Margaux tasting notes M-Z
Here are detailed tasting notes of Margaux wines tasted over the last few decades – from M-Z. For properties A-L click here. For more detailed tasting notes on each chateaux click on the individual profiles in the drop down menu.
Château Malescot Saint-Exupéry, Cru Classé
- 2015 Deep and saturated look; deep and dark; fat nose; creamy cassis and sublimated fruits; concentrated and sublimated fruit tones; creamy style if a little fatiguing; chewy tannins on the finish. Stylistically very much at one end of the spectrum. If you enjoy wines with an intensely sublimated style, this is for you. Be interested to see this after elévage. As I say, bit fatiguing currently even of the depth is impressive. Drink 2020-2033. 90-92.
- 2014 Deep and saturated colour; legs; very ripe notes to the aromatics; some chalk; some fig tones; some spice and fruit cake notes; lots of depth and matter on the palate; substantial; creamy black fruits and some perfume here; freshness on the palate and some grip; lots of extract, matter and length. [58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted 31 March, 2015 at UGC. 90-92
- 2013 Mid depth; some marizpan notes; almost a degree of fatness; dry and very extracted palate; quite sappy and very puckering on the finish. Very chewy indeed. Not looking good in 2013 at this stage. Over-extracted for the vintage. [62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot]. Tasted UGCB April 2014. Drink 2017-2025. 83-85?
- 2012 Deep and saturated; very lush; a boat loads of ripe, lush fruit; saturated nose with sublimated fruit tones; violets, black cherry; more purity here; lots of lush fruit on the palate; some stalky cab too; lovely fruit here. Big and with a chewy finish. Overall more impressive than before. 91-93+ Tasted UGC April 11, 2013. [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; violets, cassis and coffee; very, very lush and sublimated style; lots of oak on the palate but lots of lush fruit. Feels like it fades a tad on the palate and lacks grip? 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc 13.2 degrees. 89-91? Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013.
- 2011 Deep and saturated look; ripe, lifted, the same as Marquis de Terme; more jammy note; red fruits, thick on the nose; will appeal to some; palate creamy [MLF in barrel?], ripe red fruits, lots of guts and saturated with flavour – very worked. 2009 managed all this but with great violet fruit. This feels simply overdone. 87-89. UGCB April ’12
- 2010 Deep and saturated; more fragrant than Lascombes; violet perfume plus some marzipan; ripeness; palate very extracted and tannic; think again this is overdone. Mouthpuckering at present and monolithic. Needs to settle? Really unsure here. This estate produced a beauty in 2009, but not 2010. If settles 88-90?/100 maybe more [there is a lot of fruit] but will it? [57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc 5% Petit Verdot, alc 14%] Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC. [Second tasting] Deep and dense; tar and ripeness on the nose; some marzipan hints; strawberry too; quite thick; sweet entry, quite fat seemingly but also tannins here very dry. Dry finish. Very tannic and dry. Blimey this wine needs to settle. If it does 86-88?/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC.
- 2009 Very deep, inky; colour very tight to the rim; soft creamy and very attractive nose; mulberry, plums and some jam; palate sweet and ripe; lots of fruit here; some mocha and chocolate too; quite a lot of espresso on the finish. Tannins round and ripe – and lots of them lurking there. This is excellent and sexy. 92+/100 [Second] Deep and dark again; more spot on here; violets, charm obvious concentration but balance; very fresh here, very fine; coffee and mocha notes; excellent nose; just how Margaux should be. Very nice palate; yes extraction but more control. Lovely 94+/100 Tasted 30th March and 1st April 2010.
- 2007 Mid red; some ripe notes with some tar and ripeness; quite tannic but fruit appears to be sufficient. Bit awkward at this stage. 86?/100 UGC Oct ’09
Château Margaux, Premier Grand Cru Classé
- 2015 Deep and beautiful looking; lovely vibrant purple edge; beautiful, pure fruit; sense this will be very harmonious indeed; more blackcurrant cassis notes unfurl from the glass; very seductive stuff; wonderfully balanced on the palate; seductive fruit tones continue; elegance and intensity; tannin at the end is wonderfully ripe. This is potentially perfect Margaux. No better tribute to the great Paul Pontallier. [87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 13.5% alc]. Drink 2025-2045. 98-100.
- 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. Tasted at Ch Margaux 31 March, 2015. 93-95+
- 2013 Deep at core; colour close to the edge; pretty purple; attractive purity of blackcurrant fruit; quite scented and aromatic with genuine violet perfume; very Margaux; real delicacy; elegant and balanced on the palate, light; with soft tannin, a little density and good-ish length. Has purity and delicacy. [94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot]. Tasted at Margaux April 2014. Drink 2018-2030. 91-93
- 2012 Mid depth; healthy looking; perfume; cassis and blackcurrant from the Cabernet; layers and perfume here; violets and depth; layered and tight yet ripe on the palate; density but not dry tannin; very precise and focused with structure; very fine tannins; very nice length; very good purity overall and far, far better than 2011 here; 100% new oak but not at all noticeable. Very good length indeed. 87% Cabernet Sauvignon 10% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. 95-96+ Tasted at the chateau Thursday April 11, 2013.
- 2011 Deep and saturated; creamy note; polished and perfumed; seam of black cherry fruit; focus here, elegance; quite spiky cabernet; chewy with density. Structured and quite tannic on the palate; more obviously so than past couple of vintages here. Very good wine and nicely handled. Not the ‘wow’ factor of ’09 or ’10 though. Expect it to improve during elevage though. 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc. 13.1% alc 93-95+ UGCB April ’12
- 2010 Deepish colour with some maturity at the rim; spot on Cabernet aromatics; wonderful Bordeaux; lifted and elegant with real perfume; satiny blackcurrant purity on the palate; intense blackcurrants and spices; lovely palate – this is another beautiful Margaux to rival the 2009 – there is extract and matter here but it is all in proportion. Excellent length on the finish. Perfect surely? Drink 2018-2045+ 100 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and dense but a very polished look; real vibrancy in the glass; blackcurrants, perfume, violets, layers to the nose and wonderfully cool; extremely seductive, the most beautiful aroma of all the first growths in 2010; palate very precise and deep; layered; lots of power here, hidden by the nimble acidity; intensity in the acid not the tannin; very long and elegant finish. Pure. Superb. 98-100/100 Tasted at the Ch. Margaux April ’11
- 2009 Deep with dark core; fresh looking; wonderfully attractive aromatics – a medley of blackcurrant fruit and floral tones; nice lift and extremely flattering; real depth and intensity to the palate, this is a great as I remember it [tasted twice before during elévage]. Blackcurrant fruit dominates the palate; real seam of rich fruit; very, very complete with harmony and roundness to the tannins. Perfect wine surely? Already a beauty, this will develop well over the long term. Drink now-2040. 100 MW Institute, Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Dense, concentrated look; legs; very clean and very fresh; very polished for such a young wine; pure and pretty; red fruits, cassis and blackcurrants here; very layered nose; real concentration and power on the palate but held in check by a surprising elegance. Soft, ripe tannins, very attractive and pure. Excellent length. Not an obvious powerhouse but then this is Margaux. Dense and pure with amazing focus and deceptive elegance. I didn’t have the benefit of tasting the ’05 Margaux at the same age, but this is a wine for me that is approaching perfection. 98-100/100 Tasted 1st April 2010.
