Skip to content

Margaux

2004 Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux. Ex-chateau. Pale golden.  Impressively open nose of lemons, orange peel and grassy elements on a background steely minerality.  Almost burgundian but with more density.  Full on the attack with an impressive mouthfeel.  Expansive mid-palate.  It has the oilyness of a grand white burg.  Finishes a little short. Tasted May 2010.

2004 Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux. Closed, just displaying faint traces of white flowers with a hint of sweetness, rather backward and reductive on the palate where further notes of icing, apricot and cinnamon are discernible amidst grainy textures, finishing on a long minty note of raw nutmeg. Regrettably uninvolving, though there were some who liked it. Tasted October 2017.

2006 Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux. Ex-chateau. Poured from magnum. Much more developed with excellent depth on the nose and palate, displaying complex characters of paraffin, white flowers in full bloom and recessed notes of green fruits that fleshed out with broad expanse and body, again finishing with its signature cool minty flourish. Excellent. Tasted May 2017 in Bali.

2011 Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux. Lively with a great abundance of green fruits, showing good vibrancy and some early complexity with traces of vanilla still present, absolutely lovely in its striking freshness with further notes of green mint and cane sugar, building up inexorably in intensity towards a climatic burst of complex floral tones. Truly a revelation. Gorgeous! Tasted October 2017.

2012 Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux. Ex-chateau. Poured from magnum. Rather full and creamy with overtones of vanilla icing, very fresh and clean, yielding good power with understated minerality, tapering towards a cool minty finish. Yet to develop. Tasted May 2017 in Bali.

2016 Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux. Fresh grassy elements dominate with a delightful glow of delicate morning dew on the nose, matched by a lovely oily density on the medium-full palate amid white floral tones, displaying superb acidity and integration, finishing with glowing tones of nutmeg and Asian spices. Excellent. Tasted June 2019.

1996 Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux. Ex-chateau. Poured from magnum. Very lovely on the nose, filled with an alluring complex of sweet dark cherries and redcurrants with a gentle fragrance. Still quite full and fresh, highly seamless with understated structure, exuding further notes of blueberries, ash and dark plums over time, finishing with good length. Excellent. Tasted May 2017 in Bali.

1998 Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux. Ex-chateau. Rather odd nose of plums with a musky, damp quality which reminded one of “old socks”!  Medium-bodied. Dry on the entry to a hollow mid-palate with fruit that is drying out and fading. Insipid finish not worthy of its pedigree. Tasted May 2010.

2000 Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux. Well into its secondary development with notes of cedar and sweet tannins, slightly lean but its breed shone through. Definitely quality stuff. Tasted February 2015.

2003 Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux. Ex-chateau. Deep purple to the rim with exuberant ripe dark fruits that leapt from the glass. A tower of tannins and structure softened and balanced by an abundance of fruit and well integrated oak.  Good concentration with an impressive mid palate of chocolate and black currants. Tightly wound.  Head and shoulders above the 1998.  Very impressive. Tasted May 2010.

2003 Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux. This wine opens with an abundance of chocolate, mocha, dark cherries and black berries on the nose, displaying excellent presence and fresh acidity with plenty of brio, structured with subtle minerality, fleshing out further with a gentle earthy pungency, finishing well with a lasting glow. Quite gorgeous, on par with classified growths but yet to peak. Excellent. Tasted May 2017.

2003 Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux. Deep garnet red. Delicious bouquet, leading to very good concentration of black fruits and red currants, slightly earthy, within a very well-defined slim profile. Lively acidity. Mellowed quite quickly with relaxed charm, developing exciting tertiary nuances with open biting intensity amid soft velvety textures. Still youthful. On par with a classified growth. Excellent. Tasted June 2019.

2005 Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux. Ex-chateau. Poured from magnum. Wild berries and dark cherries dominate on the nose with dusty smoky tones, slightly tarry on the palate with a bit of Pauillac-like dryness, displaying fine acidity and good concentration with some early evolution though shorn of fat. Still youthful and likely to flesh out with further cellaring. Tasted May 2017 in Bali.

1981 Château Margaux. There was substantial bottle stink on the nose and palate that, thankfully, blew off by the time we reached the latter half of the bottle, revealing predominant red fruits and tangy citrus that the wine still carried, allied with notes of earth, forest floor and wild berries amidst a soft fragrance. However, this wine clearly lacked distinction and if I’d been blinded, there was no way I’d have known this was a 33-year-old premier cru. Tasted December 2014 from a half-bottle.

