The first-growth 2005 Château Margaux (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot), a lavish fragrance of blackcurrants, velvety new saddle leather, spring flowers and spice soars from the glass. The wood is already totally concealed beneath the cascade of fruit in this medium to full-bodied, pure and majestic wine. This concentrated, dense, but nevertheless strikingly elegant, multi-layered wine has a finish of 45+ seconds. It builds incrementally to a crescendo and finale. This is a stunner that can be approached already, but promises to be better in another 5-10 years and last at least 25 or more years. Drink 2020-2050.
Still a deep colour in the glass with just a hint of garnet fade, the nose is both immediate and subtle, layering precise black fruit with wafts of dried flowers, cedar, and the hints of undergrowth and leather that reveal this wine is just starting to show signs of easing into its drinking window. The palate has the ethereal dark fruit focus for which this estate is revered. An almost perfumed accent to the ripe blackcurrant fruit at the core is enveloped by the still persistent but now gently softening, refined tanins. Slight hints of liquorice and spice box mingle again with that touch of leather. This is still a youthful wine, but it is now fleshing out through the mid palate where it was previously tight. Drunk over several hours with food, this wine continued to grow in the glass, relaxing at the edges and taking to the textures and power of food with ease. Quintessentially both Margaux and 2005, this focused and fine wine is starting to hit its stride. You can drink and enjoy this now, though it will doubtless evolve over many decades, softening slowly but retaining its precision.
The 2005 Chateau Margaux is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot. Deep garnet-brick in color, it reveals an earthy nose redolent of crushed rocks, tilled soil, and truffles over a kirsch and creme de cassis core with floral notes coming through. The medium to full-bodied palate is elegant and perfumed, with soft, velvety tannins, finishing long and layered. Perfumed, layered, and approachable now, it is within its ideal drinking window, and will continue to drink well through 2047. In 2003, Corinne Mentzelopoulos bought back the majority stake and became the controlling shareholder of Chateau Margaux. This 2005 was made by Paul Pontallier.
Tasted blind. Very dark crimson. Pretty heady nose – without great purity. Just a bit stodgy. Lacks lift and precision, though there is great density. Impressive from a pure dimension point of view, with a hint of alcohol on the end.
Saturated red-ruby. Explosive aromas of plum, raspberry, bitter chocolate, coffee, almond paste and smoke; this smells voluptuous. Then extraordinarily opulent on the palate, with an almost marzipan-like ripeness. Coats every square millimeter of the mouth with a texture of liquid silk. The baby fat here is incredible, but there's a structure of steel and powerful minerality underneath. One of the longest samples I tasted in Bordeaux this spring, and a wine with uncanny finishing sweetness. This fabulous vintage of Margaux should evolve positively in bottle for three or four decades in a cold cellar.
Marvellously dense colour, double the concentration of flavour compared to Pavillon Rouge, marvellously lifted, extraordinary depth and poise, remarkable purity and density of expression. Drink 2015-60
Fresh, fruity, really vivid, very fine. Still very youthful with beautiful balance. Will develop into great Margaux. Freshness continues onto the palate, with good depth of flavour, ripe tannins which firm up on second taste. Drink from 2018. Awarded 5 stars.
First place out of 184
The Château Margaux 2005 has a nigh perfect bouquet with brilliant precision and amazing focus: mainly black, mineral-soaked fruit that just gets more and more intense in the glass. That graphite element become more intense with aeration and renders it almost Pauillac in style. The palate is effortless with sumptuous ripe tannin, perfect acidity, layers of sensual ripe red fruit with a precise mineral finish. This is sheer class, a crystalline beauty and the persistence is simply breathtaking.
Another celestial effort from Paul Pontallier and Corinne Mentzelopoulus, the 2005 Margaux, a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, boasts a dense opaque blue/purple color as well as an extraordinary bouquet of spring flowers, blueberries, black raspberries, creme de cassis, licorice, and, despite its having spent two years in 100% new wood, only a subtle touch of toasty oak. Although full-bodied, the wine seems light on its feet because of the silky tannins as well as the great gravel terroir from which it comes. Beautiful purity, length, and nobility define this modern day classic. Is it better than the 2000, 1996, 1990, or some of the vintages from the decade of the eighties? Who knows, but it is unquestionably one of the all-time great wines made at Chateau Margaux. This estate has produced only exceptional wines over the last three decades. The seamlessness of the 2005 suggests it will perform well early, but it should last for a half century or more. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2050+.
Unbelievable nose already. Incredible complexity of aromas, from wild raspberries to flowers and fresh mushrooms. Violets, currants. Love it. Full-bodied, with ultrarefined tannins. Long, long finish. It lasts for minutes on the palate. A wine with classic beauty. May well be 100 points.
Dark blueish crimson. Really perfumed and Margaux-ish. Quite marked acidity on the front palate but very delicate and pretty. With the light tannins just muscling in on the finish. Much more transparent and less dense than other first growths in this vintage. Fresh and lively but a little atypically light for the vintage. 13%
Warm, supple, ripe. But with some top quality savoury oak and a dry finish too. Lots of tannin on the finish. Dry but not drying - persistent. Pretty damned classic Bordeaux. Drink 2014-2028. Date tasted 6th May 09.
Very deep, polished purplish crimson right out to the rim. Wonderful lift on top of the amazing depth and richness of the fruit. Great, almost marine, freshness. Opulent is not quite the word because this is not rich and flashy - it's more quintessential Margaux than that - so lifted and truly airborne. Great, great harmony. Truly LOVELY on the nose and then follows this up on the palate - just gorgeous. You really could swallow this with enormous pleasure already because the tannins are so ripe. Wonderfully neat finish. So fresh and refreshing. No heat on the finish. Paul Pontpallier, referring to the level of phenolics, describes this as 'the densest Margaux ever - even more than 2003'. Thirteen per cent alcohol. Very very Cabernet and very fine. Just eight per cent Merlot. Plus six per cent Petit Verdot. Very clean and palate cleansing. Really lovely texture. Drink 2018-35