Chateau Margaux 2015 : A Unique New Bottle for an Already Legendary Vintage
This is the first time in history that the prestigious Classified First Growth Margaux distinguishes a vintage with a unique new look. The inspirations behind this elegant label are manifold. The new design is, above all, a tribute to Paul Pontallier, who passed away much too early in March of 2016, leaving behind the 2015 vintage as the last one created under his direction. This special edition also celebrates 200 years of architecture at the estate and the inauguration of the new cellars designed by Lord Norman Foster. Finally, it is simply one of the greatest vintages in the history of the property.
The climatic conditions of 2015 were, in fact, characteristic of the very best vintages of the estate, including those of 2005, 2009 and 2010. The red grape harvests at Château Margaux took place between September 18th to October 6th. The small size of the berries and their thicker skins suggested a very high tannic concentration. This wine has become an important part of the estate's history, in which 2015 was a very significant year. Chateau Margaux celebrated, in 2015, both the bicentennial of the construction of its historical buildings in 1815, and the inauguration of the new premises designed by architect Norman Foster. In terms of blends, only 35% of the total harvest was selected for the first wine, a record in a vintage of this level. As usual, the Cabernet Sauvignon constitutes the frame with 87% of the assembly. In addition to its concentration and finesse, this year the varietal displayed an unusual vigor and strength. Merlot forms 8% of the blend in the first wine. Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%) also find their place in this exclusive blend, demonstrating the way all grape varieties can be allowed to express their own genius in such carefully chosen blends. How to describe Chateau Margaux 2015 compared to its predecessors? There are of course similarities, but also some differences where we do not expect them ... We can, when tasting the 2015, evoke the strength of 2005, the flesh of 2009, the subtlety of 2010, and the charm that defines the wines of Chateau Margaux.
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The 2015 Château Margaux is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, all together representing 35% of the total production at the estate. Raised entirely in new oak, it has a lucid garnet color. The bouquet is aimed directly at the senses - there is no dilly-dallying about, as it almost knocks you off your stool with its intense mineralité embroidered into this iridescent, graphite-tinged nose. The focus and penetration here ranks among the finest that I have tasted at this estate since first coming here in 1997. The palate is astonishingly well balanced, perfectly poised with super-fine tannins wrapped around pure blackberry, bilberry, graphite and cedar fruit. Like the Pavillon Rouge this year, there is a Pauillac-like sense of authority and aristocracy, leavened by Margaux-inspired femininity that completes that standout 2015 on the Left Bank. Beg for a bottle and worry about the cost later. Post script: I composed this tasting note five days before the passing of Paul Pontallier. It is a final gift from a gifted winemaker.