Thursday, May 28, 2015

Margaux subregion

The following day I was off to the Margaux subregion. The first stop was at Chateau d'Issan, where I tasted the 2010 and 2011 vintages. The new oak was pared back to 50% in the weaker 2011 vintage. The wine consists of  69% Cabernet Sauvignon and 31% Merlot. There is a strong blackcurrant aroma in this wine, but on the palate, the fruit is overwhelmed by tannins and acidity (86 points). The 2010, from a strong vintage, is much more closed. The blackcurrant is a bit more intense, but the wine is also quite acidic. It is definitely too early to drink, and may be more elegant in the future (88 points). Overall, I felt these wines lacked balance.
Château d'Issan

One of the (unexpected) highlights of the Bordeaux part of my trip was the tasting at
Chateau Prieure-Lichine, a chateau not known to me. The three wines tasted had similar proportions of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot. We started with the 2007 vintage. This is a feminine wine, with perfumed and aromatic flavours and a complex blend of blackcurrant, mulberry and mushroom flavours. The secondary flavours are starting to show. This is not a big or tannic wine, but the harmonious structure delivers a lifted finish. Great to drink now (93 points). The 2009 has much more intensity. The blackcurrant fruit is more dominant, but the wine is elegant, with a great balance and very silky tannins on the finish. This is an excellent expression of the Margaux terroir (96 points). Finally, the 1998. This wine has a similar mouthfeel to the 2009. It is a very harmonious wine, but the secondary flavours stand out more now, in particular mushroom. The tannins have softened and deliver a very satisfying finish.

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