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2019 Margaux

2019 Margaux

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Critic Reviews

Is the 2019 Château 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.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RP
Another utterly heavenly wine from this estate is the 2019 Château Margaux, a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot coming from a selection of just 37% of the total production. Deep purple, with an incredible array of ripe currants, blueberries, sweet tobacco, sandalwood, and toasted spices, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a seamless, powerful, yet incredibly sexy mouthfeel, polished tannins, and a great, great finish. As I wrote in the barrel review, it reminds me slightly of the 2016, but has a touch more sun-kissed profile. It already offers incredible pleasure yet deserves 4-6 years of bottle age and will blow you away any time over the coming 40+ years.

Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JD
Amazing aromas of crushed stones and wet soil with fresh mushrooms, then going on to violets and other flowers. Dark fruit, too. Full-bodied, yet agile and fine, with a linear flow of tannins that run through the center of palate. The finesse of the tannins is exceptional, like raw silk and changing all the time. Cool and energetic, yet reserved. Zen-like. 37% of the production and 90% cabernet sauvignon, 7% merlot, 2% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot. So well balanced that you can drink it now, but this is one to leave for a decade and more. Ethereal.

James Suckling | 100 JS
The 2019 Château Margaux possesses off the charts richness to go along with plush contours and mind-blowing balance. All the elements are so wonderfully woven together. It’s as if all the Château Margaux signatures are dialed up to eleven, but without losing any of the classic Margaux character. The purity of the red-toned fruit is just breathtaking. The Merlot was picked early, but then rain during harvest delayed the ripening of the Cabernets, which turned out to be a huge advantage.

Estate Manager Philippe Bascaules and his team turned out two spectacular wines in 2019. 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 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. The bottled wines are every bit as impressive as the barrel samples.

Antonio Galloni | 99 AG
This wine, packed with Cabernet Sauvignon, is dense but shows a majestic structure. By contrast and equally stunning, it has such perfumed fruits that are poised between power and elegance. The balance of this magnificent wine is there, bringing together black currant fruit and rich, sumptuous tannins. There is amazing aging potential here.

Wine Enthusiast | 99 WE
Wonderful aromas on the nose, quite dark and concentrated contrasting the palate which is abundant, juicy and immediately mouthwatering, giving a rush of bright red cherry and strawberry flavour. But it’s the texture here that is so captivating - soft, light, bright, then deep and layered, the velvet tannins coming into support but harmoniously and effortlessly, nothing feels too much. A direct wine from start to finish with great drive and persistency offering a wonderful balance of having an immediate drinking appeal but also the structure, power and density to age. Sculpted, elegant and nicely framed. 37% of total production. Drinking Window 2030 - 2051.

Decanter | 98 DEC
Pretty gorgeous, with a cashmere feel right from the get-go as pure, unadulterated cassis, plum reduction and blackberry preserve notes sail through. The finish is laced with alluring red and black tea, violet, incense and savory notes, with a subtle mineral hint lingering to the very end. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2026 through 2038. 10,833 cases made.

Wine Spectator | 95 WS

Wine Details for 2019 Margaux

Type of Wine Bordeaux Red : Picture in your mind a combination of cedar, lead pencil, blackcurrant, plum and mineral aromatics, and texture that caresses your palate like a playful lover. The experience is thrilling from the first whiff to the final seconds of a tannic, generous finish - that is what you'll get from a Bordeaux Red
Varietal Red Bordeaux Blend : The inhabitants of the Bordeaux region of France have been cultivating wine-grapes for thousands of years. Ancient Roman ruins litter the vineyards from Saint Emilion to Graves where the art of blending Bordeaux varietals has been practiced and perfected over a very long history. Bordeaux’s climate, terroir and soils, though varied, provide the optimal growing conditions for the red grape varietals planted in the region.

Rarely listed on the labels as “blend,” the red wines of Bordeaux are perhaps the most artfully designed and celebrated in the world. The calculated art of blending the native Bordeaux varietals is impressively accomplished in the most famous winegrowing region in the world. The phrase Bordeaux Blend which seems to have been coined by British wine merchants in the 19th Century relates as much to wines made from the blend as to the grape variety combination itself.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and occasionally Carmenere are the lead characters in the creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. Each plays a part in their own fashion and implemented in various combinations and percentages in each appellation within Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux Blends are majorly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, roughly making up 90% of all Bordeaux Blends. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (occasionally Carmenere) are also important components and vital to the production of the region’s red wines.

For simplicity, the winegrowing region of Bordeaux can be divided into three main appellations producing Red Bordeaux Blends; the Left Bank (Medoc), Right Bank and Pessac-Leognan (Graves). The Left Bank has a terroir comprised of a wide variety of gravel, stones, sand, limestone and clay soils on a natural terrain of gentle slopes. This sets the stage perfectly for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the dominant grape of the Left Bank. For example, Chateau Lafite (Paulliac) is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Right Bank is dominated by clay and limestone with sand and gravel, but the clay in the Right Bank is distinctly its own and adds to the health, growth and vitality of the vines of the varietals grown here. Right Bank wines are typically 80% Merlot-based, which are often denser, richer and mature earlier than those of the Left Bank (with exceptions – Petrus for example). Merlot is a vital component to Pomerol winegrowing and making. Cabernet Franc also plays a major role in the Right Bank, most notably, in Saint Emilion, where the infamous vineyards of Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc are planted to 55% and 52% Cabernet Franc, respectively. Chateaux that produce wines with a majority of Cabernet Franc are considered “old school” producers, but have perfected the use of Cabernet Franc, which was originally used as a blending grape.

