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90-93 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - April 2013
(87% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot, 2% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot; 34% of the total crop): Dark ruby-red. Refined aromas of fresh blackcurrant, spices, dry herbs and cedar on the very classic nose. Enters fresh and lively, showing spicy black fruit, green coffee bean and herb flavors. The long finish features smooth tannins but somewhat edgy acidity, with a repeating leafy nuance. While this wine's tannins are much finer than they were in Bordeaux wines of decades past, this vintage Margaux seems like a throwback to the more herbal wines of the 1970s. Managing director Paul Pontaillier told me he included 17% press wine this year, because he thought it was of outstanding quality, but that seems like a bit too much to me. The yield was 40 hectoliters per hectare, vs. 29 h/h in 2011, the lowest production at Margaux since 1981. Pontailler told me the estate made a large quantity of a fourth wine this year, in order to make a better third wine, recently named Margaux du Chateau Margaux. The new third wine will go on sale for the first time this year, beginning in four traditional markets: France, the U.S., the U.K. and Japan.