The Collective Review
2015 was, literally, a historic year at Château Margaux. We celebrated the bicentenary of the Estate's buildings dating from 1815, and the inauguration of the new facilities, designed or reorganized, by Norman Foster.
The grand vin is the 2015 Château Margaux and it’s as good a wine as I’ve ever tasted. Coming from just over one-third of the total production and a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and the balance Petit Verdot, brought up in 100% new French oak, its deep ruby/purple-tinged color is followed by a thrilling bouquet of crème de cassis, toasted spice, hints of toasty oak, and cedar wood. Incredibly elegant and finesse-driven, yet packed with fruit, depth, richness, and structure, it has as much class as you can fit inside a glass. While the vintage provides plenty of upfront charm, this is a wine to cellar for at least a decade, and enjoy over the following 40+ years. Read more
The grand vin is the 2015 Château Margaux and it’s as good a wine as I’ve ever tasted. Coming from just over one-third of the total production and a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and the balance Petit Verdot, brought up in 100% new French oak, its deep ruby/purple-tinged color is followed by a thrilling bouquet of crème de cassis, toasted spice, hints of toasty oak, and cedar wood. Incredibly elegant and finesse-driven, yet packed with fruit, depth, richness, and structure, it has as much class as you can fit inside a glass. While the vintage provides plenty of upfront charm, this is a wine to cellar for at least a decade, and enjoy over the following 40+ years.
Château Margaux's grand vin accounts for 35% of production in this vintage. It stood out as a potential wine of the vintage during en primeur and it is more than living up to its promise. The concentration is stunning, with a fruit structure that is darker, tighter and more insistent than Pavillon. It's so fresh, there is an opulence here, a dense silkiness to the tannins that is fleshed out across the palate, building to a big finish with menthol freshness. This is classically-styled Margaux with aromatic acrobatics and tannins so fine that the stitching is seamless and perfectly pulled together. Even though extremely ripe, there is freshness too - the acidity measures 3.6pH. The 100% new oak is barely perceptible even now, fresh out of the cask. One to savour over the long term. Bottled in August 2017.
This is a haunting young wine that shows you a subtle and hidden strength on the nose with rose petals, currants, currant leaves, stones and plums. Wonderful ripeness yet brightness, too. Takes your breath away with the intensity and structure. Full-bodied, powerful and muscular, yet there's an agile undertone to the whole thing. Compact and condensed. A new legend for Margaux. The 1961 that didn’t happen. Try in 2024.
Barrel Sample. This is a wonderful, subtle, sophisticated wine that has hidden power as well as great fruit. The Cabernet gives a pure black currant character to this intense wine, with its firm tannins hidden inside a fruity exterior. The balance is just right. 99 points
The 2015 Chateau Margaux was the final vintage under Paul Pontallier before his untimely passing in April 2017 and a specially engraved bottle has been made to honor the gentleman that did so much for this first growth. Nevertheless, one must be objective about the wine. It was so impressive in barrel, perhaps the finest from the left bank. Would it match up in bottle? The answer is an unequivocal affirmative. It has an incredibly perfumed bouquet with pure black fruit, oyster shell, crushed flowers and just a faint hint of black truffle. It is more nuanced than when I tasted it from barrel, taking its time to unfold in the glass with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine, almost chiseled tannin and a perfect line of acidity. Continuing from its showing in barrel, the Cabernet Sauvignon drives this wine forward and imparts a keen graphite thread from start to finish that lends it a Pauillac-like personality. Think of a more feminine Château Latour and you would be close. It is a long-term Château Margaux that will give pleasure for many decades, a fitting tribute to the man whose name is engraved on the bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2025 - 2070.
The 2015 Chateau Margaux is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Medium garnet-purple colored, the nose features oh-so-seductive notes of warm blackberries, cassis and black forest cake with touches of forest floor, sandalwood, anise and cigar boxes plus a waft of lavender. Medium to full-bodied, it delivers taut, muscular, densely packed black fruits and exotic spice flavor layers supported by a very firm backbone of grainy tannins with oodles of freshness and a long, savory finish. It is tightly knit and a little reticent at this very youthful stage; afford it at least 15 years in the cellar, and it will open out into a classic Chateau Margaux of incredible proportions. Readers may be interested to know that this wine is beautifully packaged in a special commemorative bottle honoring winemaker Paul Pontellier, who passed away in 2016. The gold-etched black bottle bears the message, “Hommage à Paul Pontellier” at the bottom. This 2015 is an achingly beautiful swan song from an incredibly gifted winemaker, taken from us too soon. In my view, this alone makes this vintage more than worth the investment for the many lovers of history in a bottle.
