TN: Margaux AOC Blind Tasting

MARGAUX AOC BLIND TASTING - Home of Chef Andrew Plummer, East Greenbush, NY (11/2/2017)

This was an extraordinary tasting with great wines and amazing food.

For photos and more details see:

Flight 1: Third Growths and a Fifth Growth
Rabbit in Roast Plum Reduction with Butter Beans, Gorgonzola, Pistachios, and Fried Sage.
This was so good. So delicious and great with the wines.

  • 2000 Château du Tertre - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Double-decanted for one hour at 5:30.] Big smoky black fruit nose. Rich and delicious. Quite ripe, but not over-ripe. The ripe fruit is sour cherry, so it is harmonious. Very tasty. Still young. Only a hint of secondary flavors like mulch and coffee. (93 pts.)
  • 2005 Château Kirwan - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Double-decanted for four hours at 2pm.] More muted and tannic. Not enough fruit right now. I think it is shut down. 89-92 (89 pts.)
  • 2011 Château Malescot St. Exupéry - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Double-decanted for an hour at 8am.] Ripe black fruit nose. Long and delicious in the mouth. Young, but easy to like now. (92 pts.)

Flight 2: Second Growths
Duck Confit in Bing Cherry, Rye Whiskey Reduction with Wild Rich Succotash and Canadian Spinach.
Another brilliant dish that goes perfectly with the wines.

  • 2000 Château Rauzan-Ségla - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Double-decanted at 8am.] This was showing brilliantly. Stunning nose of black berries and bark mulch. Rich and complex. A fragrant wine which seems to be at its peak. (95 pts.)
  • 2003 Château Lascombes - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Double-decanted for three hours at 3pm.] I thought this was dull and lifeless. Sadly, it was the wine I brought. A bottle from the same batch a few month back showed terrifically. Something wrong here. NR (flawed)
  • 2005 Château Rauzan-Ségla - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Double-decanted at 7am.] Muted nose but stunning and expansive in the mouth. Complex. Wonderful wine just reaching its plateau of maturity. Tied for Group #2 WOTN. (94 pts.)

Flight 3: Château Palmer
Beef Tenderloin in a Morel and Porcini Demi Cream with Lace Potato and Sautéed Asparagus.
The sauce on the beef was so good, and again perfect with the wines.

  • 1970 Château Palmer - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Pop and pour.] Big smoky sherry-like nose. A little interesting flavor left, but sadly OTH with noticeable oxidation. NR (flawed)
  • 1988 Château Palmer - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Double-decanted for 1.75 hours at 5pm.] Red fruit, exotic spice, and flowers in the nose. Just stunning in the mouth. The first wine tonight that I might guess is Margaux if this had been totally blind. This must be a good vintage of Palmer or Ch. Margaux right at its peak. Wow! I could drink this all night. I was stunned to find out this was a 1988, a vintage I’ve never liked. My WOTN. (97 pts.)
  • 1989 Château Palmer - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Double-decanted at 1pm.] Big and rich. Complex and fascinating, but feels like it is holding back. This should have gotten more air. Still, the potential is obvious. 93-97 (94 pts.)
  • 1999 Château Palmer - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Double-decanted at 1pm.] This one is even tighter than the last. A really big wine that needs a lot of time. This too should have gotten more air. 92-95 Tied for Group #2 WOTN. (93 pts.)

Flight 4: Château Margaux
Mary’s Mutton from Elihu Farms (Valley Falls, NY) in a Shiitake Reduction with Fume Tomatoes, Baby Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts.
This was amazing. One gorgeous mutton chop that seemed more like lamb and small piece of mutton in with the tomatoes. What a taste!

  • 1988 Château Margaux - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Opened at 4am, cork back in, double-decanted just before going to the dinner.] Dark, muted black fruit coffee nose. Some cedar and pencil lead. Doesn’t seem very Margaux-like, but it is a very big delcious wine which should improve for another decade. 94-?? (95 pts.)
  • 1989 Château Margaux - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Double-decanted for 20 minutes at 4pm.] Huge, smoky, ripe, black fruit, floral nose. Only the 2nd wine tonight that had the floral smell I associate with Margaux. This is still a young beast of a wine. Clearly a great wine with a great future. 95-?? Group WOTN. (95 pts.)
  • 1990 Château Margaux - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Double-decanted at 11am.] Dark black fruit nose. Intense and backward in the mouth. This needed 24 hours of air. This is clearly a great wine in hiding. I’m guessing a top vintage of Margaux. 95-?? (95 pts.)
  • 2003 Château Margaux - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    [Double-decanted for 5 hours at 9am.] Another beast of a wine. In hindsight, we should have skipped the first flight. This is a great flight but just too much young wine at this point. At this point, I’m getting licorice and cedar in the nose. Is this a Lafite ringer? It is a delicious, powerful wine with an obviously bright future. 95-?? (95 pts.)

This was such an amazing evening. The food was so good and went brilliantly with the wines (no small feat). The wines were, on the whole, terrific. My only disappointments where how my wine showed and how impenetrable the last 6 wines were.

Posted from CellarTracker

Sounds like an amazing opportunity.

Those dishes sound even more appetizing than the (great) wines

The first one was so good, I ate it all. Then I didn’t think I would make it through the others, but I did!

Great notes as always, Ken,

No nebbiolo and you’re still drinking enviably well!

I think the next 2 will be Burgundy!

Nice to read the whole report, but particularly this one. One of the few Bordeaux I own (and quite a few, as I loved it on release, along with Haut Bailly). Thanks!

Great report Ken, both here and on your site.

Those 1988s can be sneaky good. That said, I’m surprised the 1990 Margaux wasn’t the runaway WOTN.

If I had been managing this one, I would have had them decant the last 6 wines the night before. We did that a few years ago with the 90 Margaux and Latour and they really showed their stuff.

Yes, preparation can make a big difference.

One of these days Ken I am going to have to visit my old stomping grounds in Troy and Albany, and when I do I would love to arrange a visit with you.

By all means. Just let me know ahead of time.

BTW the one guy with the fully white beard lives in Maryland and commutes to Troy.

I have some untasted 2000 Rausan Segla. I was under the impression it was a tannic beast. Not so?

This one was far from it. I would give it a try, maybe when you can follow it over an afternoon and evening.

That’s the spirit. Way to power though it.

Looks like it was a nice event.

When the eating gets tough, the tough get eating!!! [berserker.gif]

Looks like a great event, with some familiar faces. So miss being able to eat Andy’s food… When entertaining out of town coworkers took many to Allegro in Troy… when they returned for another visit they all requested to go back there for dinner.

Hope you enjoyed your Turkey Day…

David, whereabouts did you live when you were in the area?

Very surprised (/perturbed) to read of the early maturation of the Rauzan-Seglas. Cool tasting!

On campus at RPI 1973-1975, then shared a couple of different rental houses near Albany Medical Center 1975-1980. One was on Ryckman, another on Warren.

That might have been before Chris was born. [cheers.gif]