- 2008 Mid depth; some subtle layers and depth with leaf and tobacco notes; some smoked meat; nice intensity on the palate; some spice and grip too. [Second tasting much earthier, quite sexy nose; nice marriage of oak and fruit; better than ’07 here; leaf and spice; elegant palate with some grip – acid]. 93+ MW Institute Nov ’12
- 2007 Mid depth; some spice and lift; fresh blackcurrant, some tobacco; some resin and camphor notes but lacks the apparent depth of Lafite and Mouton on the nose; spicy blackcurrants on the palate; velvet quality; much better palate; elegant and balanced. Pretty composed, elegant style. 92/100 MW Institute Nov ’11
- 2006 Concentrated and deep looking with life; wonderfully pure, lifted nose; very intense with blackcurrants and cassis but wonderful purity here; hits you in the face – some sweet oak behind but this is very well done. Palate very rich, lots of fruit but extract and tannin too. Palate is just a bit dominated by its oak relative to the other first growths; very good length and extract; feels quite tannic and tight on the palate. I imagine this will come round as the nose suggests fab quality but palate obviously backward and closed. 94-96/100 MW Institute Nov ’10
- 1994 Dark; elegant, good structure; extract black fruits on palate; blackcurrants; tight knit; not lean but not enormous mid palate richness in this vintage. 91/100 Barrel sample at Chateau Oct ’95.
- 1988 Dark black /red; intense resinous notes; blackcurrants with VA lift; intense and concentrated wine; some coarseness at the back and finishes a trifle short. 90/100 Apr ’08
- 1982 Dark; still amazingly youthful; close to edge, opaque at centre; intense nose. Some tobacco, spice and earth; leather; dense and enormous palate; tannic with concentrated ball of dense, intese fruit. Great length. Monumental. Will improve for ten years and last fifty. 98/100 Apr ‘96
- 1957 Mahogany; some tobacco, tea and leather on the nose but faded; some structure to the palate but more of a curiosity. Elegant and light with some tobacco and spice. Faded. 80/100 Apr ’96
Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux
- 2015 Deep colour; fresh; lovely aromatics; very voluptuous; sweet, creamy blackcurrant cassis; very opulent; seductive; tremendous aromatics for Pavillon; some stony elements; very intense palate; a real coiled spring; no second wine this; very precise indeed; nice length; some warmth at the end. Very complex. [74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 14% alc.] Drink 2022-2035. 94-96
- 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; good finish. [77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 13.5% alc, 50% new oak]. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted at Ch Margaux 31 March, 2015. 90-91+
- 2013 Mid depth; light earthy purple at edge; some cherry and a little plum and bubble gum tones; light and quite tight on the palate but well made and polished as you’d expect. Little austere on the finish. [84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc]. Tasted at Margaux April 2014. Drink 2017-2026. 86-88
- 2012 Deep saturated colour; glossy; pretty nose; very attractive fruit tones; some spice, some polish and minerality; nice layers to the nose; little cherry too; sweet entry on the palate; round and nicely balanced; creamy notes; nice bite and balance. Very good effort. Quite structured and tannins very mannered and precise. 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot 1% Cabernet Franc. 91-93+ Tasted at the chateau Thursday, April 11, 2013.
- 2011 Saturated earthy purple; some perfume and spices; cream and polish; quite structured and chewy; grippy with noticeable acid. Fresh. Little bit of oak tannin on the finish. 89-91 April ’12
- 2010 Lovely density in the glass; creamy and blackcurrant notes; very open; cherry too, freshness; very focused and layered; nice entry, very pure and attractive; really sublimated but in equilibrium in its parts; harmonious and not at all forced. Great length. Amazing quality here this year. 94-96+/100 April ’11
- 2009 Deep and dense right up to the rim; legs; very attractive red fruits, raspberry notes; real ripeness; rich and dense with wonderful layers of flavour; very supple on the palate; soft ripe tannins; density here and power yet with elegance. Very good wine indeed. 92-94/100 Tasted 1st April 2010.
Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux
- 2010 Pale straw; mineral, fresh and wonderful purity; real grand cru quality here this year; very precise and focused nose; some wax; quite taut but with soft edges; candy and freshness; lovely finish; real concentration and life; not a trace of oil. Wonderful. 93-95+/100 April ’11
- 2009 Pale straw; fresh and clean, wonderfully exotic notes – citrus, cashew and grapefruit in a restrained style. Concentrated palate; lively dense; again citrus and grapefruit, minerals and a little waxy note. Very good. 92+/100 Tasted 1st April 2010
- 2012 Big and deep looking in the glass; saturated to the meniscus; lots of depth and perfume; feels very polished; very deep and concentrated style of Margaux; lots of fruit and very extracted; slightly woody note but will settle. Big certainly but maybe not quite as refined as the very best Margaux in 2012. See how it settles. 89-91. Tasted at JL Thunevin, Friday April, 12, 2013.
Château Marquis d’Alesme, Cru Classé
- 2011 Mid red; some leaf and lift; quite light; red fruits, some sappy fruit and grip on the palate but rather green tannin on finish. 84/100 April 2012
Château Marquis de Terme, Cru Classé
- 2015 Deep and saturated looking; arterial; very full and ripe Margaux; cassis; blackcurrant jam; lush and unctuously styled; lots of creamy fruit on the palate with depth and chew; quite extracted currently on the finish but will settle. Ludovic David reckons this is his best vintage since he took charge of the property in 2009. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2020-2032. 91-93+
- 2014 Deep and saturated look; opaque at centre; legs; ripe and lifted; cassis and blackcurrants with black cherry spices; sweet but attractive; spicy menthol tones too; loads of fruit here; attractive and crafted very nicely – really polished; some oak on the back end of the palate but should integrate; depth and perfume too; textured and very enjoyable. Well done! [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2019-2030. Tasted 31 March, 2015 at UGC. 90-92+
- 2013 Mid depth; attractive forward and ripe feeling aromatics; some red fruits; feels forward and glossy; sweet fruit initially then the obvious structure; still this should meld as it has material but it will always be chewy. Dry finish. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot]. Tasted UGCB April 2014. Drink 2018-2025. 84-86
- 2012 Deep and saturated looking; colour tight to the rim again; quite unctuously styled with plenty of very ripe fruit on the nose; palate ripe and full; with nice depth. Good effort here at Marquis de Terme. Drink 2016-2025. 90 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; red fruits – strawberry, redcurrant; bit jammy; sweet ripe entry on the palate and then drying palate; tannic; feels stretched and over-extracted to me. Lacks freshness and feels stretched. 86-88? Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013. [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; quite melded, lush and lifted; red fruits and jam; worked; lots of oak on the palate; chewy red fruits and oak; forward and pushed tannins at the back. Oak tannin on the end too. Too forced and worked relative to the fruit. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. 87-88? Tasted UGC April 9, 2013.
- 2011 Mid depth; jammy and lifted – even for an ’11; some earth; chewy and faintly exhausted on the palate; thick and overdone for me – for Margaux and for the vintage. Drink 2015-2022. 84 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep looking; red fruits, ripe end of the spectrum; jam and juicy style; not quite me; prefer the cooler spectrum of fruit; creamy palate, in check but feels very familiar – junior Magrez. That said, there is plenty of guts and extract. Will be ok – just not me. 87-89 UGCB April ’12
- 2010 Deep and saturated look; inky, liquorice; creamy notes; quite oak influenced; feels very ‘worked’; ripe palate, quite thick and pretty extracted; sawn wood note; very full, extracted and worked style. Not me though will appeal to some. May settle with time. 88/100 [Earlier] Deep and saturated; some cream and freshness with violets more cream and lift; creamy palate, very intense, layered but with saturation and extract and tannin too but plenty of sweet ripe fruit I feel. Should work out very well. 89-91/100 13.5 alc Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC [Second tasting] deep and dense, clean, slightly cooler nose, some cassis and blackcurrants, black fruits and coffee; violets here too; dense palate but very good extraction and feels like it works. Chewy, dense but fresh. Very good. 90-92+/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC.
