2017 Margaux Château d'Issan
The 2017 Blason d’Issan has a straightforward, slightly Pauillac-inspired bouquet, a little austere in style at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, masculine in style (especially for a Deuxième Vin). Quite fresh and firm towards the finish, this is a Blason that will benefit from a couple of years in bottle. Drinking range: 2020 - 2028 Rating: 86-88 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2018)
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Mid cherry red. Pretty floral fragrance of dark-red fruit and sweet violets. Silky and sweet fruited, light on the mid palate so that some oak sweetness shows on the finish but it's pretty and charming. At the moment there is a slightly intrusive oak note on the finish. Drinking range: 2022 - 2027 Rating: 16 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2018)
This is round and velvety with a juicy and fruity character and an undertone of sweet strawberries. Round and full-bodied. Sweet tannins. Rating: 91-92 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Apr 2018)
The picking dates here were as for the grand vin, and the blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. Analyses show the alcohol to be 13.3%, the acidity 3.2 g/l and the IPT 58. The yield was 43 hl/ha, with this cuvée taking 53% of the crop. A very pretty nose here, showing red plum with a little sweet, grilled note, and a touch of toasted pip. The palate has a real sense of charm and grace, with gently gilled red cherry medicine wrapped up in the flavours of cigar box and toasted tobacco oak, with a nice elegance in terms of texture and weight, and some fresh acids. This is a second wine with real charm, but I think it will probably be at its best over the next five to eight years. The élevage will make use of 35% new oak. Rating: 89-91 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com (Apr 2018)
Margaux Troisième cru 1855 When Pierre l'Essenault inherited what became Château d'Issan through his marriage in the mid-17th Century, he knocked down the old castle that stood on the site and built the present château. He also gave it its name, these days somewhat abridged. During the 18th Century, part of the estate was divided away and became today's Château Palmer. In 1945, Château d'Issan was bought by Emmanuel Cruse who bought a run-down estate, ravaged by Depression and War with only 2ha of working vineyard. The vineyards now occupy 53ha, planted to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. Wines typically spend 18 months in wood. In 2013 Jacky Lorenzetti, who owns Lilian Ladouys, bought 50% of d'Issan to become co-owner with the Cruse family. Château d'Issan is among the fullest and richest Margaux's, a facet which sometimes in the past has suggested a lack of charm. Indeed, the Cruse family's care and attention to d'Issan has taken many years to bear fruit, with the wines only returning to top-flight quality in the latter years of the 20th Century. They are now among the better wines in the appellation and well worth their 3rd Growth status. There is a second wine at Château d'Issan called Blason d'Issan. Château d'Issan also includes some vines which fall outside the Margaux appellation - Château de Candale, Haut-Médoc and Moulin d'Issan, Bordeaux Supérieur.
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