I never thought I would find myself out of all places, drinking the illustrious Chateau Margaux in the United Arab Emirates. Not only that but trying vintages over 20 years old! So when my boss asked if I wouldn’t mind attending on my day off, I gave a sigh and said – ‘if I have to’. Haha just joking, I think I turned up an hour early! So here are my picks from the day;
2009 Pavillon Blanc du Chateau Margaux
This 100% Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect balance between power and finesse, richness and delicacy. It was like I was trying Sauvignon Blanc for the first time in my life – truly mind-blowing. The end of press wine was used for this particular vintage, which means the wine has more sugar, which results in a higher alcohol content – the 2009 is 14%abv! It would be a knockout aperitif with floral notes intertwined with citrus and guava flavours tickling your taste buds.
2003 Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux
2003 will always be remembered for the heat wave that hit Europe. Initially this was a cause of concern for wine-makers however the greatest terriors fared remarkably – producing grapes of perfectly balanced ripeness. The Pavillon Rouge 2003 is a monumental wine, richer in tannins than any Chateau Margaux produced over at least the last 40 years, until the blockbuster 2005 appeared. This unusual power is happily balanced, as in the first wine, by a delicacy and smoothness, which almost manages to hide the impressive tannic structure. Notes of blackberries, cherries, and mocha dominate the palate. Full enough body to complement a steak yet beautiful on its own. Blend of; Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot.
1999 Chateau Margaux
The 1999 shows great finesse, intensity and aromatic complexity. The nose has both great purity and great classicism. It has that typical Chateau Margaux perfume – always having been known for being the most Burgundian Bordeaux. On the palate, it has firstly delicacy and suppleness, then fatness and density, before finishing with great length, displaying the real power of the wine. Deep purple in colour with a slight browning to indicate age. The 1999 joins the 2001 and 2004 vintages in being years where the wines are a lot more approachable while young.
1989 Chateau Margaux
1989 will long be remembered as an exceptionally early vintage and a very easy one, from a vine-growing point of view. Richness, complexity and opulence could be the key words to describe this outstanding wine. Its deep colour with an orangey brown hue was the first indicator that we were jumping up a step in complexity compared to the previous wines tasted. It is a wine that has been beautiful to drink since it was first made – the great ripeness if the grapes have given the tannins that smoothness which is normally acquired after a long period in bottle. However its concentration and tight grain of its tannic structure are now suggesting drinkers to wait longer for this beauty to blossom further.
It was a beautiful tasting that I could do over and over, by far the 2009 Pavillon Blanc and the 1989 Margaux stood out to be favourites – now only if I could buy a case without taking out a loan. I just had to prove with the below picture that I actually drank it, classy aren’t I?