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Chateau Margaux 2015

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  • JS100
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  • JD100
  • RP99
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750ML / 0% ABV
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4.7 6 Ratings
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4.7 6 Ratings
750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

2015 was, literally, an historic year at Château Margaux. We celebrated the bicentenary of the Estate’s buildings dating from 1815, and the inauguration of the new facilities, designed or reorganised, by Norman Foster. It is easy to imagine how much we dreamed that 2015 would be a great vintage! Without doubt, some of the result is owed to decisions made at the time of blending; only 35% of the harvest went into the first wine, which was a record of severity for a vintage of this standard. As usual, it was the Cabernet Sauvignon in first place with 87% of the blend; in addition to its concentration and finesse, this year it has an unusual vigour and strength. The Merlot has nothing to be ashamed of, at least in the great plots; it makes up 8% of the first wine. Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%) also find their place in this elitist blend, which confirms that, enable all grape varieties to express their own propensity. How can we compare 2015 to its predecessors? It is a thankless task, and a little futile, particularly for the great vintages. There are, of course, similarities, affinities, and also some differences where we do not expect to find them… But we can evoke a combination of the strength of 2005, the flesh of 2009, the subtlety of 2010, and the inimitable charm of Château Margaux. (April 2016)

Critical Acclaim

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WE 100
Wine Enthusiast
This is a wonderful, subtle, sophisticated wine that has hidden power as well as great fruit. The Cabernet gives a pure black currant character to this intense wine, with its firm tannins hidden inside a fruity exterior. The balance is just right.
Barrel Sample: 98-100 Points
JS 100
James Suckling
The greatest Margaux ever made. More than perfection. Full body, firm and ultra-silky tannins. Black currant, mineral and floral character. It starts slowly and seems almost endless on the palate. Seamless. I want to sing! This is the wine that Margaux never made in some of the classic vintages like 1961, 1959 and 1945. Maybe it's the 1900 all over again? Breathtaking.
D 100
Decanter
Château Margaux's grand vin accounts for 35% of production in this vintage. It stood out as a potential wine of the vintage during en primeur and it is more than living up to its promise. The concentration is stunning, with a fruit structure that is darker, tighter and more insistent than Pavillon. It's so fresh, there is an opulence here, a dense silkiness to the tannins that is fleshed out across the palate, building to a big finish with menthol freshness. This is classically-styled Margaux with aromatic acrobatics and tannins so fine that the stitching is seamless and perfectly pulled together. Even though extremely ripe, there is freshness too - the acidity measures 3.6pH. The 100% new oak is barely perceptible even now, fresh out of the cask. One to savour over the long term. Bottled in August 2017.
JD 100
Jeb Dunnuck
The grand vin is the 2015 Château Margaux and it’s as good a wine as I’ve ever tasted. Coming from just over one-third of the total production and a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and the balance Petit Verdot, brought up in 100% new French oak, its deep ruby/purple-tinged color is followed by a thrilling bouquet of crème de cassis, toasted spice, hints of toasty oak, and cedar wood. Incredibly elegant and finesse-driven, yet packed with fruit, depth, richness, and structure, it has as much class as you can fit inside a glass. While the vintage provides plenty of upfront charm, this is a wine to cellar for at least a decade, and enjoy over the following 40+ years.
RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Chateau Margaux is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Medium garnet-purple colored, the nose features oh-so-seductive notes of warm blackberries, cassis and black forest cake with touches of forest floor, sandalwood, anise and cigar boxes plus a waft of lavender. Medium to full-bodied, it delivers taut, muscular, densely packed black fruits and exotic spice flavor layers supported by a very firm backbone of grainy tannins with oodles of freshness and a long, savory finish. It is tightly knit and a little reticent at this very youthful stage; afford it at least 15 years in the cellar, and it will open out into a classic Chateau Margaux of incredible proportions. Readers may be interested to know that this wine is beautifully packaged in a special commemorative bottle honoring winemaker Paul Pontellier, who passed away in 2016. The gold-etched black bottle bears the message, “Hommage à Paul Pontellier” at the bottom. This 2015 is an achingly beautiful swan song from an incredibly gifted winemaker, taken from us too soon. In my view, this alone makes this vintage more than worth the investment for the many lovers of history in a bottle.
WS 99
Wine Spectator
Sublime, with captivating sandalwood, black tea and mesquite aromas that infuse the core of gently steeped red and black currant and raspberry fruit. The structure is seamless and thoroughly embedded throughout, letting warm tar, lilac, juniper and iron notes display themselves at will through the finish. The finish is about as long as it gets, with echoes of fruit and warm earth that should prove haunting when this reaches full maturity. Best from 2030 through 2050.
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Chateau Margaux

Chateau Margaux

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Chateau Margaux, France
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Chateau 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 Chateau 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.

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Margaux

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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.

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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.

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