The second wine of Chateau Margaux came about partly due to misfortune - when an attack of phylloxera decimated the vineyards, necessitating a replanting of the majority of their vineyards. The lack of grapes eliminated the possibility of a First Growth Quality wine and led to the production of their “second wine” - the Pavillon Rouge de Chateau Margaux, the first official vintage of which was released in 1906.
Renowned as a sterling example of a second wine, the 2016 has been hailed as a particularly superb vintage. Medium-bodied, silky, intense and tannic, it continues its impressive trajectory year upon year.
90-92/100 Andrew Caillard MW. Medium deep colour. Red cherry/ raspberry aromas. Fresh sage wintergreen aromas. Sweet cherry/ raspberry chalky savoury tannins, touch al dente but a lively crispness and vinosity. Tannin plume at the finish. Still quite elemental.
91-93/100 Rpbert Parker Jr. The 2011 Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux is one of the finest examples of this cuvee I have ever tasted. It hit 13% natural alcohol and represents only 28% of the harvest. This blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc reveals more structure than most vintages in addition to lots of dark berry fruit intermixed with hints of wood smoke, forest floor and spring flowers. Very pure with striking minerality as well as a long finish, it should drink well for two decades or more.
16.5/20 Julia Harding MW, Jancis Robinson.Rich deep crimson. Bright aromatic cherry fruit. Full in the mouth even though the fruit is very pure. Tannins have a sort of flattened finesse, smooth but dry and carpet-like. Rounded and lots of clear fruit. Long, too, but overall lacks energy.
17.5/20 Steven Spurrier, Decanter. Beautiful fragrant purity of fruit, crystal clear, a feminine style of wine with taffeta, lissom texture and length for the future. Drink 2016-2026.
On Bordeaux’s Left Bank, near the southern end of the Haut-Médoc, lies Margaux, one of the most celebrated villages in the world of wine. Margaux is home to Château Margaux, the revered first-growth property, as well as 20 more Grand Cru Classé estates ranked in the 1855 classification of Bordeaux. The acclaimed wine of Margaux benefits from the diverse soil types in the appellation.
In general, Margaux has a very thin layer of topsoil, and the very best vineyards, above the Gironde River, have gravelly soils that encourage deep root growth and allow for good drainage. Because of the variations in soil, Margaux wines can range from delicately flavoured to highly concentrated, from medium- to full-bodied. Yet all Margaux wines share a fragrant bouquet, silky texture and remarkable balance. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in the wines of Margaux, as it does throughout the Left Bank, with Merlot and Cabernet Franc used in small percentages for blending. Because of their excellent aging potential, the best Margaux wines are prized by collectors.