Ex Chateau, 2021 Release
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
A brilliant offering from the Mentzelopoulos family, once again their gifted manager, Paul Pontallier, has produced an uncommonly concentrated, powerful 2009 Chateau Margaux made from 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest primarily Merlot with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. As with most Medocs, the alcohol here is actually lower (a modest 13.3%) than most of its siblings-. Abundant blueberry, cassis and acacia flower as well as hints of charcoal and forest floor aromas that are almost Burgundian in their complexity are followed by a wine displaying sweet, well-integrated tannins as well as a certain ethereal lightness despite the wine-s overall size. Rich, round, generous and unusually approachable for such a young Margaux, this 2009 should drink well for 30-35+ years.
Thirty-five percent of the crop went into the 2009 Chateau Margaux, composed of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. The alcohol level of 13.3% is high, but not excessively so. A wine such as this is like the quintessence of terroir. A super, uber-concentrated perfume of creme de cassis and flowers cascades across the palate with a lightness of being despite massive concentration, a sumptuous personality, and an unctuous texture. I have never tasted a Chateau Margaux quite like this. It should be relatively drinkable at an early age, yet will last for 50-100 years. Oh my! (Tasted once.)
Paul Pontallier told me they had never had such levels of concentration and tannin as they did in 2009, exceeding anything they ever produced since the Mentzelopoulos family purchased this property in 1978. Pontallier believes 1996 is the closest stylistically, but 2009 is significantly more concentrated than that vintage. I do not disagree because tasting the second wine, Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux, demonstrates that the 2009 is far superior to almost every Chateau Margaux made in the fifties, sixties, and seventies, except for the 1961 and 1953.
The 2009 Château Margaux is intense and powerful on the nose with blackberry, forest floor, graphite and rose petals that unfurls with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannin, impressive density and plenty of freshness, perhaps more than the 2009 Mouton-Rothschild. There is a genuine Pauillac-like drive to this Château Margaux thanks to the Cabernet Sauvignon, clearly a First Growth destined for long-term ageing. 13.1% alcohol. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting. 2023 - 2070
Tasted at the chateau. Sample taken 22nd March. A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, close to the average proportions of the last 10 years. The final alcohol comes in at 13.2-13.3%. An extremely alluring bouquet: blackberry, cassis and violets, your quintessential Margaux really, but cloaked in a sense of sensuality and sumptuousness that is rarely seen. Very fine definition with touches of cold limestone coming through. The palate is brilliantly poised with filigree tannins, breathtaking delineation and focus. There is immense intensity here, the energy of the channel with a crisp, taut finish. Wonderful length. Tasted March 2010.
The 2009 Château Margaux is deep garnet in color and features wonderfully fragrant minted cassis, lilacs, black forest cake and oolong tea scents with touches of pencil shavings and dusty soil. Medium to full-bodied, it has a firm, grainy frame with lovely freshness lifting the perfumed fruit to a very long, mineral-laced finish. 2020 - 2050
The nose is out of this world, with lilacs, currants, blackberries, and blueberries. Full-bodied, with super silky tannins and savory fruit and amazing flavors of fine leather, blueberries, and sandalwood. The quality of the tannins are amazing, with creamy texture and bright acidity on the end. Such classic and classicism. Delicacy. Lasts for minutes on the palate. This is 13.2% alcohol. Best Margaux in bottle yet…will 2010 be as great? Try it in 2020.
The nose is so intensely fruity, but subtle and reserved at the same time. Fascinating. Full-bodied, yet superrefined, building on the palate. It's like watching a long-distance runner starting off slowly but continuing along his or her path. Fine and dense tannins. A few minutes in the glass and the massive tannins show. Muscular and subdued.
Tasted blind. Dark lustrous crimson. Spicy note and very ripe fruit with some leafiness. Thick and sweet – very rich and fat. Very dramatic. Group average placed this second favourite of the 2009s. 13.5%
The Cabernet was so good, it was easy to decide the blend for the grand vin -including 87% Cabernet Sauvignon. Blended early Feb. 2009 reminds Pontallier of 1990 because of its lushness. The grand vin was 36% of the crop. pH 3.79, TA 3.3 g/lVery dark crimson. Sumptuous nose - just gorgeous. So fine, so ripe but with lovely freshness too. Margaux finesse. Truly a wonderful nose. The nose is really the thing already. Will it ever be difficult to drink? Breadth across the palate. Just wonderfully relaxed and fresh and beautifully balanced. Soft tannins on the finish, very very long. We debate whether the texture is cashmere or silk. Date tasted 31st March 2010. Drink 2018-2035.
Since the early 1980's Margaux has produced many excellent vintages under the assured direction of Paul Pontallier. Always impressive whilst remaining fine and elegant. Quality is maintained here by a rigorous selection process. Only 31% of the vineyard's total crop is in the grand vin this year. 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Not the deepest colour in 2009, allspice, violets and aniseed on the nose. On the palate there is great intensity combined with typical Margaux charm and elegance. Only just over 13 degrees, this is certainly one of the most balanced and controlled wines of the vintage with great freshness and harmony despite the strength of the tannins and the fleshiness of the fruit. M Pontallier compares it to 2005 and 1990 but believes it to be the greatest young Margaux of the last 30 years. All in finesse. Very classy indeed.
There is a floral attraction to the mix of bilberry and bramble on the nose. The fruit on the palate is lush, sensuous with a mix of fruits mainly black but with red showing in the background. The underlying acidity freshens. The wine has a seamless quality, sleek, elegant, refined and very long. Drink 2020-2050.
Paul Pontallier calls this one of the "densest wines, but also the sweetest"he has ever made. Even if it falls slightly short of Lafite and Latour, it's still a great wine. Very aromatic and alluring, this has cherry and redcurrant fruit, a touch of bramble, well integrated oak, assertive tannins and lively, refreshing, palate-cleansing acidity. 20+ years.
(87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot) Fine black red, quite magical bouquet, pure quality of cashmere silkiness on the palate with a touch of fragrance from Cabernet Franc, blending softness of attack with pure density. A wine of stunning fragrance and purity, the most perfect expression imaginable of the greatest of Margaux vineyards. Drink 2016-40.
This marathon runner is currently in the no-man's land between youthful vitality and mellow maturity. There's a very serious tannin structure here, but it needs a lot longer to fully resolve. Very tight and closed. A perfect wine usually. But not today. Try in 2020. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)