Margaux 2005

Margaux, First Growth

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Tasting Notes

From the moment it is opened, the 2005 Margaux takes things to another level. The bouquet alone is breathtaking in its beauty. Bright, delineated but also explosive, the 2005 takes hold of all the senses and never lets up. The flavors are vibrant and focused, with gorgeous lift and precision. The 2005 is a riveting, aristocratic Margaux that will drink well for several decades. Today the flavors are still remarkably youthful. The wine drinks well because of its magnificent balance, but readers who prefer more aromatic and flavor complexity will want to wait for at least another five years. No matter how you look at it, the 2005 Margaux is pure magic.

Score: 99

Antonio Galloni, Maturity: 2020-2055 01 November 2015

The first-growth 2005 Château Margaux (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot), a lavish fragrance of blackcurrants, velvety new saddle leather, spring flowers and spice soars from the glass. The wood is already totally concealed beneath the cascade of fruit in this medium to full-bodied, pure and majestic wine. This concentrated, dense, but nevertheless strikingly elegant, multi-layered wine has a finish of 45+ seconds. It builds incrementally to a crescendo and finale. This is a stunner that can be approached already, but promises to be better in another 5-10 years and last at least 25 or more years.

Score: 98 - 99

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2020-2050 30 June 2015

Another celestial effort from Paul Pontallier and Corinne Mentzelopoulus, the 2005 Margaux, a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, boasts a dense opaque blue/purple color as well as an extraordinary bouquet of spring flowers, blueberries, black raspberries, creme de cassis, licorice, and, despite its having spent two years in 100% new wood, only a subtle touch of toasty oak. Although full-bodied, the wine seems light on its feet because of the silky tannins as well as the great gravel terroir from which it comes. Beautiful purity, length, and nobility define this modern day classic. Is it better than the 2000, 1996, 1990, or some of the vintages from the decade of the eighties? Who knows, but it is unquestionably one of the all-time great wines made at Chateau Margaux. This estate has produced only exceptional wines over the last three decades. The seamlessness of the 2005 suggests it will perform well early, but it should last for a half century or more. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2050+. (98+ points)

Score: 98

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2013-2050 30 April 2008

A fabulous effort, the dense purple-tinged 2005 Margaux (85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot) possesses an ethereal lightness reminiscent of the 1996 Margaux and 2005 Lafite-Rothschild. Beautiful aromas of flowers as well as blue and black fruits, silky tannin, full-bodied power, laser-like precision, and superb purity and length are found in this wine of extraordinary integrity and class. While it is one of the few 2005 first-growths that will be approachable within a decade, it should prove to be uncommonly long-lived (even by Bordeaux standards), lasting 50-60+ years.

Score: 98 - 100

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2017-2067 30 April 2007

This is another superb vintage from this grand dame estate. Administrator Paul Pontallier has overseen the production of so many great Margaux, it is senseless to say 2005 is better than all its predecessors, but it is an extraordinary effort. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, it is a gorgeously pure, intense, deep purple/ruby-tinged effort offering exquisite, surprisingly nuanced and complex aromatics for such a young Chateau Margaux. The mouthfeel is one of opulence, silk, purity, full-bodied concentration, terrific intensity, unbelievable freshness and vibrancy, and sweet tannin. The tannin levels are the highest ever measured at this estate, but the alcohol is only around 13%, not particularly high by this vintage’s standards. Yields were 43 hectoliters per hectare. This powerful effort is built along the lines of the 1996, but is seemingly even more impressive, layered, and potentially grand. It is a candidate for 50+ years of evolution. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2060+.

Score: 96 - 100

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 30 April 2006

The Château Margaux 2005 has a nigh perfect bouquet with brilliant precision and amazing focus: mainly black, mineral-soaked fruit that just gets more and more intense in the glass. That graphite element become more intense with aeration and renders it almost Pauillac in style. The palate is effortless with sumptuous ripe tannin, perfect acidity, layers of sensual ripe red fruit with a precise mineral finish. This is sheer class, a crystalline beauty and the persistence is simply breathtaking.

Score: 99

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2020-2060 01 February 2015

Tasted single blind at Southwold. The crystalline nose here is primal, backward, takes some coaxing from the glass: blackberry, bilberry, briary, graphite and a spellbinding sense of mineralite. The palate is beautifully balanced with svelte tannins. Touches of sandalwood inflecting the pure fruit, deftly integrated new oak; incredible length once again. Despite the vice-like grip on the finish there is a feminine quality to this wine. Quite simply: it takes your breath away. Perfection. Drink 2015-2040+ Tasted January 2009.

Score: 100

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2015-2040+ 01 July 2009

The nose on this seems more concentrated than the 2000, and the purity of fruit is stunning, with blueberries, raspberries, fresh flowers, and hints of licorice. This is perfect and complete. Full bodied, with notes of forest berries and wild raspberries, this is thick and velvety with perfectly polished tannins. You can really feel the density on this, more than the tannic structure. This is a sleeping beauty that will be utterly captivating when it awakes. Don't touch this until after 2015.

Score: 100

James Suckling, Maturity: 2015+ 20 November 2010

Unbelievable nose already. Incredible complexity of aromas, from wild raspberries to flowers and fresh mushrooms. Violets, currants. Love it. Full-bodied, with ultrarefined tannins. Long, long finish. It lasts for minutes on the palate. A wine with classic beauty. May well be 100 points.

Score: 95 - 100

James Suckling, Wine Spectator 01 April 2006

Saturated red-ruby. Explosive aromas of plum, raspberry, bitter chocolate, coffee, almond paste and smoke; this smells voluptuous. Then extraordinarily opulent on the palate, with an almost marzipan-like ripeness. Coats every square millimeter of the mouth with a texture of liquid silk. The baby fat here is incredible, but there's a structure of steel and powerful minerality underneath. One of the longest samples I tasted in Bordeaux this spring, and a wine with uncanny finishing sweetness. This fabulous vintage of Margaux should evolve positively in bottle for three or four decades in a cold cellar. (98+ points)

Score: 98

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar 01 May 2008

Very deep, polished purplish crimson right out to the rim. Wonderful lift on top of the amazing depth and richness of the fruit. Great, almost marine, freshness. Opulent is not quite the word because this is not rich and flashy - it’s more quintessential Margaux than that - so lifted and truly airborne. Great, great harmony. Truly LOVELY on the nose and then follows this up on the palate - just gorgeous. You really could swallow this with enormous pleasure already because the tannins are so ripe. Wonderfully neat finish. So fresh and refreshing. No heat on the finish. Paul Pontpallier, referring to the level of phenolics, describes this as ‘the densest Margaux ever - even more than 2003’. Thirteen per cent alcohol. Very very Cabernet and very fine. Just eight per cent Merlot. Plus six per cent Petit Verdot. Very clean and palate cleansing. Really lovely texture.

Score: 19

Jancis Robinson MW, Maturity: 2018-2035 10 April 2006