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Bordeaux 2019 In Bottle: Margaux

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

The Margaux appellation undoubtedly showed best on the day of the UGCB tasting. It might be that these are now retreating a little but in November 2021 so many of these were lush and flattering to taste. While there are a wide variety of soils in this large and diverse appellation, the wines felt surprisingly homogeneous. The picks?  Château Brane Cantenac was knockout. This is a voluptuous 2019 with layers of creamy blackcurrant fruit on the palate with additional notes of plum and black cherry. Château Lascombes is full and lush as usual, showing plenty of delicious ripe fruit but nicely in balance. I was also seriously impressed by wonderful efforts at Château Angludet and Château Monbrison. Angludet looks to be delicious already and has real finesse and freshness. It reminds me of the 2005. Monbrison has clearly made the best wine since their remarkable 2009 [a case of which I have almost worked my way through entirely].

Château Cantenac Brown also impressed. In the early 2010s I often found this rather chunky but there appears to be increasing finesse here. Likewise Château Kirwan in the last decade has often felt somewhat overly serious and a little joyless, but there appears to be a lightness of touch displayed in this 2019. It is much more textured and creamy than recent vintages. Château Rauzan-Ségla looks serious and powerful. It has a tight core of fresh blackcurrant fruit to it and, while it needs time, it will work out extremely well.

The following notes and thoughts were made in November 2021 at the UGCB tasting in London.

Château Angludet, Margaux, 2019

Mid depth; deep at core; fresh purple at edge; creamy blackcurrant and plum combination; very refined and attractive. Ripe fruit with emphasis on the purity; intense and grows in the glass; again lots of creamy plum and blackcurrant fruit on the palate; real freshness; delicious now; finesse and polish. [45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink 2022-3034. 93+

Château Brane Cantenac, Margaux, 2019

Deep and attractive looking; purple at edge; this is voluptuous on the nose; creamy and pure; fresh blackcurrants; intense; lots of layers on the palate and that intensity again, suggesting this wine is destined for the long haul; creamy plum notes alongside the blackcurrants; lots to this top notch Margaux. Brilliant effort. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Carmenere, 1% Petit Verdot]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink 2023-2045. 97

Château Cantenac Brown, Margaux, 2019

Deep at centre; purple at edge; ripe aromatics; some cream; quite sturdy; not as immediately voluptuous as the Brane Cantenac tasted immediately before; nice purity on the palate; fresh blackcurrant notes with nice texture to the tannins. A lot of work has gone on here to improve the tannin management, both in the vineyard and at the winery. Intense and savour finish. Excellent for the property. [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink 2024-2040. 94

Château Dauzac, Margaux, 2019

Deep and arterial; purple at edge; quite saturated looking; lifted, ripe red and black fruits with oak lift; very sublimated style – a right bank styled left bank wine – not unattractive; quite stalky palate with lots of tannin and extract; chunky with chocolate notes. Dry finish. Will fill out. [73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink 2025-2037. 91

Château Desmirail, Margaux, 2019

Mid depth; deep core; legs; soft and easy aromatics with pain grillé tones; plums and spices; some fruitcake spice and black fruits on the palate; soft and attractive; easy and forward with plummy sweet fruit. [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink now-2032. 89+

Château Giscours, Margaux, 2019

Deep and saturated; lush looking; stylish and fresh blackcurrant fruit on the palate; vibrant but fine bones; savoury Merlot tones in the middle; this has fine fruit, balance and freshness: moreish Margaux with plenty of elegant yet layered blackcurrant fruit on the palate. Impressive. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink 2023-2045. 93+

Château Kirwan, Margaux, 2019

Deep and healthy looking; creamy blackcurrant notes; little tight to start with; some stone and schist notes; more blackcurrant tones revealed on aeration; this is always firm Margaux with emphasis on style and structure; nice entry to the palate; creamy black fruit; more texture and complete than other recent vintages in my book – creamier than before. Intense and impressive. [59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, 1% Carmenere]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink 2025-2040. 93

Château Lascombes, Margaux, 2019

Deep and saturated [as ever for Lascombes]; full and deep; lush and laden aromatics; sweet, ripe plummy aromatics; nice texture to the fruit on the palate; layered; almost unctuous; attractive savoury aspect at the edge; has depth and style; soft tannins. Lots of extract but it works nicely. [ 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink 2024-2040. 94+

Château Marquis de Terme, Margaux, 2019

Deep; earthy purple; legs; creamy notes; some dust and chocolate; feels a bit tired on the palate with lots of tannin and extracted notes; some bitterness on the finish. Not the most exciting 2019 on display. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink 2024-2035. 87

Château Monbrison, Margaux, 2019

Mid depth; purple edge; deep at centre; creamy fresh blackcurrants; very pure; super attractive and fine; lovely balance on the palate; this is really accomplished; layered plummy fruit which is fresh and pure yet also full. Excellent – another super impressive Margaux. [78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink 2023-3038. 93+

Château Prieuré-Lichine, Margaux, 2019

Mid depth; earthy purple at edge; red fruits, some strawberry and redcurrant notes; quite lush; some undergrowth; nice texture on the palate; balanced and very Bordeaux like; savoury and earthy notes. Complete and very good. [62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink 2024-2038. 92+

Château Rauzan-Gassies, Margaux, 2019

Mid depth; earthy purple at edge; sturdy blackcurrants; quite solid; earthy blackcurrants notes; some savoury tones; fresh and grippy on the palate; lacks the richness and texture of the best; tannins some what chewy. Dry finish. [72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink 2024-2032. 86

Château Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux, 2019

Glossy colour; purple red at edge; fresh and schisty; fresh blackcurrants; nice purity; very focused and precise; fine seam of blackcurrant fruit continues on the palate; genuine freshness here. Elegance – will fill out most likely. I often underrate this a bit early on. [62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35.5% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink 2025-2040. 93+

Château Siran, Margaux, 2019

Deep at core; earthy purple at edge; ripe; some savoury notes; quite rich and full; little right bank in style; has richness on the palate but also a moreish tension; tad pinched at the end perhaps but this should fill out. [47% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink 2024-2038. 90

Château du Tertre, Margaux, 2019

Mid depth; deep at core; earthy red at edge; bright in the glass; fresh blackcurrants; has purity but also an interesting whiff of undergrowth and earth; tiny bit reductive but opens up in the glass nicely; has freshness and elegance; fresh mid-palate; has life and texture; nice acidity; will work nicely in the medium term. [54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot]. Tasted Nov ’21. Drink 2026-2036. 91

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