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Château Giscours

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Address: Labarde, 33460 Margaux

Telephone: +33 (0)5 57 97 09 09

E-mail: giscours@chateau-giscours.fr

Website: www.chateau-giscours.fr

Château Giscours was classified as a third growth in 1855. The Margaux estate was bought after the Second World War by Nicolas Tari and wine was on great form in the seventies under his son Pierre, a flamboyant character with a penchant for Polo. Wonderful wines were made here in 1970, 1975 and 1978. In the late eighties and early nineties the wines were less and less dazzling and in 1995 Pierre Tari sold the wine making business to Dutch businessman Eric Albada Jelgersma (who also bought Chateau du Tertre in 1998). There has been lots of investment here in the last ten years and the wines of Château Giscours are back on song. The 2005 is amazingly concentrated if atypically big for the elegance of the commune and the property and the 2009 and 2010 are very well made. The property also succeeded in 2012 and 2013. There is wonderful balance and harmony in the wines here now. Second wine here is Sirene de Giscours.

Vineyard/Soil: 83 hectares on gravel soils with 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Winemaking/Elevage: 15 to 18 months in barrel, 50% new each vintage.

  • 2015 Deep and attractive colour; violet at edge; blackcurrant aromas; some cream; very pure and polished; very pretty and pure blackcurrant fruit; lovely entry on the palate; pure blackcurrant and blackberry notes; some smoke; nice texture and precision. Elegance and Rolls-Royce refinement to the tannins. Lovely Giscours. A real beauty. The best primeurs sample I’ve yet had from this estate. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 13.7% alc]. Drink 2022-2035. 94-96+
  • 2014 Deep core; vibrant and healthy edge; silky blackcurrant aromatics; some earth and pain grillé notes; blackcurrants the main theme but nicely pure and well integrated – a sexy sample; cool blackcurrants on the palate; really fresh and cool; nicely textured with middle but also freshness and acidity. Purity and tight at present. All definitely as it should be. Genuine length on the finish. Impressive stuff. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot 13.4% alc, harvested between 22/9 for Merlot and to 16/10 for Cabernet]. Drink 2020-2032. Tasted 31 March, 2015 at UGC. 91-93+
  • 2013 Mid depth; vibrant edge; blackcurrant purity; nicely defined and fruit driven aromatics – true Bordeaux and Margaux attributes; good attack on the palate; vibrant with acidity and life but there is plenty of blackcurrant fruit; some elegance with nice chew at the end. Good effort and worth considering in 2013. [75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2018-2028. Tasted UGCB April 2014. 87-89+
  • 2012 Mid depth; lightish at core; little reduction; blackcurrants beneath; sweet, ripe blackcurrants on the palate on entry; attractive fruit; finishes a fraction short but possibly sample a fraction closed. Drink 2017-2026. 88 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep core; vibrant edge; healthy; elegant and fresh aromas; ripe; blackcurrant, some plum; more-ish; violet perfume; fresh palate; lush entry with cool blackcurrant fruit; does very well. Nice balance. Elegance but with layers and flesh. 90-92. Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013. [Earlier note] Mid depth; some purple at edge; stalky Cabernet on the nose with freshness and purity; no hard edges suggested; Cabernet again on the palate with a ripeness and good grip; elegant. Nice Margaux. Good length. Not a blockbuster but has real finesse and you’d expect it to fill out further. 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. 90-91+ Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013 Drink 2018-2025
  • 2011 Deepish colour; slightly nutty note initially’ certainly intense and inky; again inky palate with depth and chew. Vibrant and harmonious. Not over extracted. Fresh. Drink 2016-2026 88 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; more floral and perfumed with blackcurrant cassis; more delicacy and vibrancy than many; freshness – not to say there aren’t red fruits and some jam; palate has a satiny note with nice acid. Fresh will work well. Nice balance. 90-91+ Drink 2018-2025
