By Chateau Margaux
1996 Margaux from Chateau Margaux, Bordeaux
A journey back to the spectacular year of 1996 reveals the magnificence of Margaux from Chateau Margaux. In the realm of fine wine investment, vintages such as this one are pursued with fervour - and rightly so. As I reflect upon this vintage, its distinction within the context of Bordeaux’s hallowed terroir is unmistakable.
An Exquisite Articulation of Terroir and Time
The '96 vintage was defined by its particularly favourable climatic condition which bestowed upon the grapes an exquisite balance between ripeness and acidity. The wine, now in a splendid stage of maturity, unfurls in the glass with an intoxicating bouquet hinting at blackcurrant, violets, and tobacco intertwining with a sublime mineral complexity – an expressive testament to the profound soil of Margaux. It is these climatic conditions that gifted the 1996 Margaux from Chateau Margaux its laudable structure and depth.
A Vintage with a Promise for Longevity
Upon tasting, it is the silky tannins that lead the procession, followed closely by layers of dark fruit and nuanced earthiness that bellow a sense of place and time. The refinement on display here is seldom matched; indeed, one understands how this vintage has ascended to become a linchpin for collectors and investors alike. Its longevity is assured. In a world where fine wines stand as both luxury and investment, the poised elegance of the 1996 Margaux from Chateau Margaux is undeniably captivating.
As we delve into our cellars or consider judicious acquisitions in fine wine, the 1996 vintage beckons as a touchstone of excellence. With each sip, it reaffirms its standing among its peers, epitomising what many aspire to achieve but only few truly can – a harmonious alchemy of time and terroir.
Current market price
Scores and tasting notes
The 1996 Chateau Margaux, a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, must be a strong contender for wine of the vintage. It offers everything you desire from this First Growth. It is blessed with breathtaking delineation and freshness on the nose, understated at first and then blossoming with mineral-infused black fruit, hints of blueberry, crushed stone and violet. The palate is perfectly balanced with filigree tannin, perfect acidity, a wine where everything seems to be in its right place. Blackberry, crushed stone at the front of the mouth, just a touch of spice towards the finish that shows supreme control. This is a Margaux that seems to light up the senses. It was outstanding in its youth...something that has not changed one bit over the intervening two decades. This may well turn out to be the Left Bank pinnacle of the 1990s. Tasted July 2016.
Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 28 October 2016
The 1996 Chateau Margaux, which was bottled in September, 1998, is undoubtedly one of the great classics produced under the Mentzelopoulos regime. In many respects, it is the quintessential Chateau Margaux, as well as the paradigm for this estate, combining measured power, extraordinary elegance, and admirable complexity. I tasted the wine on three separate occasions in January, and in short, it's a beauty! The color is opaque purple. The wine offers extraordinarily pure notes of blackberries, cassis, pain grille, and flowers, gorgeous sweetness, a seamless personality, and full body, with nothing out of place. The final blend (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) contains a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. It tastes complete and long, although backward. My instincts suggest this wine will shut down, but at present it is open-knit, tasting like a recently bottled wine. The fruit is exceptionally sweet and pure, and there are layers of flavor in the mouth. I do believe this wine will develop an extraordinary perfume, and possess a high level of richness. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2040
Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #122 April 1999
Tasted at Bordeaux Index Chateau Margaux dinner at The Square. A consistent note to the bottle poured at El Bulli. That crystalline nose, the purity, the mineralite – it is all there. The palate is razor-sharp, brilliant focused with those silky tannins that caress the mouth, lascivious blackberry, black plum and blueberry towards the finish. Stunning. Drink 2010-2035+ Tasted October 2008.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal Jul 2009