Bordeaux 2019 at Two Years: Margaux
The biggest challenge when tasting the 2019 vintage in Margaux was not the number of wines – although this appellation does tend to throw up a greater number of samples for assessment than St Julien or Pauillac – but finding my way through the travaux in the grounds of Château Palmer to reach the tasting room. Having parked on what was evidently a building site I ended up squeezing through a gap in a temporary fence to make my way down to the château’s offices.
Convinced I had parked my little hire car somewhere interdit, and somewhat concerned it may be crushed like a gnat by a passing 6-tonne digger-excavator, I immediately apologised to Thomas Duroux, the estate’s technical director. He seemed entirely unfazed by my Fiat 500’s predicament, apparently much more interested in pulling the corks on his 2019s, both grand and deuxième vins. As the second cork was freed from the bottle, maybe it was my imagination, but I swear he whispered something about signs. If you visit Château Palmer in the immediate future and find yourself directed to the correct parking zone by some very clear, idiot-proof signage, you know who to thank. Or maybe that should be blame.
The visit was worth the effort – even that tight squeeze through the fence – as Château Palmer is one of several leading estates in Margaux which have taken advantage of what the 2019 vintage offered, turning out some excellent wines in the process. Not just Thomas Duroux here at Château Palmer, but also Philippe Bascaules at Château Margaux and Nicolas Audebert at Château Rauzan-Ségla, have excelled, although these are not the only options in this commune (thank heavens, says your bank manager). There are other exceptional wines from among the cru classé hoard, and also one or two from the world of the cru bourgeois estates which are worthy of our time.
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