Chateau Margaux 2003
Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
An extraordinary wine and undeniably one of the great wines of the Medoc, and qualitatively a wine that towers over what other estates produced in the appellation of Margaux, the 2003 Chateau Margaux is made in a style that almost mirrors Lafite Rothschild in 2003. Last year I thought it could represent a hypothetical blend of the 1990 and 1996, but the wine has taken on even more opulence and seductiveness in an almost atypical but still fragrant, elegant, classic Chateau Margaux personality. Dense ruby/purple to the rim with an extraordinary floral nose intermixed with blackberries, cassis, mineral, licorice, and some vanilla, the wine is dense, opulent, voluptuously textured, with wonderful sweetness (reminiscent of 1982 and 1990 in that sense), low acidity, but tremendous concentration and an almost seamless integration of all components – alcohol, tannin, new wood, and acidity. This is truly sumptuous stuff that should drink reasonably well young after 4 or 5 years in the bottle and age for 30+ years. Bravo!
The Wine Advocate - "Am I being too stingy with the 2003 Chateau Margaux? A wine of extraordinary complexity and intensity, it reveals a deep purple color, a style not unlike the 1990 Margaux (possibly even more concentrated), a velvety texture, and notes of spring flowers interwoven with camphor, melted licorice, creme de cassis, and pain grille. Not a blockbuster, it offers extraordinary intensity as well as a surreal delicacy/lightness. There is riveting freshness to this offering, which tips the scales at a lofty (for this estate) 13.5% alcohol, as well as an alluring sweetness and accessibility. It probably will tighten up over the next few years. Nevertheless, it is a profound Chateau Margaux that brings to mind a hypothetical blend of the 1982 and 1990. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2035. "
James Suckling - "This is a wonderful surprise. Showing an amazing nose of dried raspberries, strawberries, and flowers. On the palate this wine is full bodied, with pretty framed fruit and silky tannins. This wine is deep and wonderful, with scores of complexity... fascinating stuff. This is drinking like an old classic right now, but could still use five years in the bottle. Don’t pull the cork until at least 2015 to see it’s true glory."
International Wine Cellar - " Full, saturated red-ruby. Knockout nose combines redcurrant, tropical chocolate, leather, woodsmoke and nutty oak with exotic chocolate mint and coffee liqueur; still manages to retain floral lift even in this beastly vintage. Then wonderfully fat, sweet and full, even if it comes across as almost heavy following the ineffable 2005 and 2004 examples. But "relatively inelegant" for Margaux still suggests a degree of refinement that few chateaux can match in the greatest vintages. A hugely rich and dense wine that finishes with elevated but ripe tannins and great length, with a subtle suggestion of dry spices. Pontallier says the terroir will take over in 20 years, "like with the '82." Splendid."
Wine Spectator - "This shows the heat of the vintage, revealing a hint of torrefaction amid the coffee, tobacco, currant and blackberry aromas, and a decidedly singed plum skin edge along the core of blackberry and black currant flavors. The tannins are fine-grained, the acidity evident and the finish long and beguiling. Great terroirs always let the vintage speak while being able to handle extremes: This is exhibit A."
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Chateau Margaux Winery
Château Margaux, a Premier Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux, is one of the most famous wines in the world. Care has been lavished on the property by a line of owners with an abiding concern for the reputation of the estate.
For more than five hundred years, season after season, generations of vineyard-workers, grapeharvesters, cellar-workers, coopers and many other craftsmen have all played a part in making Château Margaux what it is today: a wine with an incomparable personality, reflected in the elegant Palladian building which adorns its label. In 1977, the estate was purchased by the late André Mentzelopoulos, and it is now run by his daughter, Corinne Mentzelopoulos. View all Chateau Margaux Wines
About MargauxView a map of Margaux wineries (mahr-GOH)
Soft, elegant, feminine… these are words often used to describe the wines of Margaux. The commune is different from its northern neighbors of the Haut-Médoc in both geography and style. Home to the name-sharing premier cru, Margaux lays a few marshlands south of St.-Julien.
Notable FactsAs in other Medoc appellations, Cabernet Sauvignon leads the blends of the region, but the percentage of Merlot in Margaux's wines is higher than other left bank communes. Add that to a diverse soil, lighter than that in the north, and you have a softer, more voluptuous wine. In the best years, wines of Margaux are delicate, elegant and refined - structured, but not austere. Chateau Margaux is, of course, a first growth and a highly esteemed and sought-after wine. Chateau Palmer, a third growth, is also well-respected and often commands prices equivalent of first growths. Look for Cru Bourgeois if you want to try the finesse of Margaux at a lower price.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.