TN: Chateau Margaux 1983

An impromptu gathering at the bar of Union Square Cafe last night, per an Offline posting.

The bottle was in fine shape, with a solid corkage, albeit topped with the mold from almost thirty years of ostensibly cool, humid, and quiet storage. No TCA taint or heat damage. Dense ruby color, with mild browning at the rim. Nose of violets, tobacco, earth, red fruits, and autumn forest. A mouthfeel of gossamer-thin glycerin and completely resolved tannins, seamlessly gliding from entry to palate to gullet. In terms of taste, this revered Margaux wine displays not power, but just pure and refined elegance, much like a tweed-jacketed chamber music ensemble, with restrained but masculine Old-World cabernet sauvignon fruit. Its sweetness shows more prominently on the intellect than the tongue.

Nice, Victor! What did you eat with that?

Fois gras.

Thanks for sharing the TN, Victor.
Foie gras and red Bordeaux. Somehow, this hasn’t worked out for me before. I’m glad that it did for you.

Hard to go wrong with an '83 Margaux, unless it’s a bottle that has been stored on a kitchen windowsill, I suppose! [shock.gif]

I had bought the bottle from Premier Cru about three years ago. The fill was base-neck.

I actually prefer this to the '82 - if one can put the term “reasonably priced” next to mature Bordeaux, this wine is certainly deserving of that honor.


Hi there,

Thanks for posting the note, you’ve brought back some happy memories.

The first time I tried this wine was when I was running the Oxford blind-tasting team. I got the fellow who ran my college cellar to give us a a blind tasting and one of the six wines she served was this. We were all staggered by its exquisitely wondrous finesse and beautifully polished, incomparably multifaceted personality, so kept pouring ourselves more and more just to ‘make sure we were guessing as best we could’. When the wines came to be revealed the fellow said, “If you take tasting seriously you need to taste serious wines”. We were terribly grateful and every time I’ve had Margaux since I remember being spell-bound by that formative blind-tasting experience.

Thanks again, I’m glad it was in good condition for you.


I do too! I was was at a wine dinner where one of the attendees told me, “Well the 83 is good but the 82 is much better, you can go home and look it up in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate…you should buy the 82 instead”.

This is the best note I’ve seen in a while as far as maturity. I had been letting mine rest…good note.


Hi Bob, John et al,

If we are comparing vintages the one that blows my pants to smithereens without fail every time is the 86; I love its structured elegance. I am very fortunate to have friends with more remunerative employment than my being an unemployed lunatic as these things are well beyond the imagination of my rather empty wallet. Much as I love to slag off Claret, when it has finesse and sophistication you’ve got to love them; I feel so chuffed when people open such things in my company.


Great wine, and classic claret. Drinking 83 bdx is a great thing - nice combination of maturity and fruit.

Thanks for the report.
Surprizes me a bit that the wine is so mature and all tannins have been resolved … last time I had it there was still a noticable tannic bite to it … I would have thought it needed another 5-8 years (last year).
The 82 is closer to maturity IMHO - it was even 4 years ago.

I finished the last two glasses of the bottle tonight. The wine grew big and thick in texture, full of cedar, mushroom, and iron notes. Indeed, it got a bit funkier than what I would normally prefer.