1983 Château Margaux. The nose is classic Margaux, supremely elegant and feminine with notes of capsicum while a wide expanse of red fruits with tertiary nuances of sandalwood and fig fan out, caressing the palate with imperceptible tannins yet possessing a clean well-defined structure. Still fresh and vibrant with good acidity. Can still go a long way but why wait? Tasted June 2006.

1983 Château Margaux. Ex-chateau. Slight browning at the rim. Pure, singular classic expression of Margaux, exuding a multi-dimensional, kaleidoscopic aromatic profile of violets, cedar, soy and game. Sensational on the palate, displaying the vigour of youth but the balance and elegance of a grand dame. Medium-bodied. Good concentration with a broad mid-palate of refined tannins still structured enough to see it through at least another decade. Long lingering finish. Intoxicating and aristocratic. Tasted May 2010.

1983 Château Margaux. Deep crimson with vermilion at the rim, delivering soft floral fragrances with understated characters of sweet incense. Fleshy and open with fine definition and inner detail that traverse the palate with excellent linearity, culminating in melted tannins that still conjure tantalising excitement and intensity. Superb. Tasted February 2020.

1983 Château Margaux. Fully mature in every way, proffering an effusive bouquet of aged red fruits and sweet ripe berries that impart the classic perfumed complexity of this particular commune. A certain powdered medicinal trace is evident on the palate, still imbued with fleshy dark characters and cocoa amid supple tannins that are slightly dusty though the fruit has clearly lost some definition, threatening to develop a shade of burliness. Holding out well but will not improve further. Tasted September 2020.

1983 Château Margaux. Deep garnet red, proffering an effusive intense glow of a mature claret with tertiary characters of dried tea leaves, wood shavings and exotic fragrances amidst a deep core of red fruits and currants immediately recognizable as Left Bank. Soft, fleshy and still remarkably full in spite of its thirty-seven years, imbued with understated sweet velvety tannins and mandarins that finished with excellent length and regal elegance. Much fresher than another bottle tasted this same month. Outstanding. Tasted September 2020.

1985 Château Margaux. Impressively deep in color but a tad more evolved, exhibiting a highly developed glow of blueberries and violets on the bouquet and palate that still retained wonderful ripeness and freshness even after a quarter of a century, underscored by a trace of sweetness. Very similar to the 1999 tasted at the same time, but as a fully mature wine at its peak, I fancy it possessed more power and precision, fully developed and infinitely complex with a salty note of minerality in the mid-body. Perhaps not quite as complete a wine as the 1983, but it is the epitome of finesse, elegance and refinement. Outstanding. Tasted June 2011.

1990 Château Margaux. Dull purple, exuding a powerful nose of dark ripe berries with a dash of red fruits. This wine was still remarkably fresh and youthful, possessing some density in the middle with more than a hint of soy, broadening on the palate with an expansive sweep. Very harmonious, just a slight accentuation on the mid-palate that evened out over time, tapering to a moderate finish. Very lovely. Tasted April 2011.

1995 Château MargauxEx-chateau. Lifted aromas of blackberries, white pepper, summer flowers and game that soar from the glass.  For me, the most flamboyant wine of the night.  It has an extra dimension compared to the 99.  Medium to full.  Dense and concentrated.  Rich without being over the top. Tannins are still prominent.  Expansive mid palate that keeps growing in the mouth. I get a slight rustic element in the finish.  Can be enjoyed now with extended decanting.  Will continue to develop and improve for decades to come. Tasted May 2010.

1996 Château Margaux. Ex-chateau. Caught at its absolute peak, this wine exudes a full complex fragrance of smoke and tobacco characters amidst ripe red fruits and dark berries, very similar in character with the 1996 Pavillon Rouge but more substantial with better definition and depth, gorgeous in acidity and balance with lively intensity though still a little backward, imbued with a bit of Pauillac-like dryness. Superb, and will hold for many years to come. Tasted May 2017 in Bali.

1996 Château Margaux. Still dark at its core with traces of vermilion, exuding ash, tea leaves, cedar and cinnamon on the alluring bouquet, fleshy and supple with lovely concentration of dark plums and other secondary characters, seamlessly structured, finishing on a minty note. Nevertheless, it seemed to me less expressive than another bottle tasted at FICOFI’s event in Bali in May 2017. Tasted July 2017.

1996 Château Margaux. This wine exudes an attractive feminine earthiness and rosy fragrance with a lovely expanse of gentle red fruits amidst warm dryish textures, its juicy succulence further enhanced by sweet supple melted tannins, just a tad short. Excellent. Tasted April 2019.

