2018 Chateau Margaux

Year: 2018
Appellation: Margaux
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 97-100
Vinous Media: 95-98
James Suckling: 99-100
Jeb Dunnuck: 98-100--Wine Enthusiast: 97-99--Jeff Leve: 97-99
Red Wine


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"The 2018 Château Margaux is made of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The grand vin represents 36% of the crop this year. The wine has a pH of 3.8 and 14% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it comes prancing out of the glass with energetic Morello cherries, black raspberries and blackberry pie scents plus nuances of fragrant soil, candied violets, lavender, sandalwood, unsmoked cigars and black olives with a gentle wave of cassis and licorice emerging with coaxing. Full-bodied, the palate is charged with the most amazing energy, delivering layer after layer of red and black fruits with tons of earthy nuances, framed by the most exquisitely ripe, fine-grained tannins, finishing with amazing freshness and an extraordinarily long-lingering perfume. Magnificent.

“I think September made the vintage,” Managing Director Philippe Bascaules told me. “But we had to take time. Time is important for full ripeness of tannins. We started the Merlot harvest September 17 and finished on September 24. Then we waited until October 4th to begin harvesting the Cabernet. We have a lot of tannin this year. The extraction was huge in the early days. The very small berries made the extraction so easy. So, we changed the winemaking a little bit. Made it softer. We followed the maceration every day.”

The grand vin this year is off the charts incredible. Exotic, flamboyant, totally decadent—but what I particularly love is a freshness and brightness that comes not just from acidity (in fact, the acid is relatively low this year) but from bright red fruit and floral sparks in the wine that provide a seamlessness. Potentially perfect—bravo!" (WA)

"Château Margaux's 2018 Grand Vin boasts off the charts textural richness and intensity from the very first taste. A huge core of dark fruit, potent, muscular tannins are two of the signatures. Dense and explosive in the glass, with breathtaking concentration, the 2018 is one of the finest Margauxs in recent memory. Lavender, rose petal and spice add striking perfume in this compelling, memorable Grand Vin. In 2018, the Grand Vin represents 36% of the crop and is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot." (VM)

"Wow. This takes off on the palate the moment you taste it. Aromas and flavors of redcurrants, flowers, cherries and hints of hazelnuts. Full-bodied, tight and compact, but the linear tannins, running down the center of the wine, draw the wine through the finish. Superb." (JS)

"One of the wines of the vintage on the Left Bank is the 2018 Château Margaux, a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% each of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and the balance Petit Verdot. A thrilling, sensational Margaux that reminds me of the 2015 at this stage, it reveals a saturated purple/blue color as well as heavenly notes of black raspberries, blueberries, cassis, spring flowers, high-class smoke tobacco, and graphite. Deep, full-bodied, and seamless, it builds incrementally on the palate and carries masses of fine tannins, no hard edges, and awesome purity of fruit. Given its purity, depth of fruit, and texture, it’s going to be approachable with just short-term cellaring, but I suspect it won’t start to hit prime time for at least a decade." (JD)

"97–99. Barrel Sample. It is impressive how the serious structure of this wine has been totally absorbed by the depth of fruit. A dense black currant flavor and bright acidity are balanced by the core of dark tannins and an overall richness. Currently, the end is dominated with tannins that will allow the wine to age." (WE)

"Deep in color with an intense, dark ruby hue, the nose offers violets, lilacs, espresso, wet earth and cigar wrapper along with ripe, deep red fruits. There is freshness and soft, silky vibrant tannins. The wine feels quite powerful in the moment and its classic design reminds me of 2005. This is not going to be fun to taste young but with Chateau Margaux patience is always a virtue. Made from a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 14% alcohol. The Grand Vin was produced using only 36% of the harvest. Picking commenced September 17, finishing October 13. 97-99 1418 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019" (JL)