- 2009 Deep and saturated looking; bit farty and feral to start with; blackcurrant tones and tar; extracted and dry on the end. Bit pinched overall. Think this has been overdone in the cellar. I’m not getting this property at present. Drink 2016-2022. 86 MW Institute, Nov ’13 [Earlier note] 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 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Very dark inky colour; really tight to the rim; very big and ripe nose; lashings of oak; Blimey! Big ripe palate, some spice, mulberry and blackcurrant. Coffee at edge. BIG tannins – chewy big wine. Ripe tannins though. Will need lots of time 92-93+/100 [Second] Deep and black to the rim; very ripe, almost jammy element; intense cassis; stones; minerals too; violets later; very sweet attack; then followed by tannins – overdone? Well very big sweet palate and lots of oak tannins. Blimey, very big here! 92-93/100 [13.5% alcohol, 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot]. Tasted 30th March and 1st April 2010.
- 2008 Pretty deep looking; glossy; lifted strawberry and red fruits; unctuous style, very reduced; feels overworked to me; red fruits and resin is what I get. Chewy but feels overdone on the finish. 86 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Dense, quite deep, purple at edge; ripe nose; some mulberries, strawberries full; quite fat palate but with structure and a bit of tannin at the back. Pretty extracted style but fruit is lush. This works. Good. 88/100 UGC Oct ’10
- 2007 Mid depth; some feral/earthy tones; tea and tobacco too; palate lacks fruit, feels tannic and lacks depth. 82/100 MW Institute Nov ’11
- 2006 Mid depth, red; [some VA lift here?], resin, strawberry, bit more high toned, some sweetness to the nose; palate feels a bit volatile and hard as nails, tannins also dominant. This is not attractive whatever it is. Tannic and sour edged wine – tried both bottles but the same notes. Confused. Very bad showing. 82?/100 MW Institute Nov ’10
- 2015 Mid depth; purple at edge; little oak on the nose; some fruit beneath; nice fruit underneath the oak – acid and some grip. Drink 2019-2024. Tasted Meyney 4/4/16. 85-87
- 2014 Mid depth; glossy; reddish purple at edge; oak; some violet perfume; but more oak at this stage; quite lean styled on the palate; some blackcurrant fruit; needs to soak up the oak; acidity and freshness on the palate. [70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10ha]. Drink 2019-2024. Tasted Chateau Meyney 30 March, 2015. 84-86
- 2015 Deepish; purple at edge; lovely pure aromatics; pretty fruit and very Margaux; seductive; cool blackcurrants on the palate with some cherry tones; nicely done; lovely freshness; little chewy on the finish but the fruit is here; likely a good value buy. [57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2020-2028. 89-91
- 2014 Mid depth; vibrant edge; attractive blackcurrant Cabernet tones; pure; less worked and fresher style; some delicacy on the palate; freshness; more delicate; not as rich as some; tight at present; doubtless will fill out but freshly styled [read grippy at present]. [72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot]. Drink 2020-2028. Tasted 31 March, 2015 at UGC. 85-87
- 2013 Mid depth; translucent at centre; some perfume and light blackcurrant aromatics; cool palate; elegant but with quite high acidity; freshly styled and grippy too but [thankfully] not extracted. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot]. Tasted UGCB April 2014. Drink 2018-2025. 85-87
- 2012 Mid depth; some spice and wet rock notes; easy entry but less flesh on the bones than some; nevertheless elegance and some style with attractive sap. May flesh out in bottle. Drink 2016-2025. 86+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep colour; some fresh Cabernet fruit; spices; palate spicy, less lush than many; feels more angular and tannic. Dry on the finish. Not a success for Monbrison on the basis of this sample. Inconsistent notes. 85-86? UGC April 11, 2013 [Earlier note] Deep, vibrant edge; legs; some pure fruit, some violet perfume; nice layers here; fat Merlot; vibrant palate with some acid and maybe a little angularity from the Cabernet coming through, 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 3% Petot Verdot. 13 degrees. 87-88 Tasted UGC April 9, 2013.
- 2011 Mid depth; some violet lift with resin and ink; nice clean palate; fresh style; not that lean and boney. Elegant and not extracted. Drink 2014-2021. 87 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier] Mid depth; quite hard note on the nose, cassis too and some blackcurrant on aeration; weight; stone fruit; but hardness beneath. Feels lean. 85-86 UGCB April ’12
- 2010 Quite dense; some chocolate; plum; feels deep; more blackcurrant notes on the palate; slightly stewed character; chewy finish with grip. Less exciting here than in ’09. Solid rather than memorable. 87/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep and dark; little more traditional; some stalky notes but with violets and blackcurrants; richness here and some sumptuousness on the palate; fragrance and attractive too; good life here again; depth and fragrance. Good length. Should be a good buy. 87-88+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 [Second tasting] Quite dense, legs; cool, some violets, fresh and cassis too; palate grippy with strong acid needs a bit more flesh. Quite chewy this sample. Promising if the tannin melds a bit. 87-89/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC.
- 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 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Deep colour; tight to edge; stalky and floral nose; more typical of Margaux; not overdone; a little high toned; blackcurrants; palate sweet, nice entry, fine and elegant; quite perfumed. Good structure with good acid. Not showy but very fine Margaux. You can drink this, not a big point scorer but I’d buy it for its fragrance and lovely balance. 92+/100 [Second] Dense colour; rich; intense; floral violets, perfume and fragrance; very attractive nose; not big and extracted but very sumptuous and full; palate fresh with good structure; tannins not overdone. This is very fine Margaux and one of the best values I’d imagine in this commune. Not as big as the last three [which were Rauzan Selga, Lascombes and Marquis-de-Terme ’09 for reference] but extremely fine and in a more traditional less extracted style. Well done! 92-93+/100 [13.7% alcohol, 59% Cabernet Sauvignon 36% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot] Tasted 30th March and 1st April 2010.
- 2008 Mid red; some depth; some resin bit a bit dumb; violets on the palate with blackcurrants; chocolate notes; some angularity here but better than Prieure Lichine tasted previously. Some depth and chew here with acid. This will come together. 86-88/100 UGC Oct ’10
- 2007 Mid red; quite elegant nose; some violets and perfume and spice; palate well structured and quite soft. Attractive and well styled, elegant and balanced. 86-88/100 UGC Oct ’09
- 2014 Deepish; some perfume; little jammy note but overall feels attractive; soft and easy entry; lacks a little depth but soft and not over extracted. May fill out a tad. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 13ha]. Drink 2018-2023. Tasted Cru Bourgeois 2 April, 2015. 84-86
Château Palmer, Cru Classé
- 2015 Deep and saturated colour; very healthy looking; colour tight to the rim; intense and jam packed on the nose; tight seam of fruit; very pent up ball of fruit here; some violet lift on aeration; great palate – very full; concentrated but with great suppleness to the tannins; this is concentrated; super concentration and power but without any sense of over extraction; excellent length. [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 14.1% alc 70% new oak]. Drink 2023-2040. 96-98+
- 2014 Bolder colour; tighter to rim; perfume; mineral note; little subdued; apparent depth; tight; nice fruit on the palate; tight and focused; bit closed on the day; layers and pent up; freshness. Clean fruit. Proportional. Nice length; Pretty long. Impressive on the palate and the finish. Concentrated and tight on the palate; lots of density and focus; tight. Proportional fruit with plenty of extract; lots of chew and density on the finish; extract. Length is very good. [49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2021-2035. Tasted 31 March, 2015 at Château Palmer. 94-95+
- 2013 Deep and saturated; very bold colour for the vintage; very vibrant at edge; creamy fruit; very pure and layered; real plushness; very attractive fruit on entry but concentrated; muscular in the middle but moves towards a nicely measured and well-mannered finish. Excellent effort. [49% Merlot, 51% Cabernet Sauvignon]. Tasted at Palmer April 2014. Drink 2018-2030. 91-93
- 2012 Deep and saturated; colour right up to rim; lots of saturated fruit with a little oak present at the edge; very deep; focused and precise; very plush too; lots of saturation on the palate; voluptuous and yet also a lot of density and layers to this; very nice length and excellent concentration for the vintage. Will be a beauty early on. 13.5 degrees alc, 48% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot. 94-96. Tasted at the chateau Thursday, April 11, 2013.
