1981 d'Issan, Margaux

SKU #951514

Château d'Issan is a property in the Margaux appellation, rated as a third growth in the official Bordeaux Classification of 1855. It is known for its richly aromatic, silky wine of the same name. The estate is located just to the south of Château Margaux, and next door to Palmer. Around 53 of the property's 120 hectares property are under vine (131 of 297 acres). Of that, 40ha (100 acres) fall within the Margaux appellation, with the remainder located in AOC Haut-Médoc and AOC Bordeaux Supérieur. Around 70 percent is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon with 30 percent Merlot. The grand vin is typically aged for 18 months in oak casks, one third of which are new, and is then bottled without filtration. Blason d'Issan, the second wine, is sourced from younger vines and is more forwardly fruity and ready to drink earlier. D'Issan has a long history even by the standards of Bordeaux. In 1152, its wine was served at the marriage between Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II of England. The current, moated château was built in the 18th Century and is regarded as one of the most picturesque in all of Bordeaux.

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Price: $109.99

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By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/29/2016 | Send Email
I was very surprised about this wine. I shouldn't be. The pristine condition of the bottles and the often forgotten quality of the best wines of 1981, (which was mostly upstaged by the famous 1982 vintage) should have given me a clue on how not just alive but indeed offering an incredible experience of a perfectly aged Bordeaux. This is an opportunity like no other for the Bordeaux lover.

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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 MĂ©doc 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.


- 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.


- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:


- 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.