2015 Margaux



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£6,108.00
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£3,054.00
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£3,054.00
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Average critic rating : 98.0 points

95-98

95-98

The 2015 Margaux is a super-classic wine. In 2015, most Margauxs are notably intense, but Château Margaux expresses the richness of the year in its surprising tannic backbone and overall structure. Far from an up-front or sensual wine, the 2015 Margaux is likely to require considerable cellaring. It is a tightly-wound wine that manages to be both powerful and crystalline in its translucent purity. The 2015 is a wine of real density and yet so very much Margaux. About 35% of the crop went into the Grand Vin. Apr 2016, www.Vinous.com

98-100

98-100

The 2015 Château Margaux is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, all together representing 35% of the total production at the estate. Raised entirely in new oak, it has a lucid garnet color. The bouquet is aimed directly at the senses - there is no dilly-dallying about, as it almost knocks you off your stool with its intense mineralité embroidered into this iridescent, graphite-tinged nose. The focus and penetration here ranks among the finest that I have tasted at this estate since first coming here in 1997. The palate is astonishingly well balanced, perfectly poised with super-fine tannins wrapped around pure blackberry, bilberry, graphite and cedar fruit. Like the Pavillon Rouge this year, there is a Pauillac-like sense of authority and aristocracy, leavened by Margaux-inspired femininity that completes that standout 2015 on the Left Bank. Beg for a bottle and worry about the cost later. Post script: I composed this tasting note five days before the passing of Paul Pontallier. It is a final gift from a gifted winemaker. Apr 2016, www.eRobertParker.com, Drink: 2028-2070

100-100

100-100

The greatest Margaux ever made. More than perfection. Full body, firm and ultra-silky tannins. Black currant, mineral and floral character. It starts slowly and seems almost endless on the palate. Seamless. I want to sing! This is the wine that Margaux never made in some of the classics vintages like 1961, 1959 and 1945. May be its the 1900 all over again? Breathtaking. Mar 2016, www.JamesSuckling.com

19

19

87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. 13.5% - record alcohol for the grand vin. Great breadth and savour on the nose. Lovely freshness and sophistication. Lots of fine tannins. Very aérien. Really flies! Perfect Margaux. A great welcome for the new chai and memorial for Paul Pontallier. Still tight but nothing out of balance. Very Margaux. Very classic claret. Quite brave because there is nothing showy about this wine, but it could truly be described as beautiful. Apr 2016, www.JancisRobinson.com, Drink: 2026-2046

98

98

My joint top wine (with Ch Mouton Rothschild) of the vintage. Pure charm: the palate is discreet at the start and then goes on forever , always with the château's silky texture and fine, firmly structured tannins. This will become a very great wine. Apr 2016, Steven Spurrier, www.Decanter.com, Drink: 2022-2050

97

97

A great vintage at Château Margaux and a fitting tribute to the memory of the equally great Paul Pontallier. This is a poised, elegant, beautifully framed claret, with perfume, structure, acidity and a core of red and black fruits complemented by notes of graphite and green pepper. Au revoir, Paul. Et merci. Apr 2016, www.timatkin.com, Drink: 2022-2035



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 21/11/2016) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Margaux 2015
+£1,848.00     (+43.38%) Latest price:  £6,108.00
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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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