- 2011 Deep and tight to the edge; legs; immediately this feels a powerful wine on the nose; layers of fruit here and lots of depth; freshness and violet perfume too on aeration; wonderful palate with really bright, vibrant fruit qualities; pretty structured but there is a velvet jacket here too, hiding the muscles; layers of fruit; cassis; blackcurrant; violet notes. Precise in the mouth; very good length. Despite the obvious concentration feels elegant. Brilliant. 55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon 13.5% alc 95-96+ April ’12
- 2010 Deep and attractive colour; creamy aromatics; full and very plush with some oak resin but lush blackcurrant and plums tones; little earth; loaded with fruit on the nose but more tightly packed than Lascombes; very caressing palate; very plush and complete; lots of extract here but impeccably handled; tannins ripe and no trace of hardness [though tannin levels considerable]; lots of extract and depth here with great length. Long future ahead. Great wine. Drink 2018-2045. 98 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Dense and saturated colour; tight to the rim; quite dense; ripe, cassis and blackcurrants; very layered nose, seam of ripe fruit, very perfumed; lots of depth; deep and layered; good and clean, quite ‘cool’ feel and fresh; concentrated and tannic palate but nicely done; chewy and dense. Lots of life and grip here. 2009 is more flamboyant but this extremely good and not far behind at all. In fact, given time it may be the other way around. Let’s see. Super wine. [54% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, alc 14.5%] 95-96+/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at the Chateau.
- 2009 Deep and saturated looking; inky; some resin; red fruits and lift; menthol; pretty intense nose but has lost some of that gloss it displayed from barrel; palate very clean, nice blackcurrants with chew and tannin; lots of flavour here and very, very good palate overall. Still seductive but shutting down a fraction. Still deceptively powerful. Drink 2016-2035 96+ MW Institute, Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Opaque at centre; deep to rim; legs and tears; very deep nose, quite luscious, lots of layers, wonderful ripeness here; very ripe palate, lush and jam packed with fruit but extraction in check here, not a hint of dryness; lovely wine on the palate; just layers and layers of wonderfully ripe velvety fruit; very intense but also surprisingly supple with terrific length. Very fine tannins. You can almost drink this now. One of the wines of the vintage surely? Hot on the heels of Chateau Margaux’s 2009 elixir. 96-98+/100 Tasted at Palmer Nov ’10
- 2008 Deep and attractive looking; some chalk and minerality, some blackcurrant lift; chocolate and mocha notes; depth to the palate; feels a bit chunky and chewy with tannin at the end. Chewy wine. Little shut down compared with it’s showing a couple of years back – needs ten years. 90+ MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Deep red purple at edge; denser than the Alter Ego. Very fresh and very precise nose; lovely perfume, violets, roses and red fruits; quite delineated and intense; very fine nose indeed; layered wine on the palate, quite plush with structure and later tannin and acid; quite layered and length is good; acid, fresh and quite grippy. Still manages to be silky and has good length 92-94/100 Tasted at Palmer Nov ’10
- 2007 Nice deep colour; looks promising; legs; earthy notes followed by meaty tones; some plushness; pretty full and deep; blackcurrant notes; nice palate and feels like really fine Bordeaux; chewy tannin but sufficient density of flavour. Excellent length. Very successful effort for the vintage. 92+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11
- 2006 Deepish core, tight to the rim; nice intensity here on the nose, blackcurrants, some lift and oak; nose opens up nicely to reveal tar, molasses and some tobacco elements alongside the blackcurrants; quite a full meaty nose here with layers and some seduction; sweet entry, ripe and polished palate with structure here, some leaf and faintest of meanness to the tannin but there is lots of fruit here and some coffee and chocolate notes too. There is elegance and the overall length seems good. 90-92/100 MW Institute Nov ’10
- 1994 Deep, purple at rim; fruit; stalky component; quite tight; good structure and firm acid & tannins. 88/100 Tasted as assemblage Nov 95
- 1988 Mid red; perfumed, leather and roasted notes; warm; olives and tapenade; most nuanced ’88 I’ve had; really velvety palate – soft and refined with great balance. Quite excellent 92/100 Apr 08 [Earlier note] Mid red, some development but no brown, some tea and leafy notes with some tobacco. Mature Bordeaux – not fabulous complexity or sexiness – palate sweet entry, fully mature, tea, mushrooms and undergrowth/charcoal characters – soft and elegant finish with a little grip at the end, a tannic twist. 88-89/100 Jan 08
- 1985 Rusty red, mahogany at edge, darker at core; tobacco and roasted notes, some tar alongside mushrooms and undergrowth on nose; roasted meaty palate soft and supple, little lose on the finish. 89/100 Dec 03
- 1978 Red brown; tobacco and spice; blackcurrants on nose; same flavours carry onto the palate; soft and mellow; mature and soft. Good. 88/100 Mar ‘96
- 1975 Mahogany; little tired and not glossy; some roast, cedar and spice but fading with VA creeping in; palate austere and angular; dry with a sourness to it – some blood and meat but very faded. Giscours a much better ’75. Palate also tails off. 82/100 Dec ‘04 Past best.
Alter Ego de Palmer
- 2015 Mid depth, earthy purple; lots of fruit; quite strong; fatness here; but also some strength; fresh acidity; good texture; elegant style; supple at the end; some sap and chew on the finish but satisfying. [52% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 37hl/ha]. Drink 2020-2030. 90-92+
- 2014 Mid depth; purple at edge; pretty fruit; some fatness; black cherry; mineral quality; sense of proportion; little perfume lift; extract; structure; little cool sample; little subdued; proportional though with some finish. Opened up in the glass nicely to reveal perfumed, black cherry notes and lots of extract and texture on the palate. Good stuff! [52% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted 31 March, 2015 at Château Palmer. 90-92
- 2013 Deep and saturated look; vibrant at edge; legs in the glass; attractive fruit on the nose; nicely layered and composed; attractive fruit on the palate; pretty sturdy with nice sap and chew. Sturdy and solid. Goodish length on the finish. [46% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot]. Tasted at Palmer April 2014. Drink 2017-2023. 87-88+
- 2012 Deep and saturated; very bright; tight to edge; lots of ripe fruit on the nose; pretty; almost some fatness; lush and layered; very sweet and ripe entry; lush fruit; nice tension on the finish; very polished but lots of pretty fruit. 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet 9% PV 13.4 alcohol 91-93. Tasted at Chateau Palmer Thursday, April 11, 2013.
- 2011 Deep and dense looking; lovely perfume on the nose; attractive fruit; vibrant; quite seductive and floral; deceptive wine; lots of strength and density here; real substance; this is a substantial effort. 48% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot. 13.5% alc 90-92 April ’12
- 2010 Deep; creamy ripe blackcurrants; pretty seductive; quite intense with grip, more grip on the palate. Freshness here, despite the 14.5 degrees alcohol. In fact pretty lively on the palate. Great effort. 90-92/100 [51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% Merlot] Tasted 7 April 2011 at Chateau Palmer.