The color of a blood red ruby, this wine makes a powerful opening statement. On the nose, the luscious inhale as the door to the flower shop opens, a row of Spanish cedar cigar boxes still filled with a stash of Cohiba, the not-too-sweet aromatics of cherry pipe tobacco -- all combined with cherries, licorice, forest floor, creamy espresso and blackberry liqueur. On the palate, the wine melts into a buttery wealth of fresh fruit, gratifying tannins and a finish that saunters, taking it’s time to linger close to 60 seconds while slowly expanding at the same time. Rich without being heavy, this wine is aristocratic and refined. This is the quintessential example of Chateau Margaux at its best. This wine is deceptively easy to taste, and if it puts on weight during the aging period, which it probably will, it should hit triple digits.
The 2015 Margaux is a compelling, arrestingly beautiful wine that expresses all the best qualities of the vintage. Dark, fleshy and richly textured, the 2015 nevertheless retains the super-classic Margaux sense of structure. Time in the glass brings out the wine's rich, multi-faceted personality. I imagine the 2015 will enjoy a very long and uninterrupted drinking window that will last decades. As exceptional as the 2015, it is not easy to taste. I walked the vineyards at Margaux with Paul Pontallier in late July of that year. A few months later, Pontallier's life was tragically cut short by a very aggressive cancer. The 2015 will live on as a fitting testament to the legacy of a man who did so much for Chateau Margaux and Bordeaux.
- Producer: Château Margaux
- Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot
- Region: Bordeaux
- Alcohol: 14.0%
- Net volume: 750ml
- Vintage: 2015
Style GuideLight Intense
How can we compare 2015 to its predecessors? It is a thankless task, and a little futile, particularly for the great vintages. There are, of course, similarities, affinities, and also some differences where we do not expect to find them… But we can evoke a combination of the strength of 2005, the flesh of 2009, the subtlety of 2010, and the inimitable charm of Château Margaux. A testimony to the last vintage of Paul Pontallier; a wine comprising all the most beautiful qualities of Château Margaux. For all these reasons, Château Margaux wanted to create a special packaging for the 2015 Grand Vin. A unique case was designed, adorned with a magnificent serigraphy, created specifically for this vintage, is affixed to the glass in place of the traditional label. The vintage, like its unique bottle, seems to have been built for eternity. (October 2018)
2015 was, literally, a historic year at Château Margaux. We celebrated the bicentenary of the Estate's buildings dating from 1815, and the inauguration of the new facilities, designed or reorganized, by Norman Foster. It is easy to imagine how much we dreamed that 2015 would be a great vintage! Without doubt, some of the result is owed to decisions made at the time of blending; only 35% of the harvest went into the first wine, which was a record of severity for a vintage of this standard. As usual, it was the Cabernet Sauvignon in first place with 87% of the blend; in addition to its concentration and finesse, this year it has an unusual vigor and strength. The Merlot has nothing to be ashamed of, at least in the great plots; it makes up 8% of the first wine. Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%) also find their place in this select blend, which confirms that great vintages enable all the different grape varieties to express their own character.
Winter, which was appreciably colder than those of the previous years, caused late, but perfectly regular blossoming. Dry and sunny weather in the spring made for optimal conditions, so flowering took place very quickly and homogenously. This hot, dry weather persisted throughout the months of June and July, to a point where we were afraid there could be water stress, at least in the most sensitive plots. Fortunately a little rain in August arrived just in time to ensure a quick and regular color-change. The drought, which arrived again in September, together with very warm days and cool nights, enabled the grapes to balance their richness in sugar with good acidity, to render their tannins more silky and to make their aromatic potential more complex. The harvest of the reds took place from September 18th to October 6th. The small size of the grapes and their thicker skins indicated a very high concentration of tannins. The 2015 weather conditions are, in fact, the feature of very great vintages, like 2005, 2009 and 2010.
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