of the crop, the Grand Vin is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Harvest began 5th September with the earlier ripening Merlot and finished around the 20th. It has a very strict bouquet, very linear, a no-frills aromatic profile that delivers straight to the senses minerality, with touches of graphite and cedar from the intense Cabernet. The palate is medium-bodied with a more understated entry. The Cabernet is very pure right from the outset with blackberry, graphite, a saline tincture and a touch of black olive. It has a fine framework of taut tannins, beautifully composed as usual, with a finish that unlike 2009 or 2010, is very precise and linear, finishing off dry and abruptly. There is not a great long tail on the finish, but that would not suit this style of Margaux, one that is more masculine in style. Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com

94-95

94-95

Very elegant and ethereal with ultra-fine tannins and delicate fruit. Full body. I love the floral and aromatic quality to this. Then the tannins kick in. This has more tannins than 2010, according to technical director Paul Pontallier, and others, but you can't tell when tasting it. jamessuckling.com

93-96

93-96

This is succulent, with an almost jammy cassis, plum and black currant profile, though that's quickly harnessed by riveting acidity on the finish, which lets additional floral, bay leaf, tobacco and perfume notes play out. There's very impressive range here already. Tasted non-blind. James Molesworth, WineSpectator.com

17.5

17.5

Very small berries brought greater concentration but also had to be careful with the extraction. Deep dark crimson. Rich, dark and intense fruit on the nose. Floral note of violets too – open and expressive with plenty of fruit. Expressive on the palate – open and approachable and soft. Balanced and harmonious but almost too soft. 'Nothing sticks out', Paul Pontallier said, with a positive intention, but somehow it was a negative to me, all rather too safe and unexciting. Moderate length. Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com

18.5

18.5

Floral cassis fruit, lovely florality and perfect texture, beautifully harmony of expression above concentrated natural tannins. Drink 2017-2035. Decanter.com

92-94

92-94

As expected from Margaux, the nose is gorgeous with aromas of violets, spices and blackberries. The flavours on the palate are rather dense this year (as is the Pavillon Rouge which has an enormous amount of density) and leans toward a full-bodied tannic style, which is atypical of Chateau Margaux. This year the grand vin had a very high density of tannins with an IPT level of 81 (most full-bodied reds are below 80). I would have appreciated slightly less extraction in both the grand vin and Pavillon Rouge. AsianPalate.com

18

18

Cropped low because of hail and drought at just 29hl/ha and from just 38% of the total crop the 2011 Ch Margaux is a thing of beauty. Pungent aromas of old vine Cabernet (Sauvignon and Franc), incredible purity and deliniation of aromas: currants, leafy blackcurrants, violets which remains pungent even when holding the glass 30cms from your nose! Silky and very streamlined the concentration is breathtaking and framed with very fine polished tannin. It remains in the mouth for minuted afterwards...but the nose! Just at the back is a block of dense, dry tannin which perhaps is the only critisism for what is a lovely wine buoyed with bright juicy acids.



Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 06/12/2016) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Margaux 2011
-£330.00     (-8.63%) Latest price:  £3,492.00
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Chateau Margaux: The Importance

The wines of First Growth Château Margaux are so revered that the estate takes the name of the appellation in which it sits. While the big names in Pauillac jostle for dominance, Premier Grand Cru Classé Château Margaux is sole claimant of the Margaux appellation’s crown, despite stiff competition from neighbours Palmer and Rauzan-Ségla.

 

The critics are unanimous in their praise of Château Margaux with Neal Martin calling it: “the most feminine and charming of the First Growths.” He has even been known to advise his readers to “beg for a bottle and worry about the cost later.”

 

In Robert Parker’s eyes: “Margaux is consistently top-flight and generally one of the finest First Growths of Bordeaux.” An opinion backed up by Wine Advocate’s four perfect scores of 100 points (1900, 1990, 1996 and 2000), James Suckling’s five 100 point scores (2000, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2015) and the innovative ranking website Wine Lister placing it in the top 20 wines in the world, among the likes of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Penfolds Grange, Dominus, Latour and Screaming Eagle and the other Bordeaux greats.

 

As Jeff Leve of The Wine Cellar Insider alludes to, the estate’s illustrious history is second to none: “The wines of Château Margaux have been sought by wealthy wine lovers for centuries… Château Margaux at its best blends elegance, purity of fruit, harmony and finesse.”

 

Chateau Margaux: The Insight

Château Margaux’s Grand Vin is the epitome of feminine and fragrant Bordeaux. However, these wines are not light-bodied, as Robert Parker says: “The style of Margaux is one of opulent richness, with a deep, complex bouquet of ripe blackcurrants, spicy vanilla and violets.” The consistently high-scoring Grand Vin (10-12,000 cases per year) is much sought-after in almost every vintage and as therefore commands a high price.

 

The estate produces around 16,000 cases of a second wine: Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux. The first vintage was 1906. In Robert Parker’s opinion: “Their second wine, which easily represents 30% to 50% of the declassified Château Margaux… has come on strong lately with some beautiful efforts in the 21st century.” A great wine in its own right (it is often described by critics as being more like a Grand Vin than a second wine), it offers a glimpse into this great estate at around a quarter of the price of the Grand Vin.

 

As Robert Parker puts it: “What is probably less well known is that their white wine, 100% Sauvignon Blanc, is one of the finest dry whites of Bordeaux and has been especially strong since the late 1990s.” Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux is unusual for the appellation in being 100% Sauvignon Blanc. A little Semillon may find its way into the wine on rare occasions. Produced in tiny quantities of around 2-300 cases per year, it is always much in demand.

 

Chateau Margaux: The Background

Château Margaux began making wine in the 1700s and achieved widespread fame by 1787, when it topped Thomas Jefferson’s hierarchy of châteaux. After its vineyards were captured during the Anglo-French wars of the 18th century, Château Margaux became a popular imbibe in the City of London. But it was being taken over by the Mentzelopoulos family in the late 1970s that pushed it forward with their serious but careful investment. As Jeff Leve says: “Château Margaux is a traditional Bordeaux winery… They take their time to make sure each step forward is the right step forward.”

 

The Mentzelopoulos family took on the legendary Paul Pontallier in 1983, described by Antonio Galloni as “one of Bordeaux’s foremost ambassadors and a true gentleman.” Dedicating his career to Château Margaux he steered the estate from what Neal Martin called “his brilliant debut in 1983” to the “thrilling” 2015, before his untimely death in 2016. Sadly Pontallier, described by Robert Parker as “the genius behind Château Margaux”, did not witness the rapturous critical acclaim that accompanied the release of his 2015s. His impact on Bordeaux and the world of fine was enormous, with Neal Martin asking “Where would Margaux be without him? For the last three decades, his wines have been a beacon, illustrating what the appellation could achieve with commitment and forward thinking.”

 

In 2016 Château Margaux unveiled what Neal Martin calls a “Sir Norman Foster-designed, state-of-the-art winery.” This services their largely organic vineyards of around 90 hectares planted with red grapes, which remains relatively unchanged, size-wise, since the 1855 Classification. These are, rather unusually for Bordeaux, situated very close to the château itself. Three quarters are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, with remaining predominantly Merlot with a little Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Château Margaux is a welcoming and open estate, FINE+RARE were once told by their Commercial Director that “We have no secrets; we don’t need them. We have the terroir.”



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