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Issan 2018

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Margaux
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

This 55 hectare Margaux property is planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot and the wine is aged in 50% new oak. The Cruse family have brought in new investment recently from M Lorenzetti who has also purchased Pedesclaux in Pauillac. Recent vintages have performed very well in blind tastings at Southwold.

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Tasting Notes

Aromas of blackberry, plum, cocoa, iodine, clove and graphite. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, silky tannins. Tightly wound and mineral at the moment, with dusty gravel and graphite notes, yet with focus and precision. Such balance and harmony for the vintage. Try from 2025.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2021

The 2018 D'Issan is composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, aging in 50% new and 50% second year barrels for an estimated 18 months. With 13.97% alcohol and a deep garnet-purple color, it features baked berries, warm cherries and cassis with spice box and fragrant earth plus tea hints. Medium to full-bodied, it has a great core of muscular fruit with firm, fine-grained tannins, with nice freshness, finishing layered with mineral notions.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019

This is a vibrant ruby colour, with floral aromatics that are even more evident on the nose here than with the second wine, Blason. This is not always the case during En Primeur tastings, when it's the second wines that tend to be a little more open, but it's a feature of the 2018 vintage.

This is a brilliant Issan with richness and poise joined by a delicate acidity that pulls the fruit along. The tannins are deceptive, as they are supple and appealing, but the density and power builds over the palate and clearly indicates long ageing. A wine that feels like it's rooted in its appellation. 50% new oak. 40hl/ha yield, with 53% of production going into this wine, higher than in both 2017 and 2016. Eric Boissenot consults.

Drinking Window 2027 - 2042

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019

Tasted blind. Fairly pale crimson. Low-key, discreet, fresh nose. Not that complex but there is energy and zest here. 14%
Drink 2026 – 2043

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2022

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot. 50% new barrels. Barrel sample.
Deep core and cherry rim, not quite as black-hearted as most Bordeaux 2018s. Intense ripe cassis that is pure Cabernet. Nicely savoury too. Chewy and quite oaky on the palate, the tannins thickened by the oak but very smooth. Dense and still fresh. Very good. (JH) 13.97%
Drink 2025-2035

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019

Deep purple in the glass, this is heavily perfumed on the nose with violets, cedar, black pepper and black cherries. The palate is rich and juicy, with soft and ripe tannins coating the mouth, providing ample structure for the blue and black fruits at the core. The fresh acidity adds wonderful lift, bringing harmony and precision whilst retaining the succulence of fruit. Long, pure and refined on the finish.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019

I was only able to taste the 2018 Château d'Issan once, but it showed beautifully, with a full-bodied, plump, sexy style as well as classic notes of cassis, fresh plums, licorice, and high-class cigar tobacco. Based on 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot that will see 18 months in 50% new oak, from a scant 53% selection of the total production, it’s a brilliant, incredibly sexy Margaux that’s already hard to resist, yet will keep for 2-3 decades.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019

A richly proportioned d’Issan which is a few shades darker than I might have expected and the fruit is, accordingly, rather powerful and dry on the finish. The tannins are also quite fierce, but they do not damage the flow of the fruit and so I am happy to recommend this wine. Please make sure that you give it at least a decade to mellow.

Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019
Read more tasting notes...

The cashmere texture of the tannins is wonderful in this. They are ripe and precise. Dense at the same time, giving a slow drive and a long finish. Full-bodied with dark and pretty fruit. Persistent finish.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019
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.