2011 Margaux, Margaux (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1091006 94-96 points 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+)  (4/ 2012)

94-96 points Wine Enthusiast

 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.  (4/ 2012)

93-96 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (4/ 2012)

94-95 points James Suckling

 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.  (4/ 2012)

92-95 points 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.  (5/ 2012)

K&L Notes

**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.

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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.