The 2012 Château Margaux is showing much differently from bottle than it did from cask. Seemingly much fuller and richer, it has a dense ruby/purple color, representing a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest mostly Merlot, as well as only 33% of their harvest. It possesses hints of spring flowers intermixed with blueberries, blackberries and cassis fruit, moderate tannin, a multi-dimensional mouthfeel, and a long, structured finish. This 2012 was charming, up-front and precociously styled from barrel, but in bottle it is more masculine, dense and rich. This wine needs a good 5-7 years of cellaring, and should keep well for 25 or more years. This is a great effort from Château Margaux, and should handsomely repay those who buy it. Anticipated maturity: 2023-2040. Read more
The 2012 Château Margaux is showing much differently from bottle than it did from cask. Seemingly much fuller and richer, it has a dense ruby/purple color, representing a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest mostly Merlot, as well as only 33% of their harvest. It possesses hints of spring flowers intermixed with blueberries, blackberries and cassis fruit, moderate tannin, a multi-dimensional mouthfeel, and a long, structured finish. This 2012 was charming, up-front and precociously styled from barrel, but in bottle it is more masculine, dense and rich. This wine needs a good 5-7 years of cellaring, and should keep well for 25 or more years. This is a great effort from Château Margaux, and should handsomely repay those who buy it. Anticipated maturity: 2023-2040.
Tasted blind at the 2012 Southwold tasting, the 2012 Château Margaux has a taut, linear, pencil lead-infused bouquet with pure blackberry and boysenberry scents, an undercurrent of tobacco that surfaces after five minutes in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp acidity, a life-affirming sense of balance with well-integrated new oak towards the finish. I concur with Robert Parker that his has become more structured and masculine in bottle, yet there is pedigree here from start to finish, a sense of effortlessness that is seductive. This is a top-class wine from the late Paul Pontallier and his team. Tasted January 2016.
Bay leaf and menthol hints lift a core of crushed plum and warm cherry confiture notes while the background fills steadily with black tea, singed alder and iron elements. Turns a little darker on the finish, with a coating of bittersweet cocoa powder and roasted vanilla bean accents, while the minerality stays buried for now. Remarkably dense and packed, yet refined. Needs some time to unwind. Best from 2018 through 2030. 10,833 cases made.
This elegant wine is very much in the classic style of Margaux. Although the wood is still showing, the wine has fresh black currant fruits along with an underlying firm, long-lived tannic structure. The aftertaste with its dryness and acidity confirms that. Drink from 2025.
A super thing to drink for elevenses, just to spark up the appetite for lunch, what. Stylish wine through and through, classic Claret with the violet perfume that great Margaux carries, especially when it has not been overdone. Slight smokiness, honey spiced biscuits, coffee bean, aniseed and bright redcurrant and blackcurrant, suggestion of fragrant dried herb and sweet capsicum. Easy to get lost in the smell. Medium bodied, bright, red fruited, fresh crisp acidity, redcurrant flavour laced with subtle oak and aniseed, crunchy, precise, with a very long finish. It’s not particularly tannic, but the tannin makes a play on the finish; gentle but sure footed. Beautifully made. “Ooh my, this is fine wine”, is the overarching impression.
The 2012 Château Margaux is a wine that, based on this showing, is a little closed at the moment and needs the most coaxing from the glass. Plenty of black fruit in situ, although it does not really blossom. It is very well-balanced, quite deep and powerful, but it needs time to develop refinement on the finish. Cellar for another few years. Tasted blind in Bordeaux.
The 2012 Margaux is beautifully polished and suave in the glass, with pliant fruit and plenty of finesse, all in a classic, mid-weight Margaux style. Inward and tightly wound, the 2012 is clearly holding back much of its potential. The 2012 has a stony, mineral-infused energy that is going to require at least a few more years in bottle to fully unwind, while the 100% new oak is a bit pronounced at this early stage. Grilled herbs, smoke, graphite and sage add further nuances on the savory, delineated finish.
