1996 Margaux, Chateau Bordeaux Blend
Bordeaux Blend - 6L
  • WA 100
  • WS 97
  • IWC 96

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WA 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, October 2016
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... 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
WS 97
Wine Spectator, January 2007
Cool and racy on the nose with mineral currant black licorice and plum. Full-bodied with a silky seductive exciting palate of ultrafine tannins and a long long caressing finish. Structured and refined. Fabulous. Gets... Cool and racy on the nose with mineral currant black licorice and plum. Full-bodied with a silky seductive exciting palate of ultrafine tannins and a long long caressing finish. Structured and refined. Fabulous. Gets better and better.--'95/'96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2012. 18000 cases made. -JS
IWC 96
Stephen Tanzer's IWC, August 2002
Bright full ruby. Pure perfumed aromas of cassis and violet. Dense and tactile in the mouth; a huge chewy wine with major extract but also considerable refinement. Almost painfully backward today and a bit less perfumed... Bright full ruby. Pure perfumed aromas of cassis and violet. Dense and tactile in the mouth; a huge chewy wine with major extract but also considerable refinement. Almost painfully backward today and a bit less perfumed than it was in the year or so after the bottling but the huge tannins show no hardness. Another great expression of cabernet sauvignon from the '96 vintage. Drink 2015 through 2040. 96(+?) points
Color & Type Red
Varietal Bordeaux Blend
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Sub-region Margaux
Vintage 1996

Label

Since the 17th Century, the grand vin of Chateau Margaux has been recognized as one of the greatest wines in the entire world. It owes its unique qualities to the genius of its terroir as well as to the passionate work of a succession of generations. It’s a remarkable wine that comes from a combination of characteristics that are only rarely found: finesse, elegance, complexity, density, intensity, length and freshness. Although its tannic concentration may be exceptional, it’s rare to detect astringency.

The great vintages are distinguished by their formidable ability to move us, while the lesser vintages give pleasure to wine enthusiasts. Chateau Margaux has an extraordinary ability to evolve with age, developing finesse, aromatic aromatic complexity, and a remarkable presence on the palate.

Winery

Margaux, Chateau

Chateau Margaux is a famous wine estate in the Medoc region, which along with Lafite, Latour and Haut Brion, was rated a First Growth in the original 1855 Bordeaux Classification. It covers 262 hectares, of which 82 hectares are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, and 12 hectares to Sauvignon Blanc.

In the 12th century, the property was called “La Mothe de Margaux” (the Margaux mound) and by the 16th century, wine was being produced at the estate. In 1705, the London Gazette advertised the first auction of 230 barrels of “Margose” and the 1771 vintage was the first “claret” to appear in a Christie’s catalogue. Indeed one of America’s Founding Fathers and vintner in his own right, Thomas Jefferson, visited this great estate in the late 18th century and declared it to be a vineyard of “first quality”. When Bertrand Douat, Marquis de la Colonilla, acquired the estate, he built the chateau that is often nicknamed the “Versailles of the Medoc”, a rare example of the neo-palladian style in France.

Andre Mentzelopoulos purchased the property in 1977, investing heavily in the estate and a program of improvements. Since his death in 1980, the property has been run by his daughter Corinne who continued his work in restoring the chateau to its former glory.