Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux (2nd wine of Ch Margaux) 2018

Margaux, Second wine

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Tasting Notes

This cuvée has been in the running for the best second wine in the vintage for a number of years now, and I think it just might be there in 2018. The 2018 Château Margaux Pavillon Rouge checks in as 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, and it's no lightweight effort, revealing a dense purple color as well as gorgeous crème de cassis, black cherry, crushed violets, sandalwood, smoke tobacco, and incense. It's loaded with Château Margaux character, has medium to full-bodied richness, ample structure, and a great finish. I followed this bottle for multiple days and it only improved with air. Don't underestimate this second wine – it's incredibly impressive. Hide bottles for 3-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades.

Score: 95

Jeb Dunnuck, Maturity: 2025 - 2045 21 July 2021

Representing roughly 30% of the total production and a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Château Margaux Pavillon Rouge is an incredibly elegant, juicy, and medium to full-bodied second wine that has fabulous purity in its cassis, violets, and floral aromas and flavors. It's silky, vibrant, and has sweet tannins, and just glides over the palate. This beautiful wine is already hard to resist and will keep for 15+ years.

Score: 93 - 95

Jeb Dunnuck, 01 May 2019

The 2018 Pavillon Rouge is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, with 14.5% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with vivacious scents of chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries and blackcurrant pastilles with suggestions of bay leaves, pencil lead, tapenade and dusty soil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a generous amount of black fruit at the core with loads of earthy and savory accents and a soft, approachable frame, finishing long with an herbal lift. It is approachable now but should be a lot more expressive with a couple of years in bottle and drink nicely over the following 15 to 18 years or more.

Score: 93

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2023 - 2039 16 July 2021

The 2018 Pavillon Rouge accounts for 30% of the crop this year. It is composed of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, with 14.5% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple in color, it sings of crushed black and red currants, warm black berries and plum pudding with touches of fungi, cedar chest, truffles and smoked meats plus a fragrant undercurrent of fallen leaves and potpourri. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a solid backbone of fine-grained tannins and loads of freshness supporting the vibrant red and black fruits, finishing long.

Score: 93 - 95

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, 23 April 2019

Blackberry, plum, light earth and undergrowth on the nose. Citrus, too. It’s full-bodied with rich, chewy tannins that turn energetic, fine and tight on the finish. Lively acidity. Second wine of Margaux. A blend of 69% cabernet sauvignon, 19% merlot, 9% petit verdot and 3% cabernet franc. Try after 2024.

Score: 95

James Suckling, Maturity: 2024+ 03 March 2021

Fantastic depth of ripe fruit with currant and dark-berry aromas. Hints of citrus and dry earth. Full body and round, velvety tannins that are melted into the wine. Very intense and fruity.

Score: 95 - 96

James Suckling, 11 April 2019

The 2018 Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux was one of the final wines that I tasted during my lengthy round of tastings. Impressive from barrel, the bouquet is now resplendent, offering those almost boisterous red fruits, pomegranate and cranberry, with the violet element just toned down a little. The palate is still quite high-toned, the tannins showing more grip and sturdiness than before. Taut and linear, and there is plenty of freshness here, leading to a vibrant finish. Excellent.

Score: 92

Neal Martin, Maturity: 2023-45 01 March 2021

The 2018 Pavillon Rouge represents 30% of the harvest. It offers intense red cherry, pomegranate, crushed violet petals and hints of iodine on the nose, which is high-toned but still well defined. The palate is very well balanced with silky-smooth tannins on the entry and a taut line of acidity that keeps everything in balance. I like the nascent energy of this Pavillon Rouge, and the seam of black pepper enlivening the finish. This has great potential.

Score: 92 - 94

Neal Martin, Maturity: 2023-2045 01 November 2019

A singed alder note frames a core of gently steeped plum and black currant flavors while smoldering tobacco, bay and warm earth hints fill in through the finish. Caressing in feel and seductive through the sneaky long finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2034.

Score: 93

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Maturity: 2021-2034 14 January 2021

Tight, bright firm fruits, packed with finely tuned tannins, with a clear velvety texture. The highest tannin levels they have ever produced in Pavillon Rouge, close to the levels in 1996. There is an austerity to the wine right now. You get the spice of the Petit Verdot - also at the highest level to date - giving cushion and complexity to the blackberry, raspberry and bilberry fruits. Even this second wine should be given at least eight to 10 years to really soften because of these tannins, and it is set for the long term. 3.61pH, with 30% of the overall harvest in Pavillon Rouge in 2018. Bottled July 2020. 3% Cabernet Franc makes up the blend, with 13% press wine. 60% new oak ageing.

Score: 93

Jane Anson, Maturity: 2026-2042 10 November 2020

Richly coloured, almost inky, this is seductive and full of flavour with raspberry and brambled fruits that have texture and density. For me, this is far more similar to the 2009 than the 2010. It's an enjoyable Pavillon, all parts present and correct and well assembled, even if it's a little less supple and fragrant than in some years. A subtle closing in on the finish gives you a clue to how tannic this really is (82IPT, high for this estate). 3% Cabernet Franc makes up the blend, with 13% press wine. 60% new oak ageing.

Score: 92

Jane Anson, Maturity: 2024-2038 15 April 2019

The 2018 Pavillon Rouge is absolutely gorgeous. Pliant, rich and enveloping, Pavillon Rouge is unusually deep in this vintage. Dark red cherry, plum, spice, tobacco, licorice and rose petal are all given an extra kick of textural resonance in the 2018. Dehydration at the end of the growing season concentrated the fruit, a phenomenon that was mostly felt in younger vines and parcels on gravel soils rather than clay. Even with all of its obvious richness, the 2018 has striking aromatic intensity and brilliance to round things out. Pavillon Rouge accounts for 30% of the harvest and is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.

Score: 91 - 94

Antonio Galloni, 01 April 2019