- 2009 Intense and more saturated colour; up to edge; lots of fruit on the nose; almost summer fruit compote; redcurrants, raspberries and blackcurrants; almost fat; great richness to the nose; lots of sweet ripe red fruits on the palate too; very intense and really caresses the palate; wonderful wine on the palate; power here and fruit driven; lots of material and extract; velvety quality here with good length. Quite pure in style. Good length. 92+/100 Nov ’10
- 2008 Deepish; earthy red at edge; legs; very soft, perfumed nose; some tobacco, quite forward soft red fruits; round; quite meaty palate with some grip, some chew and extract. Still needs to settle, structure and grip; lacks a bit of length. 88+/100 Nov ’10
- 2000 Dense colour; pent up classical nose, tobacco, violets and red fruits with lift; palate taught and well defined with good acid and balance. Elegant – I thought this was a 1996. 88/100 Feb 06
- 2015 Deep and saturated colour; bold; nice ripe black cherry notes with blackcurrant tones; freshly styled; cherry and cassis flavours on the palate; quite elegant; not extracted. Fine Margaux. Tasted Cru Bourgeois 7/4/16. Drink 2019-2028. 87-89+
- 2014 Big and saturated looking; quite jammy styled fruit; briary tones; brambly, briary tones with black fruits; concentrated but rather extracted in feel at present; lots of elements but little jumbled. Should come together during elévage. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 32ha]. Drink 2019-2025. Tasted Cru Bougeois 2 April, 2015. 84-86+
- 2010 Mid depth; forward, spicy briary tones with pain grillé notes; attractive and open; forward palate with spicy plum and liquorice flavours; fair bit of oak but quite a lot of matter here; good effort; perhaps lacks a little intensity and the depth of the best wines of the appellation. Drink now-2025. 89 MW Institute Nov ’14
Château Prieuré-Lichine, Cru Classé
- 2015 Deep looking; purple at edge; ripe cherry and cassis; vibrant aromas; freshness too; attractive fruit on the palate; some gloss; more harmony here than in 2010 – less drying quality; nicely structured; has all the elements. Good effort here once again. [66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 14% alc]. Drink 2020-2030. 90-92+
- 2014 Deep and saturated colour; purple at edge; nice purity here on the nose; blackcurrants; some gloss and polish; feels complete; full creamy palate with blackcurrant fruit tones dominating at this stage; some chew to the tannin at the back; should round out. Grip and freshness on the end. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot 13% alc]. Drink 2020-2028. Tasted 31 March, 2015 at UGC. 89-91
- 2013 Mid depth; light; fresh and some stalky blackcurrant aromatics; light palate; some elegance and easy going. Has the virtue of elegance and drinkability but pretty light. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot]. Tasted UGCB April 2014. Drink 2017-2023. 85-87
- 2012 Mid depth; plush aromatics with some mineral/wet rock notes; fuller on the palate; attractive with spicy Cabernet notes and genuine richness from the ripe Merlot. Overall feel is soft and easy with plenty of fruit balanced by an attractive grip and freshness from the Cabernet. Drink 2016-2025. 90 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; purple at edge; looks fresh and vibrant; elegant, delicacy on the nose; layers of fruit and nice blackcurrant tones alongside plums; attractive entry; material and density with plenty of fruit; flesh here; little grippy on the finish but a good effort. 88-90+ Tasted UGC April 11, 2013 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; nicely layered nose; plush fruit here; some spice and a very enticing combination; very flattering palate, ripe, easy and perfumed; nicely done. Very flattering and good length. Chocolate and mocha on the finish. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot 13 degrees. 89-91+ Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013.
- 2011 Mid depth; quite dark; some ripe qualities; wet rock and chocolate; leafy Cabernet Sauvignon on the palate; bit angular on the finish and chewy tannin. Drink 2015-2025. 86+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep colour; some dust and chunkiness on the nose; some violet too; palate some cream, weight and density – a gutsy style. 86-88 UGC April ’12
- 2010 Deep and saturated looking; some spicy Cab Franc tones [like de Camensac]; full; some dust; plenty of fruit – red fruit tones and dusty/spicy Cabernet [Franc?] tones; spicy characters dominate. Earthy finish. Good and solid but perhaps lacks the depth/finesse of the best. Drink 2015-2028. 90 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated look; deep core; red fruits, satin note; blackcurrants; ripe qualities; chewy palate; a bit chunky in its fruit structure; plenty of grip and tannin but the tannin doesn’t feel over present. Mid weight and overall pretty good effort. 89+/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep and saturated colour; strong, not primary fruit or fresh but worked; palate dense and imntense but feels extracted. Bit overdone in 2010? Will probably settle but currently clumsy and tannic. Jury out 86-88?/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 [Second tasting] Deep and dense; some violets, some coffee; blackcurrants, pretty good; palate full, quite fleshy and with grip; this will meld and soften. Chewy and grippy finish but flesh here in this sample I think. 87-89/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC.
- 2009 Deep and saturated; wet stones, cassis and blackcurrants; similar tones on the palate with chocolate on the finish; sturdy and deep; lots of fruit – plump and powerful. Finished clean with ripe, slightly chewy tannins. Excellent effort here. Drink 2016-2029. 91+ MW Institute, Nov ’13 [Earlier note] 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 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Dark, deep; tight to the rim; some coffee and smoke on the nose; attractive; blackcurrant fruit and some plum; fresh; palate intense; good concentration; quite structured with lots of material and extract; tannic but round and lots of fruit and material here. Chewy. Very good. 90-92+/100 [Second] Perfume and freshness; some violets and cassis; definitely concentrated and big; palate sweet, ripe attack – lots of ripeness; succulent; but tannins too; lots of material and extract. Slightly chunky tannins but not overdone I think; ripe fruit envelops the tannins. Very good 90-92+/100 Tasted 30th March and 1st April 2010.
