Amazingly dark purple. Very, very strongly Cabernet Sauvignon (90% of the blend – only 2006 matched it) with some light vegetation at first which opened out and mellowed to something utterly seductive in the glass. Dry and intense. Very rich on the front and amazingly supple – it smells as though it may be going to be a bit of brute but on the palate it is still so intense and polished initially but then it is clear that there are masses and masses of tannins. There is noble, fine, perfectly confident, minerally fruit that opens out on the palate. It is thinkable to drink this already! Paul Pontallier: ‘We decanted the samples but it still grows in the glass.’
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050
Robert Parker 99
The 2010 is a brilliant Chateau Margaux, as one might expect in this vintage. The percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the final blend hit 90%, the balance Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and only 38% of the crop made it into the Chateau Margaux. Paul Pontallier, the administrator, told me that this wine has even higher levels of tannin than some other extraordinary vintages such as 2005, 2000, 1996, etc. Deep purple, pure and intense, with floral notes, tremendous opulence and palate presence, this is a wine of considerable nobility. With loads of blueberry, black currant and violet-infused fruit and a heady alcohol level above 13.5% (although that looks modest compared to several other first growths, particularly Chateau Latour and Chateau Haut-Brion), its beautifully sweet texture, ripe tannin, abundant depth and profound finish all make for another near-perfect wine that should age effortlessly for 30-40 years.
Anticipated maturity: 2013-2053