Bordeaux 2018 at Two Years: Margaux
Margaux has a tendency to perform at a different level to the other three ‘big name’ left-bank appellations, i.e. St Estèphe, Pauillac and St Julien, even when those three appellations are marching closely in step. Indeed, there are several vintages I could cite where the appellation as a whole bucked the vintage trend, occasionally providing a pleasant surprise, although there are also years in which it seems only too ready to underperform. Something about its broad gravels, spread over five communes, some positioned much further from the Gironde than you might think, can set this appellation apart from its neighbours to the north.
On some occasions, though, Margaux is where all the excitement is. I still have fond memories of tasting the wines of this appellation in the 1983 vintage, admittedly after they had been in bottle a few years (well, I was only thirteen years old when they were picked), and noting how well they compared to those of the 1982 vintage. And I recall quite clearly my earliest tastes of the 2010 vintage, not just at the primeurs but also once they were in bottle, when the wines of Margaux just blew me away with the dark fruit, perfumed intensity and succulent polish. The 2015 vintage is another example; the vintage has a generally good reputation, but I find it less and less inspiring the further up the Médoc you go, away from the fine results in Margaux.