Robert Parker 94
Served blind, this ex-chateau bottle of ’59 Margaux has a deep garnet core with tawny rim. The beautifully defined nose is lovely with fragrant redcurrant and raspberry fruit, bay leaf, dried blood and a hint of pottery wheel. The palate is medium-bodied, showing more decay that the previous bottle I tasted three years ago, with some mushroom/underbrush elements dominating the entry and Provencal herbs developing with aeration. Yet the finish has class and elegance that is difficult to ignore, the silkiness of the tannins nigh irresistible. Perhaps this wine is in graceful decline compared to others Firsts, yet it is still a beautiful old dame. Tasted December 2009.
Lively treacly ruby. Sweet and a bit treacly with a hint of oxidation. Fresh and drying out. But with lots of charm. Dusty.
Anticipated maturity: 1976-2000
The 1959 Chateau Margaux could probably have benefitted from decanting three or four hours before serving. But it has wonderful definition and tension on the nose, with those telltale sea cave and marine traits, though it constitutes the most backward example I have encountered. The palate is, again, a little more tannic than the previous bottles, but it is extremely well poised and pure, still replete with that finely chiseled finish. Maybe the previous bottle demonstrated a touch more joie-de-vivre than this one, whose provenance likely played its part in its initial rigidity. Fortunately, after an hour in the glass, it begins to blossom and reveal floral elements on the nose and finesse on the palate.
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040