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Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend Margaux 2000
The exceptional concentration in the grapes in 2000 was not only achieved in the old vines, which produce the first wine; in fact, all the plots produced very ripe and concentrated grapes. The fabulous potential of this vintage led us paradoxically to make a strict selection at the blending so that Château Margaux 2000 would have the most perfect expression possible. Naturally, this very rigorous selection was also of direct benefit to Pavillon Rouge, which was made richer by very good wines which did not go into the Château Margaux. At the same time, it was freed of lesser wines which were reserved for the third wine. The 2000 Pavillon Rouge has the complexity and density of a first wine, and it certainly has the ageing potential. It certainly is the reason why it may still be too young to drink; let’s wait a few years more, and in the meantime, let’s enjoy the 1999, 2001 and 2002 Pavillon Rouge. (December 2008)
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External Reviews for Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend Margaux
Bottled in late November, 2002, the 2000 has turned out to be a colossal example of Chateau Margaux that is tasting even better from bottle than it was from cask. Only 40% of the crop made it into this 2000 Margaux, a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. The 2000 possesses a saturated ruby/purple color to the rim as well as an extraordinarily promising nose of creme de cassis intermixed with white flowers, licorice, and hints of espresso and toasty oak. There is great intensity, compelling purity, a multi-layered, full-bodied palate, and a finish that goes on for nearly 70+ seconds. Bottled naturally, with no filtration, it is a monumental example of the elegance and power that symbolize this extraordinary vineyard. A tour de force in winemaking, many of my colleagues predicted, far earlier than me, that it would be the “wine of the vintage.” It is certainly one of the wines of the vintage, but there is plenty of competition, even at this lofty level of quality. Absolutely awesome! Anticipated maturity: 2012–2050.
[Barrel tasting] Black ruby in color, with violet and raspberry aromas and hints of currant and spices. Super, full-bodied, with thick, polished tannins. Should be chewy, and it is. But it remains fine and classy. Another 1995? I can’t give more than 100 points.
Muscular yet classy. Breathtaking aromas of black licorice, violets, berry and cherry, with light hints of spices and minerals; it’s all there in the nose. Full-bodied, with an ultrafine tannin structure, and a finish that persists for minutes. This may turn out to be even better than the 1995 due to its layers and layers of fine tannins and fruit, but I can’t give it more than 100 points. Best after 2015.
[Barrel tasting] Lovely perfumes of blackberries, cherries, minerals and light toasted oak. Full-bodied, with super well-integrated tannins and a long, long caressing finish. A big, silky, sexy red. It has the potential to be 100 points. Fantastic. Margaux has such power, yet it’s refined and elegant. Still not in bottle in early December.
Paul Pontallier happened upon the 2000 vintage at Margaux, having prepared the vines since 1983, and having gained a certain level of intimacy with their produce over the years. He doesn’t take credit for the particular balance of water retention in the soils at Margaux, for the light rains that refreshed the vines in August, though he can take some credit for knowing how to manage those vines and when to pick them. For without his history at the château, the 2000 vintage might have been merely great. But there’s something of his spirits in this wine, along with the essence of the Margaux vineyard, the glint of the soil and the grandeur of the building, which taken together will stop you in your tracks.
Penetrating, highly perfumed aromas of sappy dark berries, violet and minerals; seems less oaky today than the ’01. Offers compelling mouthfilling concentration and perfume. A wine of great power and consistency, with a pungent minerality lingering on the palate-staining finish. This somehow doesn’t flag or grow narrower even after one swallows or sips. Makes the 2002 seem almost dry in comparison. Wine-of-the-vintage material.
Absolutely compelling in two tastings of this vintage, the 2000 Margaux is composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. The extraordinary seductiveness, complex aromatics, and purity it exhibits lead me to believe it has reached its window of full maturity. Medium-bodied, with layers of concentration, stunning blue, red, and black fruits intermixed with spring flowers, a subtle dosage of new oak, and a distinctive personality that is elegant while at the same time powerful and substantial, this is a multi-dimensional wine that was extremely approachable and drinkable in both tastings I had of it. The color remains a healthy, even opaque bluish/purple, but there is no reason to hesitate to drink it. It should evolve for another 30–40 years, so there is no hurry either.