2015 Margaux, Margaux

SKU #1335165 100 points Decanter

 Château Margaux's grand vin accounts for 35% of production in this vintage. It stood out as a potential wine of the vintage during en primeur and it is more than living up to its promise. The concentration is stunning, with a fruit structure that is darker, tighter and more insistent than Pavillon. It's so fresh, there is an opulence here, a dense silkiness to the tannins that is fleshed out across the palate, building to a big finish with menthol freshness. This is classically-styled Margaux with aromatic acrobatics and tannins so fine that the stitching is seamless and perfectly pulled together. Even though extremely ripe, there is freshness too - the acidity measures 3.6pH. The 100% new oak is barely perceptible even now, fresh out of the cask. One to savour over the long term. Bottled in August 2017. (JA)  (11/2017)

100 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The grand vin is the 2015 Château Margaux and it’s as good a wine as I’ve ever tasted. Coming from just over one-third of the total production and a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and the balance Petit Verdot, brought up in 100% new French oak, its deep ruby/purple-tinged color is followed by a thrilling bouquet of crème de cassis, toasted spice, hints of toasty oak, and cedar wood. Incredibly elegant and finesse-driven, yet packed with fruit, depth, richness, and structure, it has as much class as you can fit inside a glass. While the vintage provides plenty of upfront charm, this is a wine to cellar for at least a decade, and enjoy over the following 40+ years.  (11/2017)

100 points James Suckling

 This is a haunting young wine that shows you a subtle and hidden strength on the nose with rose petals, currants, currant leaves, stones and plums. Wonderful ripeness yet brightness, too. Takes your breath away with the intensity and structure. Full-bodied, powerful and muscular, yet there's an agile undertone to the whole thing. Compact and condensed. A new legend for Margaux. The 1961 that didn’t happen. Try in 2024.  (2/2018)

100 points Wine Enthusiast

 Predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine shows a wonderful black-currant purity on the palate, along with intense, vibrant acidity. The background is all tannin, which speaks to its aging potential. This wine is the last vintage produced by Paul Pontallier, who was general manager from 1990 until his death in 2016. It's a memorable wine and one for aging. Drink from 2027. *Cellar Selection* (RV)  (4/2018)

99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Chateau Margaux is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Medium garnet-purple colored, the nose features oh-so-seductive notes of warm blackberries, cassis and black forest cake with touches of forest floor, sandalwood, anise and cigar boxes plus a waft of lavender. Medium to full-bodied, it delivers taut, muscular, densely packed black fruits and exotic spice flavor layers supported by a very firm backbone of grainy tannins with oodles of freshness and a long, savory finish. It is tightly knit and a little reticent at this very youthful stage; afford it at least 15 years in the cellar, and it will open out into a classic Chateau Margaux of incredible proportions. Readers may be interested to know that this wine is beautifully packaged in a special commemorative bottle honoring winemaker Paul Pontellier, who passed away in 2016. The gold-etched black bottle bears the message, “Hommage à Paul Pontellier” at the bottom. This 2015 is an achingly beautiful swan song from an incredibly gifted winemaker, taken from us too soon. In my view, this alone makes this vintage more than worth the investment for the many lovers of history in a bottle. (LPB)  (2/2018)

99 points Vinous

 The 2015 Margaux is a compelling, arrestingly beautiful wine that expresses all the best qualities of the vintage. Dark, fleshy and richly textured, the 2015 nevertheless retains the super-classic Margaux sense of structure. Time in the glass brings out the wine's rich, multi-faceted personality. I imagine the 2015 will enjoy a very long and uninterrupted drinking window that will last decades. As exceptional as the 2015, it is not easy to taste. I walked the vineyards at Margaux with Paul Pontallier in late July of that year. A few months later, Pontallier's life was tragically cut short by a very aggressive cancer. The 2015 will live on as a fitting testament to the legacy of a man who did so much for Chateau Margaux and Bordeaux. (AG)  (2/2018)

99 points Wine Spectator

 Sublime, with captivating sandalwood, black tea and mesquite aromas that infuse the core of gently steeped red and black currant and raspberry fruit. The structure is seamless and thoroughly embedded throughout, letting warm tar, lilac, juniper and iron notes display themselves at will through the finish. The finish is about as long as it gets, with echoes of fruit and warm earth that should prove haunting when this reaches full maturity. Best from 2030 through 2050. *Collectibles* (JM)  (3/2018)

Jancis Robinson

 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. (JR) 19/20 points (JR)  (4/2016)

K&L Notes

99 points Neal Martin: "The 2015 Chateau Margaux was the final vintage under Paul Pontallier before his untimely passing in April 2017 and a specially engraved bottle has been made to honor the gentleman that did so much for this first growth. Nevertheless, one must be objective about the wine. It was so impressive in barrel, perhaps the finest from the left bank. Would it match up in bottle? The answer is an unequivocal affirmative. It has an incredibly perfumed bouquet with pure black fruit, oyster shell, crushed flowers and just a faint hint of black truffle. It is more nuanced than when I tasted it from barrel, taking its time to unfold in the glass with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine, almost chiseled tannin and a perfect line of acidity. Continuing from its showing in barrel, the Cabernet Sauvignon drives this wine forward and imparts a keen graphite thread from start to finish that lends it a Pauillac-like personality. Think of a more feminine Château Latour and you would be close. It is a long-term Château Margaux that will give pleasure for many decades, a fitting tribute to the man whose name is engraved on the bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2025-2070." (02/2018)

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Additional Information:

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.
Sub-Region:

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.