Chateau d'Issan 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This wine has an austere structure, with firm tannins. The fruit comes through slowly, revealing an attractive black-currant flavor and ample acidity. This will be a very fine wine with time; try after 2029.
Light pepper and savory hints lead off in this bouncy, juicy version, with bright cassis and bitter cherry fruit forming the core. Shows a light mineral edge on the finish. Rating: 88-91
Château d’Issan is in the heart of the Margaux appellation, a truly privileged location, which explains the outstanding quality of its wines. The mild weather, regulated by being close to the sea and the Gironde Estuary, provides ideal conditions for vine growth. The vines at Château d’Issan benefit from close, on-going care designed to produce perfectly ripe grapes. Everything is organized so that each individual plot can be tended independently in order to get the very best out of its fruit. Château d’Issan is a Third Growth of the 1855 Imperial Classification. The wine is made from the old vines in the Château d’Issan enclosure in the middle of the Margaux appellation. The soil here is mainly made up of surface gravel on top of a clay subsoil, which contributes to optimal ripeness and freshness in our two grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon 65% and Merlot 35%. Château d’Issan expresses the exquisite bouquet so characteristic of Margaux, and stands out with its suppleness, subtlety, elegance and long keeping potential that come from its unique terroir.
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The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification but it is nonetheless important in regards to history of the area.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 red Cabernet Sauvignon based 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.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.