The 2020 Château Margaux, re-tasted at the château, is a little more open on the nose, revealing even more of its stunning delineation, just so pixelated. Black cherries, blueberry and perhaps a tad more red fruit than I noticed in the sample tasted in the UK, more classic in style. The palate is harmonious and poised with ethereal delineation, building in the mouth towards an almost pixelated finish that is utterly irresistible. There is heightened mineralité compared to the previous sample with astonishing persistence. I suspect this is one Left Bank where the 2020 will surpass the previous two vintages, but as Philippe Bascaule himself commented, it is a wine for his children rather than himself. This is even better than the sample sent to the UK, hence my higher score. Will it achieve perfection? We'll find out soon(ish).
Neal Martin (June 2021)Score: 98-100/100Drink 2027-2060
A brilliant Margaux; one that takes a sigh and then releases the huge floral, eucalyptus and crushed mint whoosh that comes in waves though the palate. You get the concentration of the vintage in an entirely positive light, with a suave softness to the tannins that makes it stand head and shoulders above many others. Plenty in common with the 1996 vintage - the knitted down tannins, the completeness, the juicy blackcurrant purity and acidity on the finish, and the certainty of long ageing. Real clarity of flavour. Alcohol level is lower than both the 2018 and 2019, but tannins and anthocyanins are at the same level as in 2018. 36% of overall harvest, and 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. A yield of 36hl/ha.
Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)Score: 99/100Drink 2028-2044
The purity of the fruit in the nose is striking. From there you move to notes of allspice, tobacco, roses, truffle, smoke, roasted plums, cherries and currants. Incredibly sensuous, silky and fresh, the fruit literally coats your palate with layers of velvet and silk textured berries. Intensely concentrated, weightless and effortless to drink, the wine seamlessly glides across your senses and holds with you for at least 60 seconds. This is a prodigious vintage of Chateau Margaux. The product of an early vintage, picking took place September 10 to September, 30. Yields were 36 hectoliters per hectare, with the Grand Vin produced from only 36% of the crop. The wine blends 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, 13.5% ABV, 3.68 Ph.
Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider (May 2021)Score: 98-100/100
The 2020 Château Margaux is composed of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, accounting for 36% of the harvest. The alcohol weighs in at 13.5%, the IPT is 80 and the pH is 3.67.
Displaying an opaque purple-black color, it needs a lot of air, time and patience to coax out the youthfully reticent nose of blueberry preserves, blackcurrant pastilles and Black Forest cake, followed by suggestions of lavender, clove oil, iron ore and menthol with wafts of star anise and candied violets. The medium to full-bodied palate is wonderfully opulent, featuring tightly wound yet beautifully pure layers of black fruits and earthy nuances within a solid structure of firm yet velvety tannins and exhilarating freshness, finishing with very long-lingering earth and mineral notes. Another stunning expression of the vintage by Philippe Bascaules and his team—bravo!
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021)Score: 97-99/100Drink 2028-2068
Much like the Deuxième Vin, the 2020 Château Margaux has a discreet nose; it is not interested in fireworks or in dazzling the taster. At first unassuming, it unfolds with black cherries, blueberry and signature crushed violet aromas, all delivered with the delineation and purity expected from an estate of this standing. Looking deeper, one finds touches of potpourri and India ink. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins and crisp acidity, perhaps more noticeable on the 2020 compared to the previous two vintages. This Margaux is surfeit with tension and coiled-up, nascent energy, then it tightens up toward a linear finish that strangely recalls a Pauillac, thanks to a subtle graphite note that lingers on the saline aftertaste. This is a classically styled Château Margaux that will gain weight and depth during its élevage. Cerebral and sophisticated, and one of the wines of the Left Bank in 2020.
Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021)Score: 97-99/100Drink 2026-2060
A stunning, riveting wine, the 2020 Margaux is classic as classic gets. Racy, elegant and super-refined, the 2020 possesses magnificent balance. Inky red/purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal, spice and bright mineral notes build as this super-expressive Margaux builds over time in the glass. The 2020 is not an obvious wine, but then again Château Margaux rarely is. I love the energy and vibrancy here. Margaux is very clearly one of the wines of the vintage in 2020. It’s a tremendous effort from the team led by Estate Manager Philippe Bascaules.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous (May 2021)Score: 97-99/100Drink 2035-2060
The 2020 Château Margaux is a more concentrated, dense wine that has the vintage's massive dry extract paired with more moderate alcohol levels and building tannins. Blackcurrants, sandalwood, tobacco leaf, and graphite give way to a full-bodied, rich, powerful Château Margaux that's flawlessly balanced, has a stacked mid-palate, and a great finish. It's one for the ages, though, and don't expect much up-front appeal. It almost reminds me of the 1996, yet with slightly more density. It's a quintessential beauty that will be just about immortal.
Jeb Dunnuck (May 2021)Score: 96-98/100
So floral and perfumed with blackcurrants, blackberries and some asphalt. Full-bodied with super, fine tannins. Extremely refined with great length and intensity. The wonderful combination of refinement and power is already evident. Superb finish. Another great Margaux.
James Suckling (April 2021)Score: 99-100/100
89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc. 36% of the production. Cask sample. Gorgeous wine that is both classic and expressive. Aromatically complex with floral, mineral and dark-fruit notes. Quality of tannins superb from entry to finish, the texture smooth and velvety. Lovely freshness, poise and length. Perfect pitch. Definitely has the edge on 2019 and 2018.
James Lawther MW, jancisrobinson.com (April 2021)Score: 19/20Drink 2030-2055
While closed at first, the aromatics of the 2020 Ch. Margaux develop beautifully with air, releasing a complex array of peony, rose floral and menthol aromas with warmer toasted spice notes. There is a lovely concentration and density to the palate both in terms of fruit concentration and tannin detail. The pristine red and black fruit is so fresh and juicy but compacted by the tannins, focusing the wine right down the centre of the palate, providing extraordinary depth. High quality oak tones – cedar and spice – bite at the fruit, creating an amazing layering effect of spice, fruit and tannin. The handling of the oak is excellent. While very present, it keeps the wine focused and manages the sheer abundance of tannins on the mid-palate. This is a wine built to last.
FINE+RARE (April 2021)