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Chateau Margaux (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

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  • D98
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Chateau Margaux 2018 is remarkably concentrated. A small grape size and relatively low yields largely explain the exceptionally high tannin indices. The wine's power is not, however, overwhelming and helps to considerably lengthen the aromas and structure of the finish. Fairly early in the wine-making process, we understood this tannic potential and moderated our extraction programs including for our Merlot plots, which are usually less dense than our fine Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

Blend: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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JS 100
James Suckling
Wow. This takes off on the palate the moment you taste it. Aromas and flavors of redcurrants, flowers, cherries and hints of hazelnuts. Full-bodied, tight and compact, but the linear tannins, running down the center of the wine, draw the wine through the finish. Superb.
Barrel Sample: 99-100
RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2018 Château Margaux is made of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The grand vin represents 36% of the crop this year. The wine has a pH of 3.8 and 14% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it comes prancing out of the glass with energetic Morello cherries, black raspberries and blackberry pie scents plus nuances of fragrant soil, candied violets, lavender, sandalwood, unsmoked cigars and black olives with a gentle wave of cassis and licorice emerging with coaxing. Full-bodied, the palate is charged with the most amazing energy, delivering layer after layer of red and black fruits with tons of earthy nuances, framed by the most exquisitely ripe, fine-grained tannins, finishing with amazing freshness and an extraordinarily long-lingering perfume. Magnificent.
Barrel Sample: 97-100
JD 100
Jeb Dunnuck

One of the wines of the vintage on the Left Bank is the 2018 Château Margaux, a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% each of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and the balance Petit Verdot. A thrilling, sensational Margaux that reminds me of the 2015 at this stage, it reveals a saturated purple/blue color as well as heavenly notes of black raspberries, blueberries, cassis, spring flowers, high-class smoke tobacco, and graphite. Deep, full-bodied, and seamless, it builds incrementally on the palate and carries masses of fine tannins, no hard edges, and awesome purity of fruit. Given its purity, depth of fruit, and texture, it’s going to be approachable with just short-term cellaring, but I suspect it won’t start to hit prime time for at least a decade. Barrel Sample: 98-100

WE 99
Wine Enthusiast
It is impressive how the serious structure of this wine has been totally absorbed by the depth of fruit. A dense black currant flavor and bright acidity are balanced by the core of dark tannins and an overall richness. Currently, the end is dominated with tannins that will allow the wine to age.
Barrel Sample: 97-99
D 98
Decanter
Without doubt an incredible Margaux, although whether it will equal the 2015 remains to be seen. It's less serious than the 2016 but every bit as good, floating above the palate, performing that acrobatic trick that only happens in the really great years. It's silky yet intense and powerful, with sweet, fleshy and succulent raspberry cut through with fresh rosemary and sage that add texture and grip. The menthol side of the Cabernet is already coming through, which suggests the fruit was just perfectly ripe - these are aromatics that you don't get in true heatwave years like 2003. The flavours stretch out, gently gripping and keeping you involved in what.
Barrel Sample: 98
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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.

BANF520605_2018 Item# 520605