Château-Margaux Margaux 1996

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wa
99
ws
97
This stunning first growth vineyard is planted to 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, and the average age of the vines is about 40 years. It has enjoyed a stellar reputation in modern times, with Robert Parker calling it "a brilliantly consistent wine of stunning grace, richness and complexity." The extremely talented Paul Pontallier oversaw the estate for decades and made the wine, building a wine of importance that will endure for many decades to come.
Category Red Wine
Varietals
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Appellation Margaux
Brand Château-Margaux
Alcohol/vol 12.5%
  • wa99

Wine AdvocateThe 1996 Chateau Margaux, which was bottled in September, 1998, is undoubtedly one of the great classics produced under the Mentzelopoulos regime. In many respects, it is the quintessential Chateau Margaux, as well as the paradigm for this estate, combining measured power, extraordinary elegance, and admirable complexity. I tasted the wine on three separate occasions in January, and in short, it's a beauty! The color is opaque purple. The wine offers extraordinarily pure notes of blackberries, cassis, pain grille, and flowers, gorgeous sweetness, a seamless personality, and full body, with nothing out of place. The final blend (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) contains a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. It tastes complete and long, although backward. My instincts suggest this wine will shut down, but at present it is open-knit, tasting like a recently bottled wine. The fruit is exceptionally sweet and pure, and there are layers of flavor in the mouth. I do believe this wine will develop an extraordinary perfume, and possess a high level of richness. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2040.

Robert Parker
  • ws97

Wine SpectatorCool and racy on the nose, with mineral, currant, black licorice and plum. Full-bodied, with a silky, seductive, exciting palate of ultrafine tannins and a long, long caressing finish. Structured and refined. Fabulous. Gets better and better.--'95/'96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2012. 18,000 cases made.

James Laube, January 1, 2007

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