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Bordeaux 2009 in bottle: Margaux

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

There is more variation here among the wines than in the other appellations reflecting, as usual, the different terroirs and winemaking approaches. It seemed that the wines were also suffering more from bottle shock than the other Medoc appellations. If you’re looking for quintessential Margaux perfume and the benchmark elegance and poise the appellation is famed for, look no further than Chateaux Brane Cantenac and Chateau du Tertre which both look terrific.

Chateau Lascombes is Margaux with the volume turned up. Sometimes Lascombes feels overworked, but the 2009 manages the balancing act. It’s bold and saturated in flavour but has perfume to boot. Chateau Rauzan-Ségla doesn’t disappoint and still looks as profound and dense as it did en primeur. God knows what came over Karl Lagerfeld who designed the anniversary label for this vintage. I’ll be posting advice later on how to soak them off. Chateau Cantenac Brown is one of the wines I’m still unsure of. It feels unduly extracted and tannic.

I had the same issues with Chateau Dauzac early on but this has come round, though it’s still pretty big, extracted and oaky as a Margaux.  Chateau Ferrere looks vibrant in its typically pure and fresh style. Chateau Rauzan Gassies has finally produced something worth buying and looks pretty convincing now it’s in bottle. There are also many good wine values to be had here in Margaux in 2009. The frontrunners are Chateau Angludet, Chateau Labegorce, Chateau Monbrison and Chateau Desmirail who have all made wonderful wines in different styles. Chateau Siran, which had shown a lot of promise early on, felt a bit awkward and tannic on the day. Chateau Malescot St Exupéry for some reason was missing from the UGC tables. It was a beauty from barrel. Chateau Margaux itself, looking as perfect a glass of wine as you can get when tasted at 5 months and 12 months respectively, and the very impressive Chateau Palmer, don’t show with the UGCB.

Chateau Rauzan-Ségla

2009 Inky and deep looking; perfume, lots of flavour on the nose; oak influence too; violets on the palate with black fruits; density and depth; overall a serious effort and looks to be very good though a trifle shut down from its showy primeur self. A great wine in the making though. Shame about the dreadful Karl Largerfelt designed label that’s all. 93-95+/100

Chateau Lascombes

2009 Deep and dense; cherry, violet scented wine with meaty flavours beneath; a big wine; chewy on palate, with violets and density but life and lift too; this is impressive stuff; not delicate but enough juice under the bonnet to support this big style. Big and sexy styled Margaux that works. 93-95+/100

Chateau du Tertre

2009 Mid red; legs; pure perfumed nose; like this; lifted blackcurrant and violets; lots of fruit and delicacy on the palate; perfume again; silk and satin feel; not too dense or extracted; fleet of foot and wonderful modern take on the Margaux perfume and purity we seek but rarely taste. 93+/100

Chateau Brane-Cantenac

2009 Deepish; less thick in the glass than some; vibrant cassis and blackcurrant; has some meat here too; perfume too; leafy notes; blackcurrant notes on palate; very attractive; real Margaux charm; good grip; some coffee and mocha on the finish. Will open further [and I may be underrating this] 91-93+/100

Chateau Kirwan

2009 Dense red; depth; fruit and density; ripe and deep; red fruits here; some jam; thick; palate good, nicely done; blackcurrants and violet tones but with structure, density and chew. Tannic and extracted but works. 91-93+/100

Chateau Ferrière

2009 Mid red, deep core; pure blackcurrants and very fresh; some violets; some oak resin; lots of blackcurrants on the palate; great purity here and real freshness. Like this. Grip and tension on the finish which adds punctuation. Good effort and has come together nicely since primeur tastings. 2010 was impressive here too. 91-92+/100

Chateau Desmirail

2009 Deep and thick looking; meaty substantial nose but attractive nonetheless; layered palate, quite forward style; blackcurrants, undergrowth, coffee and chew and grip. Not a perfumed Margaux, more meaty and substantial but this is good stuff. 91+/100

Chateau Prieuré-Lichine

2009 Deep and dense; ripe; some violet but feels a bit chunky and dense; palate has more vibrancy but this is a dense and chewy wine with lots of blackcurrant extract, violet tones and density. Big style and not the most finesse but it works. 90-91/100

Chateau Monbrison

2009 Deep and dense; legs; ripe looking; thick, some liquorice but feels deep; this wine has certainly gained weight elevage maybe at the expense of finesse but nevertheless lots of blackcurrant fruit, liquorice and mocha tones; this is a very good buy in 2009. Chewy and grippy on the finish but lots of ripe fruit here. Overall impressive effort. 90-91/100

Chateau Angludet

2009 Vibrant at edge; mid depth; legs; quite stalky blackcurrant nose; fresh and vibrant in style; some undergrowth and forest floor; nice palate; mid weight; little subdued at present with tannin on the finish but will be good. 90+/100

Chateau Marquis de Terme

2009 Deep and dark, legs; immediately very jammy and opulent on the nose; strawberry and very ripe red fruits; maybe lacks a bit of depth on the palate and feels a bit hollow at present but remember there being a stack of fruit here en primeur so should come round. 90+/100

Chateau Rausan-Gassies

2009 Mid depth, quite meaty looking; spice and perfume here and some meat; has Gassies finally triumphed? Again Margaux perfume on the palate, this is a very good effort to excellent by the standards of this property in the past; quite vibrant and vivacious with some furry tannin on the end. 90+/100

Chateau Giscours

2009 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

Chateau Durfort-Vivens

2009 Dense colour; ripe, jam and cassis; open palate, ripe red fruits, strawberry tones – almost Burgundian; some dryness to the tannin and the palate; a little medicinal note along with the red fruits. More settled and complete now than before despite tannin. 89-91/100

Chateau Labégorce

2009 Deep and dense; ripe, some nuts; muscular feel; little undergrowth streak but lots of depth and coffee and mocha tones too; this has improved substantially from my primeur recollections; strong and muscular. 89+/100

Chateau Dauzac

2009 Pretty saturated in colour; creamy notes; some cassis and fruit compote; oak and mocha tones; nice palate – this wine has settled down from what felt a raw monster primeur – quite meaty and still pretty tannic and chewy and extracted but more settled now. 88+/100

Chateau Cantenac Brown

2009 Deep red; some cream, fresh, little dumb on the palate and feels closed; nevertheless dense and chewy; tannic and a bit overdone possibly. Feels chewy and extracted at present. Hmmm. 88?/100

Chateau Siran

2009 Dense; quite saturated looking; pure, some mineral tones; menthol; palate feels pretty fat and deep; tannin too; maybe a little over-extracted in feel? Lots of fruit certainly and needs to settle. Good length but pretty tannic. 87-89?/100

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