Chateau Margaux Pavillon Blanc 2018
As everyone knows, the harvest date influences a wine’s aromatic and structural profile. In order to select the "right time" to harvest, we pay a lot of attention to the current physiological criteria. In 2018, considering the relatively high water stress in our Virefougasse vineyards and long periods of sunshine, acidity was the key parameter in our decision. Our aim is to add freshness to our Pavillon Blanc and thus give it every chance to age well over time. The sun, combined with low yields, resulted in satisfactory grape sugar levels which developed pleasant and complex aromas. We therefore began the harvest early which took place from the 27th to 31st of August. Although our aim remains to choose the best batches from our vineyard selections, tasting revealed greater homogeneity, and we were able to use a higher proportion of batches than for previous vintages with almost half of the harvest making up the Pavillon Blanc 2018. This vintage, for which the weather conditions seemed less favourable to the production of fine white wines than in 2017, maintains our rigorous standards and reflects the style of the white wines we have been producing for nearly a decade.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
I'd say the finest white I've ever tasted from this estate, the 2018 Château Margaux Pavillon Blanc is all Sauvignon brought all in barrel. Its vivid gold hue is followed by an incredible bouquet of candied lemons, white grapefruit, crushed stone-like minerality, and a rich, flower oil-like character that develops with time in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, racy, yet incredibly concentrated, with serious extract, richness, and glycerol, it has an almost red wine-like sense of structure and length. Whites in 2018 don't get any better than this. Enjoy this sensational white any time over the coming 15-20 years.
A dynamic dry white with lemon rind, pears and sherbet, as well as vanilla and lilac character. It’s full-bodied with a tight, focused palate of lovely ripe fruit and vivid acidity. Timid, yet classy at the finish. Energetic acidity. 1,000 cases made. Try after 2023.
This ripples with tension as the core of gooseberry, chalk, white asparagus and fleur de sel is chiseled and taut while the sides of the wine glisten with floral notes. There's a late flurry of thyme and tarragon for additional range and length, as if it needed any. About as pure and unencumbered an expression of a grape as you can get. Drink now through 2028.
Just gorgeous aromatics, gripping and arresting, with clear cut apricot and nectarine flesh on the nose. The kind of wine where you smell the texture before it gets anywhere near your mouth. With a beautifully smoky edge, this is juicy and well-balanced. Again, this grip that you have in all three Margaux wines in this vintage. Just the right amount of fleshy mouthfeel and knife-edge freshness. Concentrated but they have handled it so well that there is still a ton of juice running through the palate. Drinking Window 2022 - 2036
As mentioned during my barrel tasting of this wine, the 2018 Pavillon Blanc is made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc that was picked at the end of August. The vines here are 40-50 years old, going some way to helping them cope with periods of extreme heat and drought, as was the case in 2018. The nose begins a little reticent, requiring a fair bit of swirling to unlock youthful, pristine notes of freshly squeezed limes, lemon tart and fresh grapefruit with touches of sea spray, green mango and acacia with a waft of crushed rocks. The medium-bodied palate delivers a seriously racy backbone of acidity, supporting the super intense citrus and chalky flavors layers, finishing long with great purity. It will require a good 4-5 years in bottle to emerge from this shell and should drink for a good 15 years or more beyond that.
From a vineyard to the west of the main Margaux estate, this 100% Sauvignon Blanc is rich, packed with yellow fruits as well as a straight line of citrus. Wood aged, it shows toastiness that underlines the richness and ripe fruit. While the wine can be drunk now, that would be a shame because it will be so much better from 2022.
The 2018 Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux, bottled in June under Diam 30, has a lively bouquet of almost an identical aromatic profile as I remarked out of barrel, a combination of white peach, hazelnut and lime, if perhaps less of the grass clipping notes. The palate is very well balanced with crisp acidity, plenty of tension and vibrancy and an almost Burgundy-like precision on the finish (yes, I know this is Sauvignon Blanc, not Chardonnay... it’s probably more connected with the oak during élevage). But overall, this is an excellent Pavillon Blanc and I might just prefer it to its red counterpart.
Drinking window: 2022 - 2040
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.