- 2008 Mid depth, some saturation; redcurrant fruits and lift; some wet stone; some chew on the palate, spices. Grip at the end. 86 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Good depth; dark at centre; red at edge; quite sturdy and savoury notes, some nutty qualities and chocolate; palate quite elegant, acid quite high, tannin also; feels a bit angular and lacks depth and roundness. 84-86/100 UGC Oct ’10
- 2007 Deep and dark; muscular feel if a little dusty; solid palate, grip; chunky and lacks harmony but good body and chew. 86/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid depth; quite extracted look; creamy note to nose; some stalkiness on the palate but with intensity; little hardness to the tannins. Grippy. 84-86/100 UGC Oct ’09
- 2006 Mid depth, red, some earthiness art the edge; some resin and some chocolate and lift, some strawberry and mineral notes beneath maybe a whiff of violet perfume at the edge; palate quite sweet with some chew and tannin but there is enough fruit and extract here to balance, not that bad but a bit chunky. Some grip and goodish length but also a certain chunkiness too. 88/100 MW Institute Nov ’10
- 1994 Mid red/black; seductive ripe nose; good extract and lots of oak; palate full and tannic. Bit dry. 87/100 Oct 95
- 1990 Mid red; dusty nose; chunky palate; gutsy and without Margaux finesse. OK. 86/100 Feb ’99
Château Rauzan-Gassies, Cru Classé
- 2015 Deep and dark; saturated look; little reductive at first but opened up to show pure blackcurrant fruit; fresh if a little stalky; I like the tempo here though – nice fruit, layers and freshness; good length too on the finish. Real signs of steady improvement here over the past few vintages. This is the best young Rauzan-Gassies I have tasted I think. [84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 14% alc]. Drink 2020-2033. 90-92+
- 2014 Dark core; black at centre; full blackcurrant aromas; some reductive notes; lots of depth and opens up well; good effort here for this property and continues the steady progression of recent vintages; cool cabernet on the palate with purity; freshness, extract and matter; good length – good effort. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2.5%, 1.5% Petit Verdot, 45% new oak]. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted 31 March, 2015 at UGC. 88-90
- 2013 Deep and dark; saturated looking compared to many in the appellation at the UGC; stalky fruit; some bubblegum notes; little reductive; quite tight and sappy on the palate – almost a bit undermade but in the context of the vintage that might prove to be a good thing. Short and light on the finish. [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot]. Tasted UGCB April 2014. Drink 2017-2023. 84-86
- 2012 Deep colour; tight to rim; resin, depth; some creamy blackcurrant notes with perfume; nice palate – attractive Margaux; plenty of ripe, perfumed fruit and soft and nicely handled tannins. Sap and life too. A really good effort here from Rauzan-Gassies in 2012. One of the best wines I’ve had from this estate in recent years. Drink 2016-2028. 90 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; purple at edge; fresh; pretty, some perfume and blackcurrant notes; palate ripe entry; lacks a bit of finesse and focus of some; more extracted on the finish chewy but overall [for Gassies] not that bad. 87-88. Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013. [Earlier note] Deep and dark looking; some stalky Cabernet – spicy and fresh; some layers; nice entry, quite fat and dense but with some angularity to the tannins and the finish. Nevertheless not a bad effort. 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot. 86-88 Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013
- 2011 Mid depth; some leafy blackcurrant tones; stalky fruit on the palate – uncomplicated but not forced or pushed out of shape; clean and clear fruit here. Some chew on the end but not a bad effort here. Are things finally on the up here? Drink 2015-2026. 86 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Mid depth, red at edge; red fruits, some strawberries; has promise, palate some briary spicy notes and some mineral as well as some hardness [acid?]. Quite dense and chewy but rather tannic and lacks finesse. 85-87 UGC April ’12
- 2010 Mid depth; ink and jam tones; briary and blackcurrant fruits; some purity here; clean; pretty gutsy on the palate [not as caressing at the best]; spicy finish. Good effort from Rauzan-Gassies [given past performances]; impressive depth and saturation of flavour from this property – gutsy if a little lacking in finesse. Drink 2016-2028. 90 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deepish; some earth and blackcurrants with some fruit yoghurt tones; quite grippy and structured palate; feels a bit hard and lacks generosity. Closed certainly. 85-86?/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep and saturated; some violet, some coffee and blackcurrants and cassis; good; quite nicely done; palate a little extracted but there is density and concentration. Bit chunky and grippy too. Probably will be ok. Lots of oak on finish however. Grippy and tannic finish. Not that bad overall. 87-89+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 [Second tasting] Deep and dark; some density on the nose; blackcurrant fruit and some cough mixture; sweetness from the oak, pretty good; oak dominates the palate but there is flesh here. Not a bad effort from this estate. Chew and grip at the end 88-90/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC.
- 2009 Mid depth; dark core; leafy, blackcurrant lift; some boiled sweet notes with earthy tones at the edge; earthy, meaty palate with blackcurrant and spice tones – lots of extract and material. Tannins are a little chunky. Lacks finesse but plenty going on and in the context of the estate, this is probably one of the best wines from here in years. Drink 2015-2025. 90 MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] 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 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Sturdy, nutty nose; little bit of wet dog here; intense cassis; palate slightly overdone and extracted. Very dry tannins at the back 86-88?/100 [Second] Dark and impenetrable; inky; ripe fruit; some raspberry and jammy qualities; palate has perfume and some violets but wet wool element here – was a bit of wet dog on the palate – tannins quite chunky. Extracted here. Lacks finesse but has power. If the woolly wet dog element goes maybe 88?/100 Tasted 30th March and 1st April 2010.
- 2008 Mid depth; quite open palate, lacks a bit of depth; some development; earthy palate, some plummy fruit and spice and chew. Not that bad as this estate goes. 87 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Earthy mid red; quite fresh nose, some Cabernet, also some chocolate and violets; some violets on the palate; lacks concentration but not over done and tannins not over dry. Some length. OKish 86/100 UGC Oct ’10
- 2007 Deep; some lifted ripe red fruits; some wet stone and leaf; modest palate; red fruits lacks a bit of depth but not a bad effort for the vintage or this property. Elegant if light. 86/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid depth; quite light but soft nose; some ripeness and herbs and spices; quite elegant palate with the bones poking through the flesh. Feels narrow. 84/100 UGC Oct ’09
- 2006 Mid depth, good looking wine with some earthy tint; slightly dusty walnut note, ripeness but also dusty notes; some resin and leaf; palate quite mid-weight and lacks some intensity but a lot better than Domaines Quie estate Croziet Bages. Goodish chew on the palate. Bit foursquare and tannins a bit on the dry side though some length. 86/100 MW Institute Nov ’10
Château Rauzan-Ségla, Cru Classé
- 2015 Deep and saturated colour; tight to the edge; fresh and ripe berry aromas; pretty fruit; nicely lifted notes; pure Cabernet notes on the palate; structured and correct; minerality and intensity here; grip and a fresh finish. Classically structured Rauzan-Ségla. Reminds me of the 2010. [63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 14% alc]. Drink 2022-2040. 93-95+
- 2014 Deep colour; tight to rim; blackcurrants and cassis; some oak; little stewed note; black cherry; cassis and some fruit cake; nice texture; black fruits; tight and focused on the palate; has flesh and structure. Serious as ever. John Kolasa’s last vintage here. [52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2020-2032. Tasted 31 March, 2015 at UGC. 90-92
- 2013 Deepish; firm nose suggests this may well be a bit hard; actually good and solid effort on the palate; not overdone; spicy tones; compact; acidity and sap here but not dry in tannin although there is some chew on the finish. [58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 2% petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc]. Tasted UGCB April 2014. Drink 2018-2025. 86-88+
- 2012 Deep looking; tight on the nose; resin; mineral tones; very pent-up in feel; quite a serious effort; palate coiled like a spring but tannin on the end is soft and round. Chewy finish. Serious for 2012, and in the context perhaps a little dour at this stage. Drink 2018-2028. 89+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; tight to the rim; creamy, layered nose; lushness here; seam of fruit; blackcurrants; nice palate with very good entry; focused and precise; some tannin at the end but very much in keeping with the fruit and structure of the wine. Serious but plenty of material. Very impressive. 92-94+ Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated looking; some spices, ripe fruits and layers; nice seam of fruit; nice entry, full, lush and layered with extract and material. A supple quality here too [usually a little stern and correct]. Well balanced and harmonious. 54.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot and 1.5% Petit Verdot. 13 degrees 92-94+ Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013.
