Robert Parker 95
Given that Margaux’s second wine contains plenty of fruit that made it into the grand vin just a decade or two ago, great things are to be expected from this bottling. Yet I was nonetheless taken aback by the quality of the 2019 Pavillon Rouge. Wafting from the glass with aromas of raspberries, plums and cherries mingled with rose petals and sweet spices, it’s medium to full-bodied, sensual and concentrated, with beautifully refined tannins, racy acids and a long, penetrating finish. This is an exquisite Pavillon Rouge that is well worth seeking out. I confess that I don’t buy many second wines, but I did purchase a case of this, with alacrity, right after tasting it.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2050
A gorgeous wine, the 2019 Pavillon Rouge represents 27% of the crop. All of the radiance of the year is on display. Super-ripe red cherry, red plum, spice, cedar and new leather are all kicked up a few notches, with silky tannins that wrap it all together. Even with all of its obvious richness, the 2019 possesses notable energy as well as freshness. Estate Manager Philippe Bascaules and his team turned out two spectacular wines in 2019. Note: I did not taste the Pavillon Blanc, as the estate thought it was too fragile to ship. Bascaules describes 2019 as an easy vintage. Flowering was normal and set was good. Yields came in at a healthy 47 hectoliters per hectare, more than 2017 or 2018, the summer heat spikes notwithstanding. Bascaules opted to pick the Merlot early and gave those lots a very gentle extractions at low temperatures, whereas the Cabernet Sauvignon vinifications were a much more typical 20-22 days at 28-30 degrees Celsius. In tasting, the 2019s have more tannins than any other vintage, with the exception of 2018, and yet the wines don’t show that at all.