Château Margaux 2018
"Everything is flawlessly integrated, the balance is perfect, and I certainly can't find anything that could be better."
Some people are drawn to wines for their stories. They believe the tales associated with each vintage are just as important as the contents inside each bottle. If you love a good comeback story as much as a good bottle of wine, you will love Château Margaux.
The history of Château Margaux is one of innovation and countless winemaking “firsts.” In the 17th Century, the château was the first to consider terroir’s effect on certain varietals and vinifying white and red grapes separately. Château Margaux also pioneered “night picking,” the practice of picking grapes later in the day to get the fullest, most concentrated expression of fruit. The château was rightfully designated a Ffirst Ggrowth in the 1855 Classification -- the only estate to receive a perfect score of 20/20.
During the economic crisis of Bordeaux in the 1960s and 1970s, Château Margaux suffered due to mismanagement and financial constraints. Its name was tarnished and was for sale for over two years before its was acquired by André Mentzelopoulos, a Greek supermarket magnet who fell in love with the gorgeous Neoclassical architecture of the estate. After his passing in 1980, his French-born and educated daughter, Corinne, inherited the estate and proceeded to make substantial improvements to the property.
Initially, Corinne worked with the general manager already in place. In 1983, she appointed the young professional Paul Pontallier as general manager to lead new efforts to renovate the vineyard. Paul led the construction of a new cellar. He was general manager for over 30 years until his premature death from cancer. The last vintage Paul supervised, the vintage of 2015, became the most storied vintage in Chateau Margaux’s recent history. It garnered 100 pts, a perfect score, from influential critics.
Château Margaux currently hosts 192.7 acres of vines that are on average 35 years old. It produces roughly 400,000 bottles of wine a year. The vineyards are painstakingly tended to by hand, and the grapes that go into the Grand Vin are organically farmed. Red varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc are planted on the white gravely soil. Château Margaux also produces one of the most well-respected white wines in the entire Médoc -- Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux. This enchanting stunner is composed of entirely 100% Sauvignon Blanc and dazzles with its fruity depth and subtly herbal, oaky qualities.
Château Margaux produces some of the most ravishing, multidimensionally rich and balanced wines in all of Bordeaux. They are known for their sensuously opulent bouquets of black currents, violets, and spicy vanilla.
During the 1980s, many claimed that the best wine in all of Bordeaux was from Château Margaux and these claims were not unfounded. Curiosity is integral to the spirit of Château Margaux – and those in charge have learned from past issues that in the pursuit of sustained excellence, complacency is not an option. The story of Château Margaux is of redemption, and proof that with determination and efforts, one can bounce back from struggle.
"The 2018 Château Margaux is composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, representing 36% of the crop this year. The wine has a pH of 3.8 and 14% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it slowly unfurls to reveal tantalizing scents of crème de cassis, wild blueberries and Black Forest cake with hints of redcurrant jelly, rose oil, dark chocolate and cedar chest plus a touch of star anise. The medium to full-bodied palate bursts with opulent black fruit, fragrant earth and floral layers, supported by a rock-solid structure of exquisitely ripe, finely grained tannins and seamless backbone of freshness, finishing with fantastic length. This is classic Margaux at its most seductive, although it is, rather amazingly, approachable and absolutely delicious right now. But, to enjoy its full glory, you will want to cellar it for at least 6-8 years and then watch it metamorphize over the next 40+ years." Lisa Perotti Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (3/31/21) Rating: 100, Drink: 2027-2067
"Based on 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% each of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Château Margaux is a magical, incredibly sexy expression of this Château that sports a dense purple color as well as a thrilling bouquet of blueberries, cassis, acacia flowers, scorched earth, sandalwood, and violets. Incredibly concentrated and full-bodied on the palate, it nevertheless has an almost Burgundian sense of finesse and elegance, with an ethereal texture, silky yet massive amounts of tannins, notable freshness, and brilliant length. The alcohol hit a whopping 14%, which is high by this estate's standards, but everything is flawlessly integrated, the balance is perfect, and I certainly can't find anything that could be better. This 2018 is going to be relatively drinkable at an early age (do your best to hide bottles for 7-8 years) yet last for 75+." - Jeb Dunnuck (3/11/2021), Rating: 100, Drink: 2028-2103
"The 2018 Château Margaux is made of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The grand vin represents 36% of the crop this year. The wine has a pH of 3.8 and 14% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it comes prancing out of the glass with energetic Morello cherries, black raspberries and blackberry pie scents plus nuances of fragrant soil, candied violets, lavender, sandalwood, unsmoked cigars and black olives with a gentle wave of cassis and licorice emerging with coaxing. Full-bodied, the palate is charged with the most amazing energy, delivering layer after layer of red and black fruits with tons of earthy nuances, framed by the most exquisitely ripe, fine-grained tannins, finishing with amazing freshness and an extraordinarily long-lingering perfume. Magnificent." - Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/23/2019, Bordeaux 2018 Issue), Ratings: 97-100
"The 2018 Château Margaux was picked from September 17 until October 13, the Cabernet Sauvignon from the beginning of October. The word that springs to mind on encountering this for the first time is "luxurious." The supremely pure bouquet features raspberry, blueberry, violet petals, black currant pastilles and a hint of vanilla; it is opulent rather than rich. The palate is medium-bodied with very plush, velvety-smooth tannins. It sashays along nicely and, atypically for a 2018, reaches a gentle crescendo toward the linear finish. It is amazing how well this contains the excesses of the growing season and retains the sense of Château Margaux." - Neal Martin, vinous.com (November 2019), Rating: 95-97, Drink: 2026-2060
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