Tasting Notes Margaux 2010
The Grand Vin is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 1.5% each of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Bottled in late July, Paul Pontallier reminded me that the Grand Vin takes around six months before it settles down. Still, allowing several minutes aeration, it has a very intense bouquet of dark cherries, boysenberry, crushed stone and a hint of bay leaf that is beautifully defined, but as Paul mentioned, will need a months to blossom. The palate has a beguiling sense of symmetry: spine-tingling poise and tension. This is a magisterial Chateau Margaux with seamlessly integrated oak, pure dark berry fruit and an almost breathless, Burgundy-like purity on the satin textured finish. Utterly seductive, this is an incredible wine that will age for decades. Tasted November 2012.
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. 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.
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 discretely 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.