I’m a Margaux lover but this appellation is utterly frustrating in 2011.The wines of merit are outnumbered by the disappointing here by a margin of almost 2 to 1. What’s gone so wrong? It was a challenging year of course but so it was for everyone else. Margaux, as one of the largest blue chip appellations, has a far wider variety of soils and terroirs than say Pauillac or St Julien, so this probably accounts for some of the irregularity. The drought conditions through the first half of the season, followed by topsy-turvy weather, cool summer but with a huge heat spike, would have also caused more problems in the vineyards here than elsewhere. This would have been especially the case on the lighter, gravelly soils that Margaux is famous for. So we’re talking about dealing with grapes with an unusual degree of irregularity in ripeness. Sorting in the vineyard, selection in the winery all would have been essential, even at those estates that had managed this tricky growing season well.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Margaux’
Usual mixed back in this appellation with diverse terroir, blends and wine-making styles. The best 2007s are worth considering at the right price. These include Chateau Palmer, Chateau d’Issan, Chateau Lascombes and Chateau Rauzan Ségla, but there are many here to avoid. 2008 is a slightly better bet, 2009 certainly so.
With the first Bordeaux 2010 releases starting to trickle out [at prices that seem on par to 2009] I’ve culled my tasting notes down by score for the vintage for the top thirty reds, the a dozen likely best value reds and then a dozen best dry and sweet whites as I saw it. It’s a snapshot obviously. Hope it’s helpful. The full notes for each chateau review can be found either by backtracking down the previous posts, through the search box or down under the Bordeaux Vintage 2010 profile.
Last November Paul Pontallier was expressing embarrassment at the potential quality of the 2010 vintage he had just put in vat. Just how could the estate follow on from the 2009? Again it’s a case of a different year rather than a better one, but 2010 is a beauty here. In terms of the harvest itself the vintage was more homogenous across the plots than in 2009, a year in which some of the younger Merlots did struggle a bit with the heat and the drought. That wasn’t the case in 2010 and there was more consistency to the harvest. This has had a knock on effect more for Pavillon Rouge which is terrific. As for the grand vin, it is exceptional, with remarkable purity and freshness. In the line up of first growths this year it is the most beautiful and seductive. For the first time the proportions of the grand vin and Pavillon Rouge are the same, at 38%, down 15% on 2009, with the remainder of the harvest going into the estate’s new third wine [as yet to be christened – or to be tasted…].