CHÂTEAU MARGAUX

2020 1er Cru Classé

EN PRIMEUR

Market Insight: With the 2018 and 2016 already making their way to the £2,800 mark, the quality has been maintained in 2020 so this is a solid price range, although the closer it can err toward £2,000, the better.L&S (May 2021)

In Bond

75cl bottles (wood case of 6)

* This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.

A stunning, riveting wine, the 2020 Margaux is classic as classic gets. Racy, elegant and super-refined, the 2020 possesses magnificent balance. Inky red/purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal, spice and bright mineral notes build as this super-expressive Margaux builds over time in the glass. The 2020 is not an obvious wine, but then again Château Margaux rarely is. I love the energy and vibrancy here. Margaux is very clearly one of the wines of the vintage in 2020. It’s a tremendous effort from the team led by Estate Manager Philippe Bascaules. Drinking range: 2035 - 2060 Rating: 97-99 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Jun 2021)

Much like the Deuxième Vin, the 2020 Château Margaux has a discreet nose; it is not interested in fireworks or in dazzling the taster. At first unassuming, it unfolds with black cherries, blueberry and signature crushed violet aromas, all delivered with the delineation and purity expected from an estate of this standing. Looking deeper, one finds touches of potpourri and India ink. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins and crisp acidity, perhaps more noticeable on the 2020 compared to the previous two vintages. This Margaux is surfeit with tension and coiled-up, nascent energy, then it tightens up toward a linear finish that strangely recalls a Pauillac, thanks to a subtle graphite note that lingers on the saline aftertaste. This is a classically styled Château Margaux that will gain weight and depth during its élevage. Cerebral and sophisticated, and one of the wines of the Left Bank in 2020. Drinking range: 2026 - 2060 Rating: 97-99 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2021)

The 2020 Château Margaux is a more concentrated, dense wine that has the vintage's massive dry extract paired with more moderate alcohol levels and building tannins. Blackcurrants, sandalwood, tobacco leaf, and graphite give way to a full-bodied, rich, powerful Château Margaux that's flawlessly balanced, has a stacked mid-palate, and a great finish. It's one for the ages, though, and don't expect much up-front appeal. It almost reminds me of the 1996, yet with slightly more density. It's a quintessential beauty that will be just about immortal. Rating: 96-98 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (May 2021)

Philippe Bascaules is a fascinating chap and his commentary and frankness made for a brilliant tasting. While I would prefer to taste at the Château I am not complaining about the many Zoom tastings I have been party to because instead of running into the tasting room and tasting and writing notes in 30 minutes flat before charging off to the next appointment, I have had the pleasure to tasting the wines this year over hours, revisiting the finest repeatedly in order to deep dive into their souls. Philippe explained that while the beginning of the season was rather challenging with warm, humid weather meaning that they had to work hard to protect their crops from mildew, the summer was hot and while it didn’t rain up until the 10th August, between the 10th and 20th August they experience a good few showers with 80mm falling on the 13th alone which changed the fortunes at Margaux! The vines loved this opportunity to drink up the rainfall and feed the grapes, and with lower temperatures arriving, too, the vines were in tremendous condition. From 20th August until the end of September they enjoyed great weather, picking perfectly ripe grapes with the ideal balance of richness coming from the skins and freshness from the juice. Aromatic and also refreshing, these delicate traits bookend a mesmerisingly deep and luxurious mid-palate with eye-catching silkiness bounded by an extraordinary energy. This is a signature Margaux and as Philippe explained, “the storm in August made this wine”. It is fascinating to think that famous wines are usually made in warm vintages with near-drought conditions, but in 2020, Margaux is undoubtedly one of the finest wines and its MD recognises that a storm was responsible for its greatness. With this in mind, 2020 Margaux is not a full-bodied, creamy style, but a silky, languid creature with an all-enveloping perfume, deep, wild berry tones, amazingly regal oak and staggering length. It manages to combine Margaux’s trademark elegance and tenderness with superb structure and finesse. The tannins are also exquisite and they cradle this wine perfectly. In 2020 Mouton is quintessential Mouton, Haut-Brion is an outlier in all respects and it shocks as much as it impresses, while Margaux also manages to hit the high notes while retaining its precise personality and signature. All three are stunning wines and all three sit atop my deliberations this year, but they could not be more different and this is exactly why I like them so much. Rating: 19.5 Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (May 2021)

