Margaux 2016

Margaux, First Growth

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Tasting Notes

A gorgeous, captivating bouquet gives the 2016 Margaux an irresistible allure. Weightless and yet wonderfully persistent, in the way only the château's wines can be, the 2016 Grand Vin is a wine of exceptional breeding and pedigree. So many wines in this vintage are obvious, but Margaux is a wine that takes time to discover, like a great book or piece of music. Shades of tobacco, cedar, mint, licorice and bright, red-toned fruit reveal themselves over time. And yet it is a sense of total harmony and seductiveness that elevates Margaux into the stratosphere in 2016.

Score: 99

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2066 01 January 2019

The 2016 Margaux is magnificent in the best tradition of the Château Margaux style, which always speaks more to finesse than power. Above all else, the 2016 is a wine of superb persistence, understated power and total refinement. There is wonderful depth and intensity to the ripe red and purplish-hued fruits, accompanied by mint, rose petal and sweet spice overtones that develop in the glass. The 2016 finishes with great aromatic lift and freshness. It has been absolutely compelling on the two occasions I have tasted it so far.

Score: 97 - 100

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com 25 April 2017

The 2016 Château Margaux represents 28% of the entire production this year. It has an alluring, gorgeous bouquet that blossoms with aeration to reveal black cherries, veins of blue fruit, crushed violet petals and a suggestion of vanilla. The poised, mineral-driven palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin and just the right amount of salinity. The 2015 Château Margaux is ahead by a nose, but this will be a formidable first growth with a five-decade life span.

Score: 98

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2070 01 January 2019

The 2016 Chateau Margaux is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc, plus 1% of Petit Verdot, representing 28% of the total production. This is the highest proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon apart from 2013, which was due to the poor Merlot. It was cropped around 50 hectoliters per hectare depending on the grape variety, for example it could be up to 65 hectoliters per hectare in some sectors. Lucid in color, it has a detailed and precise bouquet with mineral-rich blackberry, raspberry coulis and limestone scents. It feels very perfumed, though not powerful like many Grand Vins in 2016. The palate is a different creature to the aromatics. Here is the intensity of the vintage with shimmering black fruit laced with spice, a killer line of acidity and an irresistible crescendo on the finish. Then, graphite lingering on the aftertaste, a nod to Pauillac perhaps. The aftertaste is so long you could probably write a letter to your friend enthusing about this wine before the aftertaste fades. Doubtless it is destined to be compared to the magnificent 2015 Château Margaux and to be truthful, there's a hair's breadth between them. In a word: crystalline.

Score: 97 - 99

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2026-2070 28 April 2017

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Château Margaux (blended of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot) sashays out of the glass with glamorous red currants, candied violets, kirsch and crushed blackcurrants scents followed by notions of tilled black soil, forest floor, cast iron pan and cigar box with subtle wafts of lavender and oolong tea. Medium-bodied, mineral laced accents hover over the palate with an ethereal sensation of weightlessness, yet it is super intense with layers of red and black flavors supported by a firm texture of silt-fine tannins, finishing wonderfully fragrant and incredibly long.

Score: 99

Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2024-2063 30 November 2018

It's unusual to have this intensity, freshness and integration of tannins at such a young age, but that is the beauty of 2016 in the best cases. This has an elegant structure with a touch of austerity through the mid-palate, alongside cool crushed tobacco, black fruits, juicy minerality and some salinity on the finish, all held in by silky tannins. There is not the big body and intensity of the majestic 2015 Margaux, which was easily one of the wines of the vintage, but the aromatics are more expressive in 2016 and there is a subtle complexity that builds over the palate. The blend here is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon (one of the highest ever), 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, with yields fairly high at 52hl/ha for the grand vin. It represents 28% of the overall production, compared to 35% last year. The grand vin has this wonderful essence of Margaux feel, and will reward patience - no doubt it will take on some extra weight over time and deepen into a stunning wine, among the great classics of this property. A fresh 3.6ph alongside a tannin count of 73IPT. Philippe Bascaules returned from Napa just before the primeurs; his first full vintage will be the 2017.

Score: 97

Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050 20 April 2017

28% of the crop will be used for Chateau Margaux, the smallest ever proportion, the 2016 is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot. A clean lifted, aerien nose displaying purple fruit layers, crushed blue and black fruits and minerally notes. On the palate a core of fantastically dense mouthcoating fruits. Thrillingly elegant fruit with racy acidity and melted tannins, very lacy and fine, filigree. Silky and almost viscous leading to a long racy finish. Fabulous.

Score: 97 - 99

Albany Vintners 19 April 2017

94% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a little bit of Petit Verdot. pH 3.6 (cf pH 3.65 in 2015). Sweet rich start and then very fresh. Seems a little bit marked by oak at the moment. Sinewy. Hint of chocolate - just like Palmer! Slightly drying tannins. Sandpaper on the end. 13%

Score: 17 - 18

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2045 17 April 2017

A purity of fruit marks this Margaux with lots of currant and berry character. Full body, bright acidity and round tannins. It’s a larger and more expanded style of Margaux. A wine with a heart and body. Strong.

Score: 98 - 99

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com 24 March 2017