Chateau Margaux 2018 tasting notes on futures and ratings “en primeur” by Ronald Rens, M.Sc., Wine Master, Bordeaux Expert
“A monumental Chateau Margaux 2018!”
Chateau Margaux 2018 tasting notes + ratings
Driving up to Chateau Margaux remains an experience, even after having been there so many times. The purity of the Palladian architecture strikes me every time. And the purity and the elegance seem to be reflected in the wines as well. In spite of the imposing chateau, there is still a family feel to the property. Alexandra Mentzelopoulos is the third generation in charge of this excellent First Growth. I tasted the Chateau Margaux traditionally in the cellars. The aim for better and more precise selections in the vineyards is impressive if you realise that the vineyard was divided into almost a 100 different batches, with a different vinification for each batch. And only the best made it into the Grand Vin. Margaux lost about 10% of the production to mildew. The yield was 31 hl/ha (normally: 35-40 hl/ha). At Margaux the berries were small as well. Normally one grape weighs about 1,15 gram. This year the grapes were between 0,8 to 0,9 gram.
Pavillion Rouge de Chateau Margaux 2018 (19- points)
[69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot]
As a result of a strong selection only 30% of the entire harvest made it into the Pavilion Rouge. The color is fairly deep. The nose is rather discreet, maybe due to the fact that the sample was rather cold (as was the room where we tasted). But swirling helped to open up the nose with some crisp fresh red and black fruit. On the palate it is the fruit that is impressive. And a super freshness, considering this was one of the warmest vintages since the beginning of the 20th Century. The freshness balances the rather high alcohol content (14,5%) and you do not experience this alcohol level at all. Great tannic structure with ripe and elegant silky tannins. At Margaux this Pavilion Rouge keeps on improving to solidly claim its position as one of the best second wines of Bordeaux.
Chateau Margaux 2018 (20- points)
[90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot]
The Chateau Margaux represents 36% of the crop, on par with last year (37% for 2017). The color is somewhat deeper than the Pavilion Rouge, especially with more concentration around the rim. The nose and color-experience suffered somewhat from serving the wine cold in a cold and dimly lit room. I am sure that in different circumstances the nose will show much better but here I didn’t find much. On the palate I was amazed by the beautiful freshness of the wine in this vintage. And what a power and concentration! Super fruit and yet one of the more approachable barrel samples I have ever tasted at Margaux. The wine seems to linger on and on and on. Once again I forgot to spit out this monumental Margaux. Fruit, tannins, freshness and alcohol in a near perfect balance. A wine that will age for decades to come. Managing director Philippe Bascaules proved with this great wine to be a worthy successor of the late Paul Pontalier.
Pavillion Blanc of Chateau Margaux 2018 (18,5 points)
[This white wine of Chateau Margaux is, as always, made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc]
Subtle light in color with a delicate hint of golden yellow. The superb nose seems to jump out of the glass with an avalanche of fruit: tropical and citrus fruit. On the palate there is a beautiful structure and a refined elegance but I miss a bit of the tension and freshness that I usually appreciate so much in the Pavilion Blanc. Good length and the wine is round and accessible. The wine is good, but simply not as exciting as the red.
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Each of our Bordeaux Wine Tours includes tastings of the iconic five First-Growths Château Latour, Lafite Rothschild, Mouton-Rothschild, Haut-Brion and Margaux plus the legendary Yquem, along with château-accommodation and exclusive meals in venues not open to the public.
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