Margaux 2013 – £2,400, 12×75 or £1,200, 6×75 – 91-93 WA
2013 is set to be the quickest En Primeur campaign in recent memory; blink and you may miss it entirely. That said so far the chateaux that have reduced their prices below any of their other vintages have gained momentum selling quickly. These savvy players have been the success stories so far, such as Lynch Bages and the First Growths released to date, Mouton and Lafite Rothschild. Chateau Margaux has release this morning at £200 a bottle, a wine that unilaterally scored highly across all critics; James Suckling describes it as ‘Spectacular for the vintage. This is a wine that I want to buy’, while Galloni pithily states: ‘The 2013 Margaux is impressive’: James Suckling, 94-95; Antonio Galloni, 91-94; Tim Atkin, 94; Neil Martin, 91-93; James Molesworth, 90-93.

Chateau Margaux have also dropped their price 10% on their 2012 release, priced at £2,400 and £1,200 for 12 and six bottles respectively. This makes the 2013 14% underneath the current 2012 price, which in turn is their cheapest trading vintage of Margaux. It is clear there is huge value here, presenting a First Growth for £200 a bottle; this makes it the lowest price First Growth in the market. The 2013 has seen the lowest production of Margaux and Pavillion Rouge for over a decade and with so little of these extremely generously priced wines to go around it is likely to be another of the successes in this demanding vintage and a sell-out.

Vintage Scores Price
2013     91-93     £2,400
2012     92-94     £2,800
2011     94-96     £3,300
2008     94          £2,900
2007     92          £3,000
2006     94+        £3,050
2004     93          £2,900
2002     93          £3,100
2001     93          £3,100

d’Issan 2013 – £285, 12×75 or £142.50, 6×75 – 90-92 WAWhat makes Chateau Margaux’s 2013 really special is that it is distinct from any wine they have made in recent memory, containing 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. This is extraordinary given that Chateaux Margaux is known for its ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’ style, which always includes at least 10% Merlot and is known for its fragrance, silky mouth-feel, floral nature and trade mark aromas of violets and rose petals. The 2013 displays these features, characteristics cited by the leading critics. It also contains a lovely masculinity, with plenty of cassis, blackcurrant, blueberries, cedar, smoke and dried tea leaves.

It was extremely instructive speaking to the acclaimed winemaker at Margaux Paul Pontallier this year, who declared that he had learned something new in 2013, even after more than three decades of winemaking. Pontallier said that the 2013’s complexity and refinement resulted in a rethink of some of the most recent trends in Bordeaux, where the perennial desire for achieving optimum ripeness has resulted in high potential alcohol. The difficult conditions in 2013 have created something unique and memorable. In years to come in vertical tasting, Margaux 2013 will stand out, offering lower alcohol, no Merlot and combining fragrance and subtlety.

James Suckling, 94-95 points
Spectacular for the vintage. This is a wine that I want to buy. The aromas are like rose petals and perfume. Speechless. Palate is full body, yet refined and beautiful with perfectly polished tannins. It’s wonderfully balanced. 99% cabernet sauvignon, 1% petit verdot.

Pavillon Rouge 2013 – £780, 12×75 or £390, 6×75 – 89-91 WA
We are also pleased to offer the second wine of Margaux their esteemed Pavillon Rouge for £780 for a case of twelve bottles, which due to severe selection only consists of 21% of the entire harvest, which scored 89-91 points from Neil Martin.

Neil Martin, 89-91 points
The Pavillon Rouge consists of just 21% of the harvest – the smallest proportion ever since much is not deselected into the third wine or sold off. It has a rather broody bouquet the demands some encouragement, but eventually reveals blackberry, cold stone and just a touch of violet. Indeed, the floral component comes through strongly with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with good acidity and tension. There is perhaps a little more coarseness compared to recent vintages on the entry, although the finish is cohesive and with a delicate touch of black pepper. Tasted April 2014

To read more about the great five First Growths please click here.

Additional releases today include the well-received Chateau d’Issan. The perfumed and feminine characteristics of Margaux lent themselves well to the 2013 vintage and d’Issan is one of the few chateaux that received a higher score in 2013 than 2012 at 90-92 points from Neil Martin. Chateau d’Issan gives further incentive to buyers by reducing their release price by 5% on 2012 and 18% on 2011, making it the least expensive vintage on the market.

Vintage Score    Price
2013     90-92     £285
2012     87-89     £290
2011     91-93     £335
2008     92          £385
2007     88          £400
2006     94          £450
2004     91          £480
2003     90          £450
2002     89          £550

Neil Martin, 90-92 points
The Chateau d’Issan, a blend of 26% Merlot and 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, has a simple, light redcurrant and cranberry scented bouquet that has a pleasant floral aspect. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannins, good depth considering the performance of its peers, with fine definition on the finish. At last – a decent Margaux 2013! Tasted April 2014.

Troplong Mondot 2013 – £570, 12×75 or £285, 6×75 – 91-93 WA
Troplong Mondot was one of the success stories of the vintage and a tribute to the proprietor, Christine Valette-Pariente who sadly lost her battle with cancer in late March. Troplong Mondot offers a precision and focus that is rarely available in 2013 with dense jammy fruit of the nose of blackberries and cassis alongside tobacco leaf and mushroom. The mouth-feel is full with good acidity and fine tannin. Troplong Mondot is highly rated by the critics including a score of 91-93 from Neil Martin and has released with a slight discount on its 2013 price.

Neil Martin, 91-93 points
Of course, it is never easy to appraise the new wine of a proprietor recently deceased, but the late Christine Valette would have been proud of this Troplong Mondot. The Grand Vin is a blend of 90% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, alcohol levels coming in around the 13 degree mark. It has a pretty bouquet with dark cherries and raspberry fruit – fine precision here and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with fine structure and bead of acidity. The harmony is palpable here, with hints of dried herbs and cedar comes through on the assured finish. This is a successful and considered wine from Troplong Mondot and a testament to Christine Valette. Tasted April 2014.

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