The 2012 Château Margaux has a refined bouquet with blackberry, briary, light cedar scents and a touch of leather. Not quite as well-defined as its peers. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, though not amazingly complex, and at this level, I would have expected more weight on the finish. This is a fine Château Margaux and yet it deprived the concentration and complexity of a top vintage and is challenged by its peers. Tasted twice at Bordeaux Index's Ten Year-On tasting and blind at the Southwold Ten-Year On tasting.
- Producer: Château Margaux
- Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot
- Region: Bordeaux
- Alcohol: 13.0%
- Net volume: 750ml
- Vintage: 2012
Style GuideLight Intense
Château Margaux 2012 is “almost” a great vintage, ultimately not that far removed from the 2010. It has more power, and the same purity, balance and charm, perhaps a little less depth? In any case it's a good step beyond the 2011. (October 2018)
Château Margaux, a founding Premier Cru Château Margaux is more than a major or even essential growth. It is a founding growth, since the imagery around it had such a decisive influence in shaping the very idea of how a Grand Vin should exist over time and space. Château Margaux’s renown stem equally from the intrinsic genius of the location as from the contributions made by the people who have served it for five centuries. Corinne Mentzelopoulos is one of those personalities that will leave a indelible mark on the great history of Château Margaux. She has been presiding over the destiny of the estate since her father tragically passed away in 1980. She has honored this heritage, vintage after vintage, all the while questioning herself with the aim of projecting Château Margaux into the future. Although the fascinating destiny of Château Margaux has been marked by its people, it is above all the wines which are the greatest testimony. 2021, is part of this lineage and comes to write, by its singularity and its complexity, its own page of history.
The draconian selection – a little less than 34% of the harvest in the first wine - can for the most part be explained by the heterogeneity of the 2012 vintage, which is mainly due to the hydric stress experienced by young vines and sensitive terroirs. How disappointing not to have been able to add this fabulous plot of young 13-year-old Cabernets, which had done so well in 2010 and 2011, to the first wine! But how wonderful to see our greatest plots of mature vines reach such heights of concentration and elegance! The Cabernet Sauvignons (87% of the blend) are remarkable: powerful, dense, full-bodied and refined. The two usual batches of Merlot (10%) as well as the small batch of Cabernet Franc (2%) that usually join them didn't fail but aren't better than in 2011. As for our only old plot of Petit Verdot, it produced a superb wine, very different from the younger ones. Our best press wines, which are the fruit of a stringent selection, bring to this year's blend both a density and remarkable flesh, without depriving it of its finesse. It is sometimes forgotten that they are the concentrate of the free-run wines' qualities and flaws, and that rigorous work is all that is needed to exploit their amazing potential.
2012 marked the return of a great climatic classicism: a cold winter, especially in February, followed by a very wet spring, then a very dry summer before a return to rainy weather as from September 20th. The heavy rain which lasted until July 15th, created very favorable conditions for the development of mildew. However this year we intensified our organic program with great success: not only have we not used any insecticide on the estate for 10 years, but in 2012 we only used one chemical treatment, as opposed to the usual 7 or 8 on the great wine plots . We're almost there… From July 15th onwards, the weather was dry and moderately warm but punctuated by a few very hot days. Such conditions are typical of great Bordeaux classic vintages: they allow for the simultaneous ripening and concentration of the grapes. Only the less good terroirs and young vines suffered from the sudden transition from a very wet spring to a very dry summer. The weather changed again from the first day of autumn: the moderate rains, which fell regularly from September 20th onwards, arrived too late to greatly upset the ripening or health of the grapes, but probably prevented, by a few days, 2012 from being the great vintage it should have been. The harvest of the whites took place between the 10th and the 14th September, while the harvest of the reds was carried out between the 25th September and the 16th October, just before the weather really deteriorated...
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