1988 Margaux, Margaux

SKU #1037081 95 points Wine Spectator

 This has both sinew and flesh, with taut dried red currant, blackberry and plum skin notes that are forced to expand outward as the core of black tea, charcoal, plum paste and dark humus fills in quickly behind them. The charcoal-tinged grip carries the finish, with more bass than treble at first, but there's perfume here as well. Seriously long and the most overlooked of the truly great vintages here. (JM, Web—2014)

93 points James Suckling

 Mineral and blueberry skin and flowers on the nose. It's full-bodied with minerals and silky tannins. Dusty and very pretty. Refined finish. I remember this being harder but it's finally coming around.  (1/2011)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1988 Chateau Margaux is a wine that was always overshadowed by the succeeding pair of vintages and like many 1988s, appeared rather conservative and lacked flair. However, I was gobsmacked by the performance of this wine at 28 years of age. Deep and clean in color, the bouquet is quintessentially Chateau Margaux with blackberry, potpourri, cedar and violets. It has wonderful clarity. The palate is medium-bodied, fresh as a daisy on the entry with a killer line of acidity that offsets those vibrant black and red fruits. There is energy here, vivacity, as if this Château Margaux suddenly realized its true potential after all these years. While it does not possess the length of the 1989 or 1990, there is such pleasure bound into this wine that you care little about that. Maybe I underestimated this wine for many years or perhaps it is a simple case of a "'late bloomer.' While the 1988 might not belong in the top echelons of releases from this First Growth, it might be considered the undiscovered gem of that prosperous decade for the chateau. Tasted May 2016. (NM)  (10/2016)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Margaux

- Margaux is the southern most of all of the appellations of the Haut Medoc. Located near St. Julien, it has more cru classe producers than the other four villages of the area. In addition to the legendary Chateau Margaux, there are five second-growths: Rauzan Gassies, Rauzan Seglas, Dufort-Vivens, Lascombes, and Brane Cantenac. While more people are probably familiar with the third growth Chateau Palmer, there are nine other wineries with the same ranking in addition to a trio of fourth growths and a pair of fifth growths. Because Margaux is comprised of five communes… Margaux, Cantenac, Soussans, Labardes and Arsac, the wines styles are diverse throughout the region with the more masculine tannic wines coming from the Cantenac side of the appellation. Because of a high percentage of Merlot planted in the region, many wines from Margaux are more round, feminine, and exotic that the other appellations of the Haut Medoc.