Tasted blind at the 2012 Southwold tasting, the 2012 Château Margaux has a taut, linear, pencil lead-infused bouquet with pure blackberry and boysenberry scents, an undercurrent of tobacco that surfaces after five minutes in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp acidity, a life-affirming sense of balance with well-integrated new oak towards the finish. I concur with Robert Parker that his has become more structured and masculine in bottle, yet there is pedigree here from start to finish, a sense of effortlessness that is seductive. This is a top-class wine from the late Paul Pontallier and his team. Tasted January 2016.
96 points, Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Issue # 227 - Oct 2016)
Bay leaf and menthol hints lift a core of crushed plum and warm cherry confiture notes while the background fills steadily with black tea, singed alder and iron elements. Turns a little darker on the finish, with a coating of bittersweet cocoa powder and roasted vanilla bean accents, while the minerality stays buried for now. Remarkably dense and packed, yet refined. Needs some time to unwind. Best from 2018 through 2030. 10,833 cases made.
95 points, James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Mar 2015)
This elegant wine is very much in the classic style of Margaux. Although the wood is still showing, the wine has fresh black currant fruits along with an underlying firm, long-lived tannic structure. The aftertaste with its dryness and acidity confirms that. Drink from 2025.
95 points, Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (May 2015)
The 2012 Margaux is beautifully polished and suave in the glass, with pliant fruit and plenty of finesse, all in a classic, mid-weight Margaux style. Inward and tightly wound, the 2012 is clearly holding back much of its potential. The 2012 has a stony, mineral-infused energy that is going to require at least a few more years in bottle to fully unwind, while the 100% new oak is a bit pronounced at this early stage. Grilled herbs, smoke, graphite and sage add further nuances on the savory, delineated finish.
94+ points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Jan 2016)
Wonderful aromas of flowers such as roses, violets, strawberries and a hints of wet earth. Wet stones as well. Full to medium body, very firm tannins and a long, racy finish. Minerals and chalk on the aftertaste. Needs three to five years to soften. Better in 2020.
94 points, James Suckling (Feb 2015)