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Bordeaux 2014: Château Margaux

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

IMG_6790At Château Margaux Paul Pontallier describes 2014 as very good for their reds, and a great year for the white Pavillon Blanc. Overall 2014 is certainly a classic vintage in the sense of elegance and proportion found in the wines and the attractive freshness that they display. It will probably vie with 2012 as the best vintage here since the heady days of 2009 and 2010. Time will tell. Pavillon Rouge is a structured, classic and fresh Margaux while Pavillon Blanc is indeed a beauty. It completes a thrilling set of highly successful back-to-back vintages for this label. Is it the best Pavillon Blanc ever? It’s probably the best I’ve tasted.

The cool July and August followed by September’s Indian summer obviously favoured the Cabernet Sauvignon that reigns supreme here at Château Margaux. Following the very tricky 2013 vintage, 2014’s harvest was unhurried, picked under blue skies in hot weather. Still, while the hot weather saved the day, it wasn’t quite sufficient to pull off something truly outstanding. The great plots that usually go into Château Margaux’s grand vin, made it in as usual, but, in contrast to the great years like 2009 and 2010, the ‘lesser’ plots were unable to fully escape the memory of the cool summer even despite the dry and hot autumn conditions. Ironically this means that there is less Pavillon Rouge than usual by proportion, with 40% of the overall crop being relegated to the third and fourth wines. The grand vin itself represents just 36% of the overall crop.

Château Margaux appears to have priced reasonably competitively in 2014, released at 240 euros a bottle, not a snip clearly, but the same as 2012. It translates to case price of £2,300 [$3500]. For the full price analysis take a peek at the Liv-Ex analysis here.

The following wines were tasted at the château on 31 March, 2015.

Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux, Margaux, 2014

Mid depth; lively look; purple at edge; nice pretty fruit; blackcurrant and black fruit; perfume – nicely dome; elegance; nicely composed palate; fresh acids; fuller than ’08; structured but open; traditionally styled; nicely handled tannins; nice finish. [77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 13.5% alc, 50% new oak]. Drink 2019-2028. 90-91+

Château Margaux, Premier Grand Cru Classé, Margaux 2014

Mid depth; legs; earthy purple at edge; stalky blackcurrant; some graphite; briary tones; fresh and quite layered; nice fragrance; mineral, taut and concentrated on the palate with fresh acidity; some chew and texture; lacks a bit of mid palate richness but will doubtless fill out. Nice length on the finish. I’m probably underrating this at present – let’s see. [90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2022-2035. 93-95+

Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux, Bordeaux Blanc, 2014

Pales straw with fleck of green; oyster shell; citrus; grapefruit and zest with some white flower highlights; bold palate; weighty but with real concentration; candy; lemon peel; really zappy finish with great length. Some lees notes. Best Pavillon Blanc I’ve had? Quite possibly. Great concentration allied to remarkable freshness. [100% Sauvignon Blanc, 13.9% alc; 25% new oak, all barrel fermented; 1000 cases made]. Drink 2019-2028. 93-95+


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