Margaux 2016

RegionBordeaux
SubregionMargaux
ColourRed
TypeStill

Since the early 1980's Chateau Margaux has produced many excellent vintages. It is always impressive, whilst remaining fine and elegant. This is where we most often find the "Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove". Margaux is certainly the most stylish, charming and sophisticated of the First Growths. Quality is maintained here by a rigorous selection process and since 2009 there has been a third wine (Margaux de Margaux) produced as well as the popular second wine Pavillon Rouge. There is also a 4th wine sold off in bulk to a local negociant. Tragically, the man responsible for 30 years of great vintages here, Paul Pontallier, passed away in 2016 but he was able to see the completion of new building work designed by Lord Norman Foster.


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Tasting Notes

The 2016 Chateau Margaux is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc, plus 1% of Petit Verdot, representing 28% of the total production. This is the highest proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon apart from 2013, which was due to the poor Merlot. It was cropped around 50 hectoliters per hectare depending on the grape variety, for example it could be up to 65 hectoliters per hectare in some sectors. Lucid in color, it has a detailed and precise bouquet with mineral-rich blackberry, raspberry coulis and limestone scents. It feels very perfumed, though not powerful like many Grand Vins in 2016. The palate is a different creature to the aromatics. Here is the intensity of the vintage with shimmering black fruit laced with spice, a killer line of acidity and an irresistible crescendo on the finish. Then, graphite lingering on the aftertaste, a nod to Pauillac perhaps. The aftertaste is so long you could probably write a letter to your friend enthusing about this wine before the aftertaste fades. Doubtless it is destined to be compared to the magnificent 2015 Château Margaux and to be truthful, there's a hair's breadth between them. In a word: crystalline. Drink 2026-2070.

Score: 97/99Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017

A purity of fruit marks this Margaux with lots of currant and berry character. Full body, bright acidity and round tannins. It’s a larger and more expanded style of Margaux. A wine with a heart and body. Strong.

Score: 98/99James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017

The 2016 Margaux is magnificent in the best tradition of the Château Margaux style, which always speaks more to finesse than power. Above all else, the 2016 is a wine of superb persistence, understated power and total refinement. There is wonderful depth and intensity to the ripe red and purplish-hued fruits, accompanied by mint, rose petal and sweet spice overtones that develop in the glass. The 2016 finishes with great aromatic lift and freshness. It has been absolutely compelling on the two occasions I have tasted it so far.

Score: 97/100Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2017

Sweet rich start and then very fresh. Seems a little bit marked by oak at the moment. Sinewy. Hint of chocolate - just like Palmer! Slightly drying tannins. Sandpaper on the end. 13%
Drink 2027-2045

Score: 17.5Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017

Since the early 1980's Chateau Margaux has produced many excellent vintages. It is always impressive, whilst remaining fine and elegant. This is where we most often find the "Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove". Margaux is certainly the most stylish, charming and sophisticated of the First Growths. Quality is maintained here by a rigorous selection process and since 2009 there has been a third wine (Margaux de Margaux) produced as well as the popular second wine Pavillon Rouge. There is also a 4th wine sold off in bulk to a local negociant. Tragically, the man responsible for 30 years of great vintages here, Paul Pontallier, passed away in 2016 but he was able to see the completion of new building work designed by Lord Norman Foster. The Grand Vin represents just 28% of production this year, and is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. This is the lowest percentage of Merlot in Chateau Margaux's history, other than the pure Cabernet 2013. Fragrant and elegant on the nose, there is pure black cherry with lots of violet and vanilla on the nose. The palate follows from this, all fruit blossom and flowers with a light, elegant tough of wood smoke and very elegant, super-refined, ripe tannins that provide a very smooth texture. Everything is precision and integration here, with real harmony and superb delineation of flavour, which lingers on a fresh and vibrant finish.

Score: 18+Farr Vintners, April 2017

The nose has a fragrant charm floral with spring violets the palate starts with bramble and some red fruits but there is mid depth the fruit rich and ripe fleshy at the back supple with fine discreet tannins. The sweet fruit on the back palate is backed by freshness the finish has length, style elegance. 2025-40

Score: 95/97Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017

Paul Pontallier may have passed away, but his legacy at Margaux lives on in wines such as this superb Grand Vin. Freshness, elegance, fine tannins and crunchy red fruit flavours are framed by new oak, velvety tannins and the vivacity that’s a feature of the vintage. Effortless class and precision. 2024-36

Score: 96Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017

It's unusual to have this intensity, freshness and integration of tannins at such a young age, but that is the beauty of 2016 in the best cases. This has an elegant structure with a touch of austerity through the mid-palate, alongside cool crushed tobacco, black fruits, juicy minerality and some salinity on the finish, all held in by silky tannins. There is not the big body and intensity of the majestic 2015 Margaux, which was easily one of the wines of the vintage, but the aromatics are more expressive in 2016 and there is a subtle complexity that builds over the palate. The blend here is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon (one of the highest ever), 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, with yields fairly high at 52hl/ha for the grand vin. It represents 28% of the overall production, compared to 35% last year. The grand vin has this wonderful essence of Margaux feel, and will reward patience - no doubt it will take on some extra weight over time and deepen into a stunning wine, among the great classics of this property. A fresh 3.6pH alongside a tannin count of 73IPT. Philippe Bascaules returned from Napa just before the primeurs; his first full vintage will be the 2017.

Drinking Window 2027 - 2050

Score: 97Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.