The 2020 Château Margaux is composed of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, accounting for 36% of the harvest. The alcohol weighs in at 13.5%, the IPT is 80 and the pH is 3.67. Displaying an opaque purple-black color, it needs a lot of air, time and patience to coax out the youthfully reticent nose of blueberry preserves, blackcurrant pastilles and Black Forest cake, followed by suggestions of lavender, clove oil, iron ore and menthol with wafts of star anise and candied violets. The medium to full-bodied palate is wonderfully opulent, featuring tightly wound yet beautifully pure layers of black fruits and earthy nuances within a solid structure of firm yet velvety tannins and exhilarating freshness, finishing with very long-lingering earth and mineral notes. Another stunning expression of the vintage by Philippe Bascaules and his team—bravo! Drinking range: 2028 - 2068 Rating: 97-99 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com (May 2021)

A brilliant Margaux; one that takes a sigh and then releases the huge floral, eucalyptus and crushed mint whoosh that comes in waves though the palate. You get the concentration of the vintage in an entirely positive light, with a suave softness to the tannins that makes it stand head and shoulders above many others. Plenty in common with the 1996 vintage - the knitted down tannins, the completeness, the juicy blackcurrant purity and acidity on the finish, and the certainty of long ageing. Real clarity of flavour. Alcohol level is lower than both the 2018 and 2019, but tannins and anthocyanins are at the same level as in 2018. 36% of overall harvest, and 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. A yield of 36hl/ha. Drinking range: 2028 - 2044 Rating: 98-100 Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)

89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc. Gorgeous wine that is both classic and expressive. Aromatically complex with floral, mineral and dark-fruit notes. Quality of tannins superb from entry to finish, the texture smooth and velvety. Lovely freshness, poise and length. Perfect pitch. Definitely has the edge on 2019 and 2018. Drinking range: 2030 - 2055 Rating: 19 James Lawther MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2021)

1855 classification - Premier Grand Cru Classé Margaux, originally La Mothe de Margaux, has a long history dating back to at least the 12th Century. By the 17th Century, Margaux was widely recognised for the quality of their wines - in 1771 Château Margaux was the first wine sold by Christies, and Thomas Jefferson bought some Margaux when he was Ambassador to France. The French Revolution was a turbulent time for Margaux but, by the turn of the 19th Century, the estate was in the hands of the Basque Marquis de la Colonilla who's singular contribution was to build the château that we see today. Margaux's reputation was recognised by the 1855 classification which placed it among the elite group of Premier Grand Cru Classés. By the 1960's, however, Margaux was trading as much on reputation as anything else and a run of poor vintages in the 1970's led Margaux to be sold. This was its salvation, for the purchaser was André Mentzelpoulos who, despite some rumblings of discontent locally at such a grand property falling into "foreign" hands, poured in investment, replanting the vineyards, building a new underground cellar and renovating the château. Also more than renovated was Margaux's reputation as one of Bordeaux's leading estates, a reputation it now richly deserves, still under the benevolent eye of the Mentzelpoulos family. Château Margaux is a large estate, running to nearly 265ha, although under vine there are only 82ha. For red wines the vines are 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot with smaller plantings of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Wines are fermented and aged in barrels made at Margaux's own cooperage, the reds spending up to two years in wood. The second wine of the estate is Pavillon Rouge de Château Margaux which has been produced since the 19th Century, making it among the longest established of such wines. Château Margaux also produce a very successful white wine - Pavillon Blanc de Château Margaux - 100% Sauvignon Blanc, aged in wood for six months. This is classified as AOC Bordeaux as there is no appellation for white Margaux.

