2006 3ème Cru Classé Margaux

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Margaux
Classification 3ème Cru Classé
ABV 13%

Very dark colour. Big nose: broad with a dry smokiness and purity of black fruit and graphite, weight of mineral and serious dryness. Fat on the palate, weighty. Impressive for its very fine tannins and cool freshness. Claire Villars said that the Merlots were picked earlier that they would ideally have liked because of the rains, but that the Cabernet, which anyway had very small grapes and thick skins, was not affected by the rain and ripened to be picked much later at the optimum moment. They did not have the acidity of 1996, and anyway much of the total acid was tartric, so was converted in the malolactic fermentations. They kept the fermentation temperatures low - a maximum of about 27°C, so as not to extract too much hard tannin. At the big Margaux tasting it was if anything even more impressive, precise, Cabernet Sauvignon character coming out, tannic finish but a wine with character. Rating: 91-91 L&S (Apr 2007)

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Bright ruby-red. Subtle, pure aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, violet and minerals; high-pitched and attractive. Then juicy and quite firm in the mouth, with primary flavors of dark berries and minerals. A fairly big, rich wine but not overly sweet. Finishes with broad, building tannins. A bit youthfully musclebound (from energetic extraction?) but this possesses very good stuffing for 2006. Rating: 87-89 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (May 2007)

A little diluted on the midpalate, with berry and currant character. Medium body and a delicate finish. Clean and caressing. Rating: 85-88 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator (May 2007)

A very traditional nose of cedar and cigar box with a faint hint of greenness underlying blackberry fruit. Quite rustic, perhaps a shade loose-knit. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruits, moderate acidity and ripe raspberry leaf, cherry with a touch of tobacco. A little astringency towards the finish. No bad. (84-86) Tasted again in London where the nose is rather muted but the palate showing more vigour and density, perhaps "pointed" towards the finish but less astringency. (86-88) Rating: 86-88 Neal Martin, (Apr 2007)

Good colour, fresh and fragrant blackcurrant fruit, nice lift, good oak, and elegant, classy wine for the medium term. 2011-18. Rating: **** (Apr 2007)

Deep, shiny crimson. Rather sumptuous, sweet nose in the, say, Pape Clément mould. Good freshness of fruit - very easy 'pleasant' wine with slightly green tannins on the finish. A little inky but certainly a true representative of the vintage. Quite but not excessively light. 2012-20 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - (Apr 2007)

Château Ferrière

Margaux Troisième cru 1855 The Ferrière family owned their eponymous estate from its origins in the 18th Century right up until 1914. During the 20th Century, Château Ferrière's star fell considerably with the vineyard leased to Alexis Lichine and the wine made at Château Lascombes, and Château Ferrière was rarely seen or known outside France. Ferrière was purchased by the Taillan Group (who own, among others, Gruaud-Larose and Chasse-Spleen) in 1988, and the story since then has been of continued improvement. The connection with Château Lascombes was ended and all wines are made at Château Ferrière now. Château Ferrière is the smallest of the Cru Classé estates, with just 8ha of vines dispersed around the centre of Margaux village. 80% are Cabernet Sauvignon, with 15% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. The Grand Vin spends 18 months in wood (60% new). Both in terms of quality and availability, Château Ferrière is unrecognisable from where it was a few short years ago. Classic, gently assertive Margaux and excellent value for money.

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