1996 Château Margaux. Deep crimson, this premier cru glows with overtones of violets and dark currants with a hint of warm pebbles, open with great suppleness within a rather slim cleanly-defined profile. Classically structured though it doesn’t quite possess that velvety opulence of 1989 or 1999. Tasted November 2019.

1997 Château Margaux. Deep garnet core with vermillion at the rim, proffering a delicious deep fragrance of violets, blueberries and dark currants. Medium-bodied. Softly rounded, displaying superb suppleness, transparency and complexity with a distinct limestone lift amid a dominant plummy tone, developing further notes of snuff and tea leaves although it seemed to lose a bit of linearity towards the finish. Tasted July 2019.

1999 Château Margaux. Ex-chateau. A developed nose with secondary aromas emanate from the glass : violets, red berries with a hint of smoke and old leather.  Superbly elegant.  Great balance and poise.  Sweet velvety tannins counters the fruit perfectly.  Great concentration on the mid palate without an ounce of heaviness or excess.  Impressive length.  This is drinking beautifully now. Tasted May 2010.

1999 Château Margaux. Very lovely, deep ruby in color with an earthy pungency punctuated by the floral fragrance of violets and roses, well replicated on the palate where blueberries and dark cedar dominate, perfectly balanced against the salty minerality, framed by tightly-knit tannins, finishing with a bit of burn. A wine of great finesse and elegance in spite of its concentration and depth. Tasted June 2011.

1999 Château Margaux. Exciting bouquet, displaying deep complex tertiary characters of dark berries, ripe wild berries, mulberries and violets that exude delicious aromas. Medium-full. Fleshy and supple, imbued with deep layers of gorgeous fruit and detailed graphite minerals amidst sublime acidity, glowing with wonderful verve and persistence. Very lovely. Caught at its absolute peak and should hold for many more years. Superb. Tasted April 2019.

2001 Château Margaux. Surprisingly shy on the nose, proffering only faint aromas of dark cherries and dark currants though this wine is glowing with fresh mulberries and dark fruits on the palate, fleshy and rounded, suffused with sublime acidity amid traces of ferrous minerals that yielded transparent tertiary textures, finishing with peppery traces. Superbly balanced and proportioned. A classic Margaux. Tasted March 2019.

2001 Château Margaux. Smoky tones of sweet incense and dark currants dominate on the nose along with characters of bramble and briar. Medium-bodied and classically structured with cool dark fruits, showing good acidity and integration but it is rather underwhelming. Tasted June 2019.

2001 Château Margaux. Deep impenetrable crimson, exuding fabulous aromas amid herbal undertones of dried mushrooms. Rounded with great fleshy suppleness, very seamlessly integrated though it lacks inner detail and opulence. Nevertheless, this is a classic claret in every way, taking on a great hallowed glow as it sat in the glass. Excellent. Tasted November 2019.

2002 Château Margaux. Good saturation of black fruits and dark currants, possessing greater depth and layering, matched against earthy minerality, just a tad short at the finish. Tasted February 2015.

2002 Château Margaux. Deep crimson. Slim, smooth rounded presence of dark fruits, blueberries and raspberries, displaying good concentration and fine acidity though somewhat narrow in spectrum on the palate. Drinking well but lacking complexity and depth. Short finish. Tasted September 2020.

2003 Château Margaux. A prodigious wine of immense breadth and depth, layered with outstanding dark fruits and redcurrants, rich and lush without being overbearing and, naturally, still youthful with absolutely no trace of burnt from the hot vintage. Tasted February 2015.

2003 Château Margaux. Ex-chateau. This wine exudes a lovely floral fragrance filled with redcurrants, ripe wild berries and dark cherries amidst some earthiness. Silky and highly supple on the palate with understated tannin structure, quite seamless, still youthful with very good concentration and vigour, getting better in definition with time as it turned slightly dryish with further notes of ash. Very well crafted without any hint of heat stress. Excellent. Tasted May 2017 in Bali.

2003 Château Margaux. Poured from 5-litre format. Barely evolved in colour, proffering a great attractive earthy pungency on a full palate layered with prominent deep streak of ripe dark fruit, lifted with great acidity and verve on a backdrop of mild ferrous minerality, finishing with a trace of dusty tannins without any sign of that vintage’s heat stress. Highly consistent with a previous ex-chateau bottle tasted at FICOFI’s Margaux event in Bali in May 2017. Excellent. Tasted December 2017 at FICOFI’s Les Palais des Grands Crus in Paris.

%d bloggers like this: