2011 Margaux, Margaux (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Administrator Paul Pontallier is nearly embarrassed to explain the amazing success of the 2011 Chateau Margaux, a candidate for wine of the vintage. With the harvest occurring between September 5-20, it was the smallest crop in over twenty years as yields were cut significantly by the drought. The berries were tiny. Moreover, analytically, the 2011 has a higher level of concentration as well as tannins than the 2009. A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, only 38% of the harvest made it into the grand vin. The wine offers an inky/purple color, barely noticeable sweet tannin, and a beautiful nose of creme de cassis, spring flowers and lead pencil shavings backed up by fresh acids and good overall structure. This medium to full-bodied effort possesses tremendous personality and character. It rivals what they achieved in both 2010 and 2009, which is virtually impossible to contemplate given the quality of those two vintages. (94-96+)
Dry with a firm core of dark tannins and solid fruits. It is packed with tannins, showing tight acidity as well as a forward black-currant flavor. It dances with the appellation's classic lightness.
This is succulent, with an almost jammy cassis, plum and black currant profile, though that's quickly harnessed by riveting acidity on the finish, which lets additional floral, bay leaf, tobacco and perfume notes play out. There's very impressive range here already. Tasted non-blind.
Very elegant and ethereal with ultra-fine tannins and delicate fruit. Full body. I love the floral and aromatic quality to this. Then the tannins kick in. This has more tannins than 2010, according to technical director Paul Pontallier, and others, but you can't tell when tasting it.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep purple. Enticing aromas of plum, cassis and minerals. Silky but laid-back, with suave flavors of sweet spices, herbs, smoke and blackcurrant. This firmly built, very pure wine finishes with smooth, ripe tannins and outstanding length. A very successful Chateau Margaux and one of the best wines of the vintage.
**½ 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc. The highest tannin level ever here, but you do not notice it. Stunning wine. Trey: Sweet mocha upfront and fleshy fruit, seamless in the middle with a long finish. Lush, sweet and rich. From a very small crop. This is very approachable young. The tannins are silky, but the wine is quite serious. May be my favorite of the vintage. 94-96 points. AP: Loaded with dark, dark red berry fruit-raspberries, cream and cranberry. Really deep and powerful, layered and sexy, with great energy.