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Flat front label of wine

Chateau Margaux 1990

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Third extraordinary vintage in a row, this wine is a monument of charm, finesse, and elegance. All the organoleptic components on the nose, as well as in the mouth, already seem blended; yet this perfect and early harmony masks as much power as that of the 1989.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
For me, the 1990 Margaux continues to be the quintessential example of this chateau. In addition to being profoundly concentrated, its ethereal bouquet of sweet black fruits, cedar, spices, flowers, smoke, and vanilla is remarkably well-formed and intense. In the mouth, there is not a hard edge to this classic wine, which is super-concentrated, soft, silky-textured, and opulent. It displays an opaque ruby/purple color, a compelling bouquet, and exquisite layers of flavors that cascade over the palate without any notion of toughness or coarseness. The acidity is low, although sufficient enough to provide vibrancy and focus. This wine's significant tannin level is remarkably well-concealed by the wealth of fruit. Although still an infant in terms of development, this fabulous Margaux is already drinkable. There have been so many great vintages of Margaux under the Mentzelopoulos regime that it is almost inconceivable that the 1990 could outrank the 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, and 1995, but, in my opinion, it possesses an extra-special dimension. While it is approachable, it will last for 25-30 years.
WS 96
Wine Spectator
A stunner, with a glorious aromatic display of mulled plum, blackberry and cherry notes seamlessly melded with rooibos tea, singed balsa wood and ground vanilla bean accents. The structure is so fine-grained that it's almost hard to find, but the marathonesque length shows it's there. As gorgeous as it is, this remains a hair behind the modern greats in terms of concentration. Still, it should hold at this peak for some time. Awfully close to the '89, but sometimes we have to split hairs.
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Chateau Margaux

Chateau Margaux

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Chateau Margaux, Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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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.

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.

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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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 in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

KTY6533_1990 Item# 6533