  • 2010 Mid depth; attractive nose; perfumed and layered; blackcurrants, some earth; elegant and very attractive to me; pure fruit on the palate; precise and fresh; crisp acidity and nicely articulated on the palate. Vivid. Freshly styled pure blackcurrant tones dominate. Very well judged. Drink 2015-2035. 94+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; nice oak, blackcurrants and earthy undergrowth notes; some toast and espresso; fresh blackcurrants on the palate; layered and quite cool; toast and chocolate. Dips a fraction but nice freshness and sufficient fruit. 89+/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Very deep and saturated; fresh and creamy, blackcurrants and some violets but feels plush and sumptuous; lovely; great palate, intense, black fruits; sumptuous and layered. Great depth and concentration. Tastes wonderful and flattering. 92-94/100 [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot, alc 13.9%] Tasted 5 April 2011. [Second tasting] Dense and deep; some minerals, some ripe fruit, oak and blackcurrants; some chew; palate on this sample marked by oak; feels a little disjointed at present; oaky. Earlier sample better 88-90?/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC. Drink 2015-2030+
  • 2009 Mid depth, dark core; stones, minerals and blackcurrants; fraction dumb; spicy blackcurrant fruit on the palate with menthol and herbal notes; tighter than many with structure but plenty of material here. Tannin [ripe] but noticeable on the finish Longer-term. 2019-2035 92+ MW Institute, Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Mid depth; legs; fresh blackcurrant tones; some lift; some undergrowth/stalky notes; little subdued; some perfume too; nice delicacy on the palate here again though currently feeling a little awkward and a fraction angular; less flamboyant than I’d imagined. Tannin nicely handled. Should recover. 89-91/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Deep and dark, purple at edge; little reductive notes, stalky Cabernet; some rose; palate quite rich with structure and acid; maybe lacks flesh at this stage; will settle but high toned in style. Not at all like 2005. 88-90?/100 [Second] Deep, arterial colour; ripe, sturdy blackcurrant note; almost feels traditional; fresh with blackcurrant and cassis beneath; layered and interesting; fresh clean palate nicely done; bit of extract and tannin on the finish but plenty of fruit served alongside – will meld in I’m sure. Very good length. Second sample much more settled. 90-92+/100 1st 30th March & 1st April 2010. Drink now-2030+
  • 2008 Mid depth; some reddening at edge; chalky, spice and leaf; feels cool vintage; high toned and boney style; pine, spices and herbal tones on the palate. Elegant with plenty of grip. 86 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Mid red; deep; quite big and sturdy nose with some chocolate; some leafy blackcurrant notes; leafy notes continue on the palate – a Cabernet dominated wine I’d imagine. Quite grippy and a little angular. 86/100 Drink 2015-2025 UGC Oct ’10
  • 2007 Mid depth, darkish central core; leafy, spicy herbaceous nose; some lifted blackcurrant notes too; feels a little green; leafy, tobacco and blackcurrant, some and light palate, feels a bit dilute with a streak of green; harmonious and drinkable effort though in its way and not over extracted. 87/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid-red; leafy blackcurrants; quite elegant; creamy note on the nose; palate intense and good initially but quite dry tannins and quite present on the finish. Some greenness here? May settle down. 86?/100 Drink now-2017  UGC Oct ’09
  • 2006 Some development at the edge, otherwise dark at core, some earthy, leafy, strawberry and blackcurrants, little ‘high toned’ [leafy notes here], some chocolate too, but overall a fresh and lifted quality, palate quite leafy – minty almost – not quite the 2005, some tannins here too and a little dry with bite at the end. Hmmm, probably will develop OK as it has good length but also austerity here. Should be OK in the long run 86-88+/100 Drink 2015-2020 MW Institute Nov ’10
  • 2005 Dark black, red at edge, thick legs; big ripe fruit, figs, molasses very concentrated and intense nose; almost super ripeness here; some marzipan, cassis and strong blackcurrants. Creamy. Palate big and intense with bags of fruit – stone fruits; real extraction + intensity here; chewy; extracted but fruit of such great quality and wonderfully glossy ripe tannins that it works. 50% new oak has been completely soaked up by the wine. This Giscours is a whopper but hardly Margaux like. Blind I thought it a big St Estephe. Not quite my cup of tea but will develop well as it remains balanced despite its sublimated almost overly concentrated flavours. 90-92+/100 Sept ‘09 Drink 2015-2030
  • 1975 Mahogany red, dark at the core; roasted, rich and savory meats on the nose; beef, blood strong iron flavours impressive on the palate; now fully mature, chewy, thick and concentrated – tannins dry at the end and maybe starting to fade a little but still plenty of extract and strength. Excellent and one of the major successes of the vintage today. 92/100 May ’04
  • 1970 Spicy ripe coconut; very warm nose, attractive; velvety with almost mature Syrah notes on the nose; big, earthy; well structured. Very good. Giscours was on top form in the 70s and this wine is a terrific example. Now tasted well over a decade ago but I imagine that well stored examples will still be alive and extremely well. 90+/100 Apr ‘96

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