CHATEAU MARGAUX 1996

SKU
CMCS199610 UCAU
Scoring 2 x 100 point scores in recent tastings, this is truly a spectacular wine. As stated in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate; "The 1996 Chateau Margaux, a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, must be a strong contender for wine of the vintage. It offers everything you desire from this First Growth. It is blessed with breathtaking delineation and freshness on the nose, understated at first and then blossoming with mineral-infused black fruit, hints of blueberry, crushed stone and violet. The palate is perfectly balanced with filigree tannin, perfect acidity, a wine where everything seems to be in its right place. Blackberry, crushed stone at the front of the mouth, just a touch of spice towards the finish that shows supreme control. This is a Margaux that seems to light up the senses. It was outstanding in its youth...something that has not changed one bit over the intervening two decades. This may well turn out to be the Left Bank pinnacle of the 1990s"
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  • 99 Points - Robert Parker
  • 96 Points - Stephen Tanzer
  • "Super Charming" - Jancis Robinson
  • Single Bottle
    $2,200.00
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  • 100
  • 100
  • 97

Details

Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Blueberry
    • Boysenberry
    • Herbal
  • Palate
    • Blue Fruits
    • Cassis
    • Graphite

Food Pairings

  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Decanter

    100
    "Softly spoken, fine tannins, pencil lead and leather, with truffle, earth, campfire and spice. Long drawn out finish, achingly slow, crushed stone, tobacco and dried roses. As with the 2001, the generosity and beauty of the aromatics tells you that this is absolutely ready to drink - although in many ways it feels like it will last longer than the 2001, as the tannins are still holding everything in place. This got the audience award on the night, and no question it is a stunning wine that is still giving so much pleasure at 25 years old. The 1996 has really grown into itself - it was a late harvest at the time after a burst of rain at the end of September that they decided to wait through before picking, and were rewarded with beautifully ripe Cabernet that was high in dense tannins and a little surly at first, but that has turned into one of the greatest vintages of the 1990s (rivaled only by the 1990 itself in my opinion). 2% Cabernet Franc completes the blend, 100% new oak. (JA)"
  • The Wine Advocate

    100
    "The 1996 Chateau Margaux, a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, must be a strong contender for wine of the vintage. It offers everything you desire from this First Growth. It is blessed with breathtaking delineation and freshness on the nose, understated at first and then blossoming with mineral-infused black fruit, hints of blueberry, crushed stone and violet. The palate is perfectly balanced with filigree tannin, perfect acidity, a wine where everything seems to be in its right place. Blackberry, crushed stone at the front of the mouth, just a touch of spice towards the finish that shows supreme control. This is a Margaux that seems to light up the senses. It was outstanding in its youth...something that has not changed one bit over the intervening two decades. This may well turn out to be the Left Bank pinnacle of the 1990s."
  • Jeb Dunnuck

    97
    "While the 1996 Château Margaux has been closed and difficult to read for the past decade, it showed beautifully on this occasion, with its hallmark elegance and purity paired with a dense, powerful profile. Still youthfully ruby-hued with notes of pure crème de cassis, unsmoked tobacco, incense, and chocolate, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, building yet seamless tannins, and an awesome finish. This is pure class as well as a quintessential Margaux! To be on the safe side, give bottles another 4-5 years and it’s going to keep for 50-75 years."

Other vintages

Love this wine? Here's a list of other vintages we have in stock if you'd like to try them as well.

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Locations

France

Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux produces some of the most highly sought after and revered wines in the world. Located close to the coast, in the south-west of France the town and is divided by the Gironde River. Wines to the west of the river are referred to as left bank, and are Cabernet dominant. To the East of the river, on the right bank Merlot is the dominant grape variety. Throughout the 57 appellations, over 10,000 wine-making châteaux grow the red grapes; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. These are commonly blended and collectively referred to as clarets. Smaller amounts of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc is also grown in Bordeaux.

In 1855, due to the high export demands of Bordeaux wines, Emporer Napoleon III requested an official Bordeaux classification system, based on market costs of the wines at the time. The Chateaux were classified in to five ‘growths’ from first growth to fifth growth and cru Bourgois. Also in 1855 The Sauternes and Barsac classification covered the sweeter wines, with Chateau d’Yquem the only Superior First Growth, followed by Premiers Crus and Deux Deuxièmes Crus.

Medoc

Home to over 650 vineyards and spanning over 4,900 hectares, Bordeaux’s Médoc wine region comprises four of the most distinguished wine villages in the area: Saint-Estephe, Saint-Julien, Pauillac, and Margaux. The peninsula of Médoc is home to coastal lagoons, sand dunes, and pine forests. It is known to have formed into a peninsula over time as the Garonne and Dordogne rivers carried in large quantities of mineral rich silt and light reflective, well drained gravel, which turned out to be perfect for harvesting red wine grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The main aromas of the beautifully refined red wines from this area are: spices, oak, red fruit and vanilla.

The region of Médoc is divided into three areas: the Landes du Médoc, the Bas-Médoc, and the Haut-Médoc. The Landes du Médoc is located in the entire western half of the peninsula. Although there are no vineyards here, the land is still important because its pine trees protect the grape vines from the harsh cold winds blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. The Bas-Médoc( lower-Médoc) runs downstream on the estuarine side of the peninsula. The wines produced here are usually more affordable than those produced in Haut-Médoc. Haut-Médoc (upper-Médoc) is the most well-known of the three sections. The wines produced here are some of the most expensive wines worldwide and were famously ranked in The Médoc Classification of 1855, which is to this day in use.

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About the brand Chateau Margaux

One of the five First Growths from the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, Chateau Margaux is an estate with a prolific past. Located in the commune of Margaux AOC, on the left bank of the Garrone estuary in Bordeaux, the Chateau dates back to the late 1500s when Pierre de Lestonnac converted the land, then used for cereals into vineyard. The property has shifted hands a number of times but is now fully owned by Corrine Mentzelopoulos, who inherited a portion from her father and purchased the remainder of the shares in 2003. Of the estate's holdings, 80 hectares are planted with red varietals of which 75% is Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and the remainder is Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The soil is the thinnest in the Medoc with the highest proportion of gravel, whose propensity for drainage assists in the production of fine, silky wines. Its grand vin is a blend of its finest parcels of red varieties and is often described as the most elegant of the First Growths; a charming wine with purity of fruit and finesse.

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