- 2011 Deepish – saturated at edge; intense, inky aromas with some oak resin and chocolate; intense clearly but also pretty chewy and tannic on the end. Puckering at present and feels very extracted. Was one of the few promising Margaux’s during primeurs. Hopefully should come good but clearly needs time to settle and sort itself out. Drink 2018-2025 88? UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep central core of colour; more focus, depth and appeal; dark cherry notes, blackcurrants, some cassis – nice purity here; lots of layers and ripe fruit; structure, fruit and some acid on the palate – grippy yes but with nice fruit to balance. Some chew but this has the guts. 90-92+ UGC April ’12
- 2010 Deep looking; legs; blackcurrant cassis; some mineral; purity; intense; slightly chalky note; full bold palate; firm with depth; little unyielding at present and needs time [5 years plus]; depth and structure here. Some chew to the considerable tannin. Masculine style, typically serious and less overt than the glorious 2009 here. Drink 2019-2045. 94+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and concentrated looking; legs; lifted blackcurrants; some chalk and wet stone; red fruits here too; quite dense and chalky on the palate; lots of structure and grip. Little VA lift. Purity here but pretty dense and tannic effort with lots of grip. 90+/100 [Earlier] Deep and intense looking; very ripe, sweet strawberry nose; quite a surprise; good palate but real extraction; Blimey! Big and extracted on the palate. Monster? How will this develop? 2009 better looking at the same stage. 88?/100 [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc 1% Petit Verdot, alc 14%] Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC. [Second tasting] Deep and concentrated; more strawberry ripeness; cherry, attractive and some violets with ripe cherry; very dense and rich and intense but lots of tannin; dense and chewy. More settled than first sample. A far cry from 2009’s knockout quality though. 89-91/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC
- 2009 Deep and saturated looking; very intense on the nose; minerals, cassis, pretty pent up and not currently as flashy as some [or as it was during primeurs]; loads of fruit on the palate though; layer upon layer of blackcurrant fruit here – this has such a long way to go. Tannins pretty hefty but ripe. Needs some time and will be long-lived. Drink 2019-2040. 95+ MW Institute, Nov ’13 [Earlier note] 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 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier]Deep and intense; up to rim; sturdy creamy note; summer fruit compote; intense nose; some violets; good palate; structured oak but good flesh here. This is really good. 92-94+. Some coffee and intensity on the finish. [Second] Very deep and dark; perfumed and intense violets; cherry, some eau de vie; plums and very ripe fruits. Palate sweet entry and big and tannic but ripe tannins and not at all drying; Big wine and lashings of fruit with nice chew and bite at the end. Very powerful style of wine which works in this case. Terrific. 95+/100 [13.9% alcohol, 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot] Tasted 30March and 1April 2010.
- 2008 Mid depth; some red at edge; red fruits, some spice, leaf – blackcurrant and pastel notes; spices; blackcurrants on the palate, layers and purity here; core of fruit in here [shows how hollow many of these are in this commune]; structured yes but has the guts. 90+ MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Quite developed mid red colour; quite a meaty nose with some perfume; palate rather hard; some fruit and savour but tannic and dry. This may round out but pretty tannic style. 86-88/100 UGC Oct ’10
- 2007 Mid red; not huge depth; some earthy tobacco notes and cool Cabernet freshness; clean; ripe entry; quite solid and structured; depth to the palate; chewy tannin; grippy but not a bad effort. 88+/100 MW Inst Nov ’11[Earlier] Mid-depth; intense nose and fine Margaux perfume of violets; good intensity on the palate; concentrated wine with depth; still elegant but with some tobacco characters. Elegant but had depth. Good. 88+/100 UGC Oct ’09
- 2006 Deep, dark at core; attractive nose with Margaux perfume, some violets and some lift and oak; some elegance here too; quite firm palate, lacks some flesh and there is lots of structure and acid. This will age well and the tannins are ok. Quite nicely judged on the palate; quite chewy and with some density; maybe lacks a bit of concentration at the end but overall finish seems good. Real chew and extract here. Not as show off fantastic as 2009 which remains for me the benchmark for the heights this well situated estate can achieve. 88-90/100 MW Institute Nov ’10
- 1983 Dark; chunky little finesse, dry tannins. OK. 83/100 Nov ‘97
- 2015 Deep and saturated looking; has life and vibrancy; creamy cherry and blackcurrant tones; some summer fruit compote; violet lift; nice creamy palate; some wood to integrate but plenty to get to grips with here; needs to fill out a fraction on the end but good fruit and structure. [55% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 14% alc]. Drink 2020-2030. 88-90
- 2014 Mid depth; purple rim; creamy blackcurrant fruit; ripe and full; ripe black cherry; palate full of fruit; black fruits; black cherry; extract and matter; little oak on the finish to integrate. Substantial effort. Textured. Edouard Miailhe compares it more to 2005 than 2009/2010. First vintage in which Hubert de Bouard has consulted. [53.5% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Petit Verdot. 13.5% alc, harvested 24 Sept-16 Oct]. Drink 2019-2030. Tasted 31 March, 2015 at UGC. 88-90+
- 2013 Mid depth; fresh blackcurrants; quite high toned style; quite acid and firm on the palate with a puckering finish. Acidity very obvious. Not a success this year. May round out a bit but acidity very pronounced.[55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot]. Tasted UGCB April 2014. Drink 2017-2023. 82-84
- 2012 Healthy vibrant colour; attractive aromatics with some perfume; quite forward; little wet rock; full of fruit on the palate; attractive with a sturdy aspect; freshness; has vigour but also plenty of ripe fruit. A very good effort here. Drink 2016-2024. 89+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Healthy looking; vibrant; violets, some perfume; some chalk; refined entry; cooler and fresher fruit; bit grippy and sappy but should come good; nice freshness and spice to the palate. Good length. Vigorous Margaux. 87-89. Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013. [Earlier note] Mid depth; ripe, attractive fruit with perfume and a certain elegance; very good palate – ripe and lush; very attractive; some grip too but overall a very attractive and forward style. Very good supple and attractive offering from Siran. Good length and will be great value. 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot 13.4 degrees. 88-90. Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013.
- 2011 Mid depth; stalky nose with some dusty notes; dusty tannic Cabernet on the palate; some spice but very grippy and angular on the palate. Needs time but pretty joyless again for me. Drink 2016-2023. 85? UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deepish colour – vibrant edge; some blackcurrant and cassis – some stoney fruit; not without promise; blackcurrants and density on palate; fruit here but also acid and structure; life; quite vibrant and sappy. Could settle nicely. Little puckering at end. 87-88 UGC April ’12
- 2010 Deepish; some red fruits, wet stone; ripeness on the palate but lots of extract here and very sappy. Has plenty of material and plenty of acid. Needs time to settle. 87/100 [Earlier] Deep and saturated; some perfume and lift; cassis beneath; quite deep and plush; more violets on the palate; some tannin here, in fact pretty tannic and extracted on the palate; Probably will be ok 86-88/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 [Second tasting] Deep and dense; thick looking; cassis, blackcurrant, some coffee; big and ripe and with lots of extract and fruit. Extracted but fruit is there. Will round out. Pretty good. 87-88+/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC.
- 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 [Earlier] Deep with good edge, vibrant; some floral elements; more violets; slightly lighter toned [coming after the Rauzan Segla in the en primeur tastings] – not super concentrated here; palate slightly spicy, pepper note with stalks; not that bad; fresh; quite high toned but will settle. 88+/100 [Second] Deep, dense; fresh nose, some violets but also bit of beetroot; lower octane here than the previous few; red fruits; very fresh palate; good perfume; more higher toned, Nicely done – quite attractive; extract and material. Tannins but they don’t dominate. Nice gentler more harmonious style. Very good. Knows it’s from Margaux. More settled than earlier sample 90+/100 Tasted 30 March and 1April 2010.
