Bordeaux 2018: Chateau Margaux

Bordeaux 2018: Chateau Margaux
The wait is over. Finally, we have the first First Growth release of the campaign - the regal Chateau Margaux. This is one of the most profound and concentrated barrel samples we have ever tasted in these cellars, however it remains focussed, pure and elegant, all qualities we associate with this venerable chateau. 2018 has provided awesome power, but whereas at some chateaux the vintage dominates, here, this is true to its noble terroir; exquisitely refined and utterly ethereal in the best of Margaux traditions. The late Paul Pontallier would certainly approve of this soaring effort and no doubt he would have explained it away, with a nonchalant shrug, as the result of ‘extraordinary terroir and Cabernet Sauvignon’. It defies logic and understanding, we just have to accept that there’s magic in them vines…

Please note that due to the demanding growing season and rigorous selections, the chateau has released 20% less stock of the Grand Vin. As a result, this will be on allocation.

“The 2018 Château Margaux is made of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The grand vin represents 36% of the crop this year. The wine has a pH of 3.8 and 14% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it comes prancing out of the glass with energetic Morello cherries, black raspberries and blackberry pie scents plus nuances of fragrant soil, candied violets, lavender, sandalwood, unsmoked cigars and black olives with a gentle wave of cassis and licorice emerging with coaxing. Full-bodied, the palate is charged with the most amazing energy, delivering layer after layer of red and black fruits with tons of earthy nuances, framed by the most exquisitely ripe, fine-grained tannins, finishing with amazing freshness and an extraordinarily long-lingering perfume. Magnificent. 97-100/100”. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Advocate

“Wow. This takes off on the palate the moment you taste it. Aromas and flavors of redcurrants, flowers, cherries and hints of hazelnuts. Full-bodied, tight and compact, but the linear tannins, running down the center of the wine, draw the wine through the finish. 99-100/100”. - James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

“Château Margaux's 2018 Grand Vin boasts off the charts textural richness and intensity from the very first taste. A huge core of dark fruit, potent, muscular tannins are two of the signatures. Dense and explosive in the glass, with breathtaking concentration, the 2018 is one of the finest Margauxs in recent memory. Lavender, rose petal and spice add striking perfume in this compelling, memorable Grand Vin. In 2018, the Grand Vin represents 36% of the crop and is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. 95-98/100”. - Antonio Galloni, vinous.com

Pavillon Rouge was also spectacular, albeit in a more massive and grander scale than we are accustomed to. This is perhaps due to two plots of Cabernet Sauvignon on clay soils that would normally go into the Grand Vin being utilised in this blend. It is a very impressive, concentrated and quite unique Pavillon Rouge. Again, this wine is ‘on allocation’.

“The 2018 Pavillon Rouge accounts for 30% of the crop this year. It is composed of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, with 14.5% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple in color, it sings of crushed black and red currants, warm black berries and plum pudding with touches of fungi, cedar chest, truffles and smoked meats plus a fragrant undercurrent of fallen leaves and potpourri. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a solid backbone of fine-grained tannins and loads of freshness supporting the vibrant red and black fruits, finishing long. 93-95/100”. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Advocate

“Fantastic depth of ripe fruit with currant and dark-berry aromas. Hints of citrus and dry earth. Full body and round, velvety tannins that are melted into the wine. Very intense and fruity. 95-96/100”. - James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com