Please make sure that you have read the terms of this offer which are different from those on the main website. If you are unclear as to what is involved in primeur purchases please do contact our private client team via email or on 0207 221 1982.

Ordering

Prices are all in bond by the case size stated.

Pre-Orders are a firm commitment to buy wines on release, as long as the release price sits within the upper and lower price bands set by you on the pre-order form. Pre-orders will be fulfilled subject to availability but providing this firm commitment to buy effectively gives you priority and is a good idea for the most desirable wines.

Wines listed on the website can be ordered in the usual way via the website wishlist order form. You can also send orders directly to our private client team via email. Please note that, for the most sought after wines, priority will be given to those who ordered the same wines last year and to those that have pre-ordered.

Confirmation

All orders will be confirmed by email and are binding unless written cancellation is received within seven days of email confirmation. Pre-orders are not binding if the release price is above your upper price band.

Invoices are all raised at the in bond price (excluding any duty and VAT) which will become payable at the prevailing rates when the wines arrive in the UK, should you wish to take duty paid delivery.

Payment is required on sight of invoice, by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We regret we cannot accept credit cards for en primeur orders. We reserve the right to apply a dunning charge of 2% per month on invoices unpaid after 30 days.

Delivery

  • Shipment to our bond (at LCB Creek Road) and insurance are included in the in bond price.
  • Delivery is free to Lea and Sandeman / Elephant storage accounts, both duty paid and in bond.
  • Other deliveries (In Bond and Duty Paid) are also free subject to a minimum order from the offer of £500. Orders below this total will be charged an administration and handling fee of £16.50+ VAT when invoices are issued. We will group deliveries and this is a charge for your entire purchases, not a per-case charge.
  • Delivery of 2020 Bordeaux bought en primeur is expected during 2023. Delivery dates may vary as wines are shipped from Bordeaux at different times.
  • We do not anticipate any problems but please be aware that delays to delivery may occur should Britain's possible departure from the European Union result in additional border customs checks or other regulatory requirements. Any additional or unforeseen duties, tariffs, charges or other financial liabilities relating to 'Brexit' must be due to the customer and will be invoiced as required.

Practical notes - how it works

We start a sale in each customer's name and add all their primeur orders to one sale which is invoiced at the end of the campaign (or when the customer wishes). Immediate payment of invoices is then required by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We and our customers find that having a single invoice for the vintage is the simpler option but please note that confirmed orders are still binding even if the final invoice has not yet been issued.

Please specify on your wishlist order form where you would like the wines shipped on arrival in the UK. If this is to a third-party bonded warehouse, please specify the relevant account details. If the wines are required duty-paid we will issue a second invoice for duty and VAT at the prevailing rate when the wines are available for delivery.

Half-bottles, Magnums and larger bottles.

One of the additional advantages of buying en primeur is being able to order the wine in the format you want. While most of our listings are for 75cl bottles, we can source wines in any format if offered by the Château. Please note that format requests cannot be changed once wines have been invoiced. Additional charges for special formats do apply and are as follows:-

  • +£20 per case of 24 half-bottles
  • +£10 per case of 6 Magnums (2 bottles equivalent, 1.5 litres each)
  • +£35 per individually boxed Double Magnum (4 bottles equivalent, 3 litres)
  • +£50 per individually boxed Imperial (8 bottles equivalent, 6 litres) for Salmanazars, Balthazars, Nebuchadnezzars and Melchiors please enquire for availability and price.

Storage Options:

Wines bought en primeur won't arrive in the UK until 2023. If you do not wish to take home delivery at that point, you may wish to consider where you would like the wines shipped. Lea & Sandeman offers duty paid and in bond storage through a dedicated storage company called Elephant Storage. For more details on the terms and fees associated with storage please go to our Storage Homepage or contact our private client team for more information.