It was hard not get a little emotional when tasting this glorious wine, being Paul Pontallier’s last vintage before he died so sadly at just 58. With 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, this balances the natural intensity of the variety with extraordinary discretion and refinement, such a hallmark of both the Château and Paul’s style of winemaking. One of the wine world’s true greats has left us with a lasting testament to his extraordinary skills.
The 2015 Château Margaux is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, all together representing 35% of the total production at the estate. Raised entirely in new oak, it has a lucid garnet color. The bouquet is aimed directly at the senses - there is no dilly-dallying about, as it almost knocks you off your stool with its intense mineralité embroidered into this iridescent, graphite-tinged nose. The focus and penetration here ranks among the finest that I have tasted at this estate since first coming here in 1997. The palate is astonishingly well balanced, perfectly poised with super-fine tannins wrapped around pure blackberry, bilberry, graphite and cedar fruit. Like the Pavillon Rouge this year, there is a Pauillac-like sense of authority and aristocracy, leavened by Margaux-inspired femininity that completes that standout 2015 on the Left Bank. Beg for a bottle and worry about the cost later. Post script: I composed this tasting note five days before the passing of Paul Pontallier. It is a final gift from a gifted winemaker.
87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. 13.5% - record alcohol for the grand vin. Great breadth and savour on the nose. Lovely freshness and sophistication. Lots of fine tannins. Very aérien. Really flies! Perfect Margaux. A great welcome for the new chai and memorial for Paul Pontallier. Still tight but nothing out of balance. Very Margaux. Very classic claret. Quite brave because there is nothing showy about this wine, but it could truly be described as beautiful. 13.5% Drink 2026-2046
The greatest Margaux ever made. More than perfection. Full body, firm and ultra-silky tannins. Black currant, mineral and floral character. It starts slowly and seems almost endless on the palate. Seamless. I want to sing! This is the wine that Margaux never made in some of the classics vintages like 1961, 1959 and 1945. May be its the 1900 all over again? Breathtaking.
The 2015 Margaux is a super-classic wine. In 2015, most Margauxs are notably intense, but Château Margaux expresses the richness of the year in its surprising tannic backbone and overall structure. Far from an up-front or sensual wine, the 2015 Margaux is likely to require considerable cellaring. It is a tightly-wound wine that manages to be both powerful and crystalline in its translucent purity. The 2015 is a wine of real density and yet so very much Margaux. About 35% of the crop went into the Grand Vin.
My joint top wine (with Ch Mouton Rothschild) of the vintage. Pure charm: the palate is discreet at the start and then goes on forever , always with the château’s silky texture and fine, firmly structured tannins. This will become a very great wine.
(87 Cabernet Sauvignon, 8 Merlot, 3 Cabernet Franc, 2 Petit Verdot) | 100% new oak. | 13.5% alc. With exceptional intensity and masses of power balanced with extraordinary subtlety and intellect, this is an exquisite wine. Similar to the 2010 in terms of classical dimensions and 2009 in terms of richness, it is the perfect embodiment of Paul Pontallier who passed away one week before the En Primeur tasting week. His son, Thibault, gave the most moving tasting, referring to his father throughout and he was so proud that his father had presided over this magnificent wine. I am shocked by the depth and also the finesse here. The length is mind-blowing and the power is otherworldly. This wine is only a half-step back from the perfect 20/20 score of the 2010 vintage and yet I wonder if that during the remaining time spent in oak the flavours will grow further pushing this wine up to another perfect score. I trust that Paul’s aura is still taking care of this vintage right through until bottling and so the chances are that it will.
A great vintage at Château Margaux and a fitting tribute to the memory of the equally great Paul Pontallier. This is a poised, elegant, beautifully framed claret, with perfume, structure, acidity and a core of red and black fruits complemented by notes of graphite and green pepper. Au revoir, Paul. Et merci. Drink: 2022-35
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.