Robert Parker 100
Is the 2019 Chateau Margaux the wine of the vintage? A strong case in its favor could certainly be made. Soaring from the glass with aromas of blackberries, raspberries, rose petals, violets, pencil shavings and vine smoke, it’s full-bodied, layered and sensual, with a strikingly vibrant core of fruit that’s framed by ripe, powdery tannins and bright acids, concluding with a penetrating, mouthwateringly saline finish of almost interminable duration. Complex, elegant and utterly compelling, this is a brilliant Bordeaux that anyone with the requisite disposable income is going to want to own.
Anticipated maturity: 2029-2069
90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 37% of the production. Barrel sample. Deep colour to the rim. Super fragrance, the aromas pure and persistent with typical Cabernet cassis and graphite notes. Rich and full across the palate but definitely more freshness than the Pavillon. Plentiful tannins provide the drive but absolutely no aggression. Aromatic freshness on the finish aids persistence and length. (JL)
Anticipated maturity: 2030-2050
The 2019 Margaux is a total showstopper. A thrilling wine that melds together the textural intensity of the year with striking vibrancy, Margaux is just stunning. All the classic Margaux signatures are amplified in such dramatic fashion. The 2019 is a wine of pure and total sensuality. A second sample that arrived very late after having been stuck in customs was shockingly vibrant when I tasted it out of curiosity. I couldn’t help myself. In the early going, Margaux is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage. Don’t miss it. Estate Manager Philippe Bascaules and his team turned out two spectacular wines in 2019. Note: I did not taste the Pavillon Blanc, as the estate thought it was too fragile to ship. Bascaules describes 2019 as an easy vintage. Flowering was normal and set was good. Yields came in at a healthy 47 hectoliters per hectare, more than 2017 or 2018, the summer heat spikes notwithstanding. Bascaules opted to pick the Merlot early and gave those lots a very gentle extractions at low temperatures, whereas the Cabernet Sauvignon vinifications were a much more typical 20-22 days at 28-30 degrees Celsius. In tasting, the 2019s have more tannins than any other vintage, with the exception of 2018, and yet the wines don’t show that at all.