- 2008 Mid red; some purple at edge; slightly stalky nots; some earth and roses with toast and savour; palate quite full, some stalkiness and some tannin, falls away a little in the middle; quite angular and some acid. 84/100
- 2007 Mid red; some stalky blackcurrants – but a rather raw, green tinge to the fruit. Tannic and angular. 82/100 UGC ’09
Château du Tertre, Cru Classé
- 2015 Attractive colour; purple at edge; fresh looking; creamy blackcurrant and black cherry aromatics; nice purity as usual here; beautiful palate with lovely purity; blackcurrant tones; harmonious finish. Very good length too. Excellent du Tertre. Amongst my favourite affordable Margaux properties. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2022-2035. 91-93+
- 2014 Glossy black colour in glass; earthy purple at the rim; spicy blackcurrants; pure; some stalky Cabernet fruit; fresh; clean and pure palate with blackcurrant tones; balanced and round with freshness; freshness and length on the finish. Fairly classic du Tertre. Nicely proportioned. [58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot. 13% alc. 3.7TA. Harvest 26/9 onwards for Merlot, Cabernet finished 16/10, Petit Verdot 13-15/10]. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted 31 March, 2015 at UGC. 89-91+
- 2013 Deep and healthy looking; purple at edge; some purity and blackcurrant tones; attractive and pure [nicely unadorned]; palate quite creamy; good-ish effort with [remarkably] even some generosity and polish here; overall nicely balance with good length and sap on the finish. Surprisingly generous for the vintage. [80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, Cabernet Franc 5%, Petit Verdot 5%]. Tasted UGCB April 2014. Drink 2018-2028. 87-89
- 2012 Mid depth; light at centre; attractive purity; blackcurrant tones and spices; quite forward; some depth on the palate with an attractive undergrowth/green streak; blackcurrants and fresh coffee beans; elegance and freshness; reasonably sappy and vigorous on the finish. Drink 2017-2025. 89+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and healthy looking; vibrant edge; fresh, stalky Cabernet; some black cherry [Angludet-like]; layers beneath; fresh Cab on the palate but with some weight behind; works very well; elegant yet more-ish. Very nicely handled and balanced. 90-91+ Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013 [Earlier note] Mid depth, vibrant edge; very cool and fresh; with delicacy, perfume and life; very balanced palate and nicely harmonious. Very good effort and classical Margaux. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot. 90-91+ Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013.
- 2011 Mid depth; earthy, slightly feral note; blackcurrants on the palate, some plushness and succulence; gutsy finish with a bite of acid. Lively and vigorous. Aromatics and palate disjointed currently. Little disappointing. Greater purity evident during primeurs. Drink 2016-2023. 86? UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Healthy density, purple at edge; fresh cabernet nose, nice fruit, some cassis and blackcurrant with fruit compote/summer pudding notes; sweetish entry but nice cool, plummy fruit alongside stalky Cab freshness. This is appetizing and moreish. Good acid balance. Little sappy but pretty good effort here and feels like Margaux. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot. 89-91 UGC April ’12
- 2010 Deepish; elegant blackcurrant aromatics; depth; with some spicy Cabernet characters; quite concentrated crunchy fruit but with nice acidity; crispness here alongside the blackcurrant fruit which makes this nicely vibrant and appetizing; textured and elegant Margaux. Drink 2016-2030. 91 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Good depth; glossy looking; earth, some redcurrant, some resin, deep; fresh palate with blackcurrant and acid grip; lots of extract and material, inky with grip and chew. Classic and fresh. Needs a bit of time. 89+/100 [Earlier] Deep and saturated; very attractive, perfumed nose; violets and blackcurrants; seductive; some coffee and char at the end; nicely judged palate; full of flavour and ripeness; very digestible; clean and with real depth. Nice freshness, some warmth a very end. 91-93 [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, alc 13.8%] Tasted 5 April 2011. [Second tasting] Mid depth; purple at edge; fresh, some fragrance, feels quite full [Cabernet?], freshness here; palate similarly cool and fresh, some tannin and extract too; quite chewy but tannins ripe and should settle down. Strong wine, nice Cab freshness. 88-90+/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC
- 2009 Deep at centre; ripe blackcurrant tones; some mineral and wet rocks; freshness; cool blackcurrant fruit, quite plush and very clean and pure. Very nice balance between freshness and fruit in a very measured and polished style. No trace of anything strange going on in this sample. Drink 2016-2030 91+ MW Institute, Nov ’13 [Earlier note] 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 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Less inky; still vibrant; fragrance here; some rose petal with violets; little reductive ‘gout du chais’ notes; palate quite fine and elegant with structure and grip; lacks a little flesh but should put on weight. 90+. [Second] Perfume and violets with lots of blackcurrants beneath; quite elegant in style but with obvious power under the bonnet; soft palate; silky, very good; fine and harmonious not over extracted; much better sample than before; good length and a long finish. Excellent. The Dutch owners think this is the best wine made here since they took over. 92-94+ [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot]. Tasted 30 March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeurs tasting
- 2008 Mid depth; some red at edge; some chalk, some stalks; not over engaging; spice and some life on the palate; freshness with elegance and firmish tannins. 87 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Mid red; some earthy notes on the nose; mocha and chocolate too; not as pretty and appealing as their wonderful 2009; palate feels a bit hard here; bit elegant and lacking interest. Bit disappointing for this usually superb estate. 84-86/100 UGC Oct ’10
- 2007 Deepish, earthy red at edge; some leafy Cabernet; very light palate which lacks depth; feels thin; some chew on the finish and grip but overall feels light and dilute. 84?/100 [Earlier] Mid red; attractive, slightly stalky note; blackcurrants; palate some silky notes along with strawberries and red fruits; well balanced palate. Nice. Slightly old fashioned style. Good. 86+ Oct ’09 UGC London tastings
- 2006 Some depth, bit looser at the edge than some; earthy, chocolate, some undergrowth, definitely earthy; also some blackcurrant and a whiff of tobacco leaf; palate quite earthy, not unattractive and mature notes creeping in; tannins quite round and agglomerated, not that bad. Mature but will improve over the next five years. 87/100 MW Institute Nov ’10
- 1996 Mid red; fragrant and fine Margaux; wonderfully mature and well developed nose; palate well balanced; tobacco, blackcurrants; nicely balanced with rounded tannins. Very good. 89+ July ’06 Aug
Château La Tour du Mons
- 2015 Nice colour; deepish; some Margaux perfume; violets and black cherry with some oak; cherry fruit; little wood to soak up on the mid palate but has sufficient fruit here; some chew on the finish. Fresh finish. [59% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 40% new oak]. Tasted Meyney 4/4/16. 86-88
- 2014 Deeply coloured; serious but with life and freshness; fruit cake spices; some spicy plum tones; attractive; little oak to integrate on the palate but has the elements – and much more fruit evident here – chew and extract on the finish and spice from the oak; but this wine has prospects. Fresh finish. Drink 2019-2025. Tasted at Ch Meyney 31 March, 2015. 85-87
- 2013 Deep in the glass; glossy look; perfume – violets – lots of fruit and some oak to integrate; spicy characters with some Margaux elegance yet there is some density. Little dry on the finish but nicely done overall. [55% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 40% new oak, 60% one year old]. Tasted at Château Meyney 31/3/14. Drink 2018-2026. 84-86 [Later note] Mid depth; glossy look; some perfume and stalky Cabernet fruit with some oak still to integrate; fruit is good but bit masked by oak currently and needs to settle; bit astringent on the finish. Tasted Cru Bourgeois tasting at Château d’Arsac 3/4/12. Drink 2017-2023. 83-85
- 2012 Deep healthy colour; nice perfume; blackcurrant lift; nice; some spice; more oak on the palate which gives a little disjointed feel but should meld. Some chew and sap at the end. Fresh finish. Improving estate. 40% new oak. 49% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. 86-88 Tasted Ch Meyney Apri ’13
- 2011 Very deep and saturated; some freshness and violet perfume; creamy; some weight here but not overdone; nice balance; some tannin and extract but nice grip and mid-palate. Should be good. 86-87/100 Tasted 5 April 2010 at L’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Medoc.