Pessac-Leognan (Graves) enjoys a temperate climate, natural hygrometry influenced by the ocean, and has a terroir composed of gravelly soil over a clay subsoil on sloping, hilly terrain. Natural drainage due to the hilly terrain as well as the gravelly soil structure are perfectly attuned to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape vine, which prospers under these conditions. Pessac reaps the benefits of having the terroir of both the Left and Right Bank as it contains gravel and clay. The clay sub-soil allows the growth and success of Merlot, as well as Cabernet Franc. It is home to the only First Growth not in the Medoc. The 50-hectare vineyard of Haut Brion is planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.

The percentage of Petit Verdot and Malbec may be lesser in quantity, but not in quality. They are vital to the region’s creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. The combination of Bordeaux varietals is legendary in the region, around the world and has influenced winegrowers worldwide to plant and vinify wines which resemble those of Red Bordeaux Blends.

Country France : Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.



For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.



France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.



France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.



With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.


Region Bordeaux : Even among the greatest and most reputable wine regions on the planet, Bordeaux stands above the rest. The winemakers of this region have a single-minded dedication to the fine art of viticulture and their efforts never fail to show. If you consider yourself a fine wine enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to visit Bordeaux - life changing. Whether you wish to drink some inspirational and gripping wine as soon as possible, or you want to add some masterpieces to your collection, no region on Earth is a more obvious choice.

The noble and beautiful Garonne and Dordogne rivers surge through southwestern France, enriching the soil in a way very few other places can boast. The limestone-based earth is rich in calcium, and the almost oceanic climate conditions give the staple Bordeaux grape varietals vigor and flavor like nowhere else. For their illustrious reds, Bordeaux winemakers rely on a proven combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Meanwhile, a sip of their excellent white wine hints at the use of Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc.Each of these varietals carries a unique identity, making every quality wine a character piece to rival Citizen Kane. It can be incredibly hard to choose only a few wines to collect for your cellar!
Subregion Left Bank
Appellation Margaux
Cru First Growth

Overview

Producer Chateau Margaux : With a story that could aptly begin with, “Once upon a time,” Chateau Margaux’s history is rich and extensive, filled with allure and prestige. Arriving at a time when countries outside of France were drinking “claret,” a pale wine that didn’t age well, Margaux became the epitome for the art of wine-making and the hierarchy between the different Bordeaux growths was already being drawn up. Chateau Margaux was born into greatness at an opportune time.

Dating back to the 12th century, the property was originally known as “Le Moth de Margaux” (The Margaux Mound), but not by chance as any raised mound of land in a rather flat region is easily distinguished. Furthermore, it is notorious for its sloping land that ensures good drainage, which aides in the growth and vitally of the greatest vines. The property came under the ownership of the Lestonnac family in 1572, who formed it into the estate that we very much know today. Its 265 hectares has not been divided since, and remains as it did then. One third of the property is harvested, while the rest is left for greenery parks and forestry.

Long before gaining the status of First Growth in the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux wines, it was drawing the interest of enthusiasts the world over. In 1705, the London Gazette advertised the first auction of great Bordeaux growths and 230 barrels of “Margose” sold. The 1771 vintage was the first “claret” to appear in a Christie’s catalogue. At a time when commerce was strained due to the lack of modern transportation, it was an incredible feat to have Margaux wines resting on the tables of Americans in the late 1700’s. Thomas Jefferson, the Unites States ambassador to France in the 1780’s was a dedicated consumer as well as collector of Margaux wines. He placed an order in 1784, to which he attached a note stating, “There couldn’t be a better Bordeaux bottle.”

The beautiful manor house, or rather castle, which graces its presence on the Margaux label itself, was constructed by the owner of the property in the early 1800’s. It is recognized and celebrated today, even making its appearances in top Hollywood movies. The label is unmistakable, demanding recognition and respect for all who see it. However, the label is not truly what draws the attention of enthusiasts and collectors but rather the precious and unique liquid that exists within the bottle.

The style of wine produced by Chateau Margaux at its best, blends elegance, purity of fruit, harmony and finesse. It has a charm that is irrefutable. Planted to 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, the final blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and is largely celebrated as one of finest wines in the world. As Thomas Jefferson, and America’s third president concluded in 1787, “Chateau Margaux is one of the four vineyards of First Growth quality,” and that very much rings true today.

With the climate and terroir typical for that of the Left Bank of the Gironde, the property does however enjoy the privileged sloping terrain that allows Margaux to have such success. The land is farmed 100% organically, and has a rigorous grape selection process. This process has brought Margaux to the ideal of quality over quantity, bringing their annual production down to a mere 12,000 cases.

The avenues of commerce have improved greatly since its inception; however, much like its former days, the wines are difficult to obtain. Since the 1500’s this illustrious estate, and the only one named for its appellation, has been luring seekers of unimaginable wine the world over. The First Growth wines of Margaux are paramount, the property legendary, and its history an unbelievable and age old tale of achievement on a world class scale.

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