This was phenomenal from barrel and remains so. The aromas are spellbinding. It smells like a bouquet of pink roses and then goes to currants, berries and citrus. Full body, with wonderfully refined tannins. It starts discreetly and then grows to different levels and dimensions like a slow but big high tide. The texture is so beautiful. Try it in 2020 or beyond. 100 points, James Suckling.
The 2010 is a brilliant Chateau Margaux, as one might expect in this vintage. The percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the final blend hit 90%, the balance Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and only 38% of the crop made it into the Chateau Margaux. (The late) Paul Pontallier, the administrator, told me that this wine has even higher levels of tannin than some other extraordinary vintages such as 2005, 2000, 1996, etc. Deep purple, pure and intense, with floral notes, tremendous opulence and palate presence, this is a wine of considerable nobility. With loads of blueberry, black currant and violet-infused fruit and a heady alcohol level above 13.5% (although that looks modest compared to several other first growths, particularly Chateau Latour and Chateau Haut-Brion), its beautifully sweet texture, ripe tannin, abundant depth and profound finish all make for another near-perfect wine that should age effortlessly for 30-40 years. 99 points, Robert Parker.
Liquid velvet, with stunning length and a caressing mouthfeel, as layers of creamed plum, blackberry coulis and steeped blackcurrant fruit glides along, seamlessly intertwined with black tea, mulled blood orange, incense and lilac. Hints of mesquite and alder hang subtly in the background, and the structure, evident and massive, has melded wonderfully. 98 points, Wine Spectator.
A great wine that is just starting out. The high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend gives the structured, black currant character. Dark chocolate and layers of wood are forward, revealing how young the wine is. And then the fruit, so rich and powerful, brings deliciousness to the firm, dense structure. 98 points, Wine Enthusiast.
Paul Pontallier was rattling off some interesting statistics about Chateau Margaux. The 2000 (a great, great wine) was 13.1% natural alcohol, the 2005 13.1%, the 2009 13.2%, and the 2010, the highest ever measured, 13.5%. That is still nearly one degree less than the Pauillac first-growth of Chateau Latour at 14.4%. This blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc (representing only 38% of the total production) has the classic, quintessential Margaux character of spring flowers, almost cool-climate precision, medium body, and a seamless integration of tannin, wood and alcohol. The blue and black fruit characteristics are present, and the wine restrained. The most measured and polished of all the first growths I tasted, it is also less concentrated than any of the other first growths, but the elegance is classic. The harvest finished on October 15, which was not their latest by any means. This is one of the few first growths of 2010 where the tannins are remarkably delicate and sweet, and the softness of this wine will provide magical drinking at a relatively early age, yet its balance and concentration will carry it for 20 or more years. 96-98/100 points, Robert Parker.