Is there any wine ‘village’ anywhere in the world with a name that rolls off the tongue quite as well as Margaux? It’s not exactly groundbreaking to suggest that at their best, the wines made here are as good as it gets. I find it not to be the most consistent part of Bordeaux, but ask anybody in Bordeaux for two vintages where one appellation sings and soars above all others, and I’d expect that you will get the answer ‘Margaux in 1983 and Margaux in 2015’. Something about the soil, the climate, and the vines in Margaux makes things here more ‘marginal’ than elