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Chateau d'Issan 2004

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
  • RP91
0% ABV
  • JS97
  • WE96
  • RP95
  • D95
  • WS91
  • JS96
  • JD95
  • WE95
  • RP93
  • D93
  • WS91
  • WE95
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  • JS94
  • JD92
  • RP91
  • RP95
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  • WE91
  • JS90
  • WS90
  • WE96
  • JS96
  • RP95
  • WS91
  • W&S90
  • RP93
  • WS91
  • WE91
  • RP94
  • WE92
  • RP95
  • WS92
  • RP93
  • W&S92
  • RP89
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Winemaker Notes

Chateau d'Issan is a wine born of subtlety and elegance. With the exquisite bouqet unique to Margaux, Issan has become synonymous with the charm, suppleness and finesse that are the hallmarks of its great terroir.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A beautiful effort that is a model of elegance and symmetry, this 2004 d’Issan possesses a dark ruby/purple color as well as floral, raspberry, cherry, and blueberry aromas interwoven with notions of licorice and toasty oak. Beautiful ripeness, medium body, and a delicate integration of tannin and wood result in a pure Margaux that should be at its peak between 2009-2020+.
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Chateau d'Issan

Chateau d'Issan

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Chateau d'Issan, Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Image of winery
The present-day chateau (surrounded by a moat) was constructed in the 17th Century; like so many Bordeaux estates, it was essentially in ruins after the First World War. Acquired by the Cruse winemaking family in the 1950's, the vineyards were extensively replanted and the estate restored to its former glory. It was declared a Third Growth Grand Cru in the 1855 Bordeaux classification.

Silky, seductive and polished are the words that characterize the best wines from Margaux, the most inland appellation of the Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux.

Margaux’s gravel soils are the thinnest of the Médoc, making them most penetrable by vine roots—some reaching down over 23 feet for water. The best sites are said to be on gentle outcrops, or croupes, where more gravel facilitates good drainage.

The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification but it is nonetheless important in regards to history of the area. In 1855 the finest chateaux were deemed on the basis of reputation and trading price—at that time. In 1855 Chateau Margaux achieved first growth status, yet it has been Chateau Palmer (officially third growth from the 1855 classification) that has consistently outperformed others throughout the 20th century.

Chateau Margaux in top vintages is capable of producing wines described as pure, intense, spell-binding, refined and profound with flavors and aromas of black currant, violets, roses, orange peel, black tea and incense.

Other top producers worthy of noting include Chateau Rauzan-Ségla, Lascombes, Brane-Cantenac, and d’Issan, among others.

The best wines of Margaux combine a deep ruby color with a polished structure, concentration and an unrivaled elegance.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

BND9620040101_2004 Item# 111904