Château Margaux has succeeded in producing an elegant and perfumed wine in 2013. It is particularly interesting that this has been achieved without any Merlot at all. The final blend, 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot isn’t particularly ‘strict’, such would appear to be the genuine quality of the estate’s Cabernet [despite being picked nearly a week early]. The real casualty here is Pavillon Rouge. Only a small quantity has been produced in 2013 and much declassified into the third and fourth wines. Pavillon Blanc, the estate’s 100% Sauvignon Blanc, is zesty and attractive and underscores once again just how well the whites have done in this otherwise very tricky vintage.
Posts Tagged ‘Paul Pontallier’
Paul Pontallier is rightly pleased with their efforts at Château Margaux in 2012. The claim that the vintage was ‘almost’ a great one for them is not wide of the mark. The Grand Vin here is seriously good and a real step up from the somewhat disappointing 2011. It’s great to see this estate back on top form in a vintage that was pretty tricky. There isn’t the slightest hint of trouble in the pure, sleek Cabernet Sauvignon that constitutes 87% of the blend. It’s a terrific effort. What’s more along with Mouton and Haut-Brion, Château Margaux released at a considerable discount on recent vintages making it at least a potentially attractive en primeur purchase if you’ve the inclination and the cash.
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…].
Paul Pontallier seems such an assured presence you just can’t imagine him losing his temper. If something seriously went wrong, say someone racked Pavillon Blanc into a vat containing the Grand Vin at Chateau Margaux of course, I’m sure he’d go completely bonkers but in twenty-seven or so consecutive vintages at the helm here there can’t be a problem of one sort of another that Pontallier hasn’t encountered either in the vineyard or the cellar, or demonstrably surmounted, given the consistency of the wines at this property over the years.