The best 2010s from Margaux

13 April 2011
Author: Jeannie Cho Lee


2010 was a great year for Margaux, nearly as good as 2009. For most properties, 2010 resulted in very high tannins and alcohol, which needed gentle handling in the winery. Most properties succeeded in producing aromatic, fresh styles with a fair amount of tannins which will soften over time. Overall, however, I preferred the 2009s to the 2010s in Margaux.


1. 2010 Château Margaux, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

The amazingly complex 2010 Margaux is a deep ruby colour, with striking aromatics of sweet violets, cedar , blackberries and ripe blackcurrants, leading to rich and really pure fruit flavours and deep velvety tannins on the palate, and a very long finish. The 90% Cabernet Sauvignon has clearly added density and richness to this wine, which will need at least 10 years of bottle age. (97-99)


2. 2010 Château Palmer, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby and gorgeous 2010 Palmer exudes aromas of violets, plums and blackberries, supported by wonderful layers of vibrant fruit and spice flavours and fine velvety tannins. This Palmer has somehow been made in a cooler, fresher style despite having the highest-ever recorded levels of alcohol (14.5%) and tannin. (95-97)


3. 2010 Château Brane-Cantenac, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby and very classy 2010 Brane-Cantenac gives up aromas of violets, plums, cedar and blackcurrant, followed on the palate by a complex array of spice and floral notes layered with vibrant fresh fruits. This wine has wonderful balance and elegance, and will age for decades – Bravo Brane-Cantenac for another great vintage! (95-97)


4. 2010 Château Malescot St-Exupery, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby purple 2010 Malescot St-Exupery adds aromas of violets, plums, blackberries and spices, echoed on the palate with excellent persistence. This is a wonderful full-bodied Margaux with generous flavours and great depth and intensity. (92-94)


5. 2010 Château Margaux – Pavillon Rouge, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

The 2010 Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux is a fairly deep ruby in colour, offering up aromas of dark berries, cedar and violets, all echoed on the intense and aromatic palate. This Pavillon has great length and depth of flavour, but is made in a big, dense style, reflecting what was an atypical vintage for Margaux, the growing conditions yielding a dense and massive style, with less perfume than 2009 but with very high, firm acidity. (92-94)


6. 2010 Château Marquis de Terme, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby 2010 Marquis de Terme offers up very attractive and complex aromas of bright dark red berries, cassis, cedar, plums and spices, followed by lovely flavours in the mid palate, firm acidity and very dense but ripe tannins. Despite its fresh floral and spicy character, this is a big wine with a long finish that needs to be kept for at least 10 years. (92-93)


7. 2010 Château D’Issan, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

The 2010 Chateau d’Issan has a deeper than usual ruby purple colour and aromas of violets, plums, blackberries and hint of cedar. It is a beautifully made, expressively-perfumed style of d’Issan – not powerful like the 2009 – which offers a balanced and elegant medium-bodied wine of real Margaux expression and character. (90-92)


8. 2010 Château Palmer – Alter Ego, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby purple 2010 Alter Ego de Palmer has a lovely perfume of bright fruits with blackberries, blueberries, cedar and violets, and is rich and seductive on the palate, filled with juicy berries and supported by fairly high (14.4%) alcohol. A blend of 51% Cabernet and 49% Merlot, this is one of the most concentrated Alter Egos ever. (90-92)


9. 2010 Château Giscours, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby 2010 Giscours offers notes of ripe blackberries, plums, blackberries, cedar and violets, with delicate flavours and good depth of fruit in the mid palate. This is a fairly light, restrained expression of the Margaux appellation for 2010. (90-91)


10. 2010 Château Lascombes, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby purple 2010 Lascombes has notes of plums, blackberries, cedar and cassis, and has a palate packed with ripe fruits. This thick, dense and ripe wine is the only 2010 Margaux I tasted where I felt like reaching for a fork and knife. Enjoy it as a full bodied Bordeaux, made in a modern way with plenty of extraction and polish. (89-91)


11. 2010 Château Durfort-Vivens, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby 2010 Durfort-Vivens has notes of bright red cherries, plums and blackberries, supported by a great vibrancy of classic young perfumed Margaux fruit flavours and gently-handled tannins, leading to a long finish. (89-91)


12. 2010 Château Rauzan-Segla, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

I tasted 2 samples of the deep ruby 2010 Rauzan-Segla: one was very closed with a dry finish and the second was more expressive, with aromas of cedarbox, tobacco, plums and cassis, but still very restrained. Although I found the fruit lacked dimension and depth, the tannins were soft, making the wine fairly easy to enjoy and destined to be approachable at a young age. (89-90)


13. 2010 Château Prieure-Lichine, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

The deep ruby 2010 Prieure-Lichine offers up notes of lifted blackberry, cherry and blackcurrant fruit, supported on the palate by a very pure berry fruit expression with a gentle graceful edge. This wine is very Margaux, very classy with good length and clearly made with a light touch, something to be appreciated in a vintage where many people either over-extracted the tannins or didn’t choose the ideal harvest date. (88-90)


14. 2010 Château du Tertre, Margaux, Bordeaux, France

The 2010 du Tertre is a fairly deep ruby in colour, with aromas of fresh blackcurrants, blueberries and violets, followed by lifted and elegant balanced flavours fruit on the palate. However, I expected the 2010 to be more generous and felt that these flavours were lacking somewhat in the mid palate, and that the wine was a little short. Overall, then, a disappointing du Tertre given its stellar performance over the past 5 years. (88-90)