Margaux, which made an outstanding wine in 1995, and a prodigiously monumental wine in 1996, turned out an alluring, soft, delicious 1997 that will offer immediate appeal. The harvest occurred between September 15 and October 2. Fifty percent of the crop made it into the grand vin, which is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot. While the administrator, Paul Pontallier, informed me that the 1997 has the same amount of tannin as the 1985, the wines' texture and styles, while not totally different, are dissimilar. The wine exhibits a dense purple color, followed by an open-knit, charming nose of creme de cassis, pain grille, and minerals. In the mouth, the wine reveals beautifully ripe fruit, low acid, a suave, silky texture, remarkable suppleness and complexity for such a young wine, and a round, generous, moderately long finish. This wine will be drinkable when released, but keep for 15-20 years. Think of it as a sweeter, fruitier version of the 1985. Drink: 1998-2018.
The 1997 Chateau Margaux is an immensely charming, open-knit, beautifully made wine offering soft, lush blackberry/cassis fruit intermixed with toasty oak. The wine exhibits excellent concentration, a seductive personality, and an easy-going, round, expansive finish. It should be drinkable after bottling in June, and last for 15 or more years. I would not be surprised to see this wine's rating rise; I just wish it were less expensive. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2015.
Undoubtedly a success for the vintage, this immensely charming, dark ruby/purple-colored wine exhibits floral, black currant, and smoky, toasty oak aromas. There is admirable richness, excellent ripeness, not a great deal of density, or superb concentration, but plenty of finesse, suppleness, and character. It can be drunk young, or cellared for 12-15 years. Drink 2000-2015
Deep, blackish crimson. Very fragrant and seductive on the nose. Lovely, sweet elegance. Very well balanced. Dry, but aromatic. Drink now - 2015
Known as the most elegant and aromatic First Growth due to its Cabernet-friendly, sandy soil, Château Margaux is owned by Corinne Mentzelopoulos and managed by the dynamic Paul Pontallier. Château Margaux's vineyard holdings amount to almost 200 acres, though a much smaller percentage is selected for the grand vin to ensure exceptional concentration.
Plump, silky and seductive are the words often used to describe wines from Margaux. Because of their style, they tend to be user friendly and more approachable when young. This is in part due to its terroir which is comprised of the thinnest soil as well as the highest proportion of chunky gravel in all of the Médoc. It drains well but also is it more susceptible to vintage variation. Margaux wines tend to have the highest proportions of Merlot within the core of the Médoc further adding to their ample roundness and openness. Margaux is home to the largest number of classified growths including its namesake first growth, Château Margaux, as well as third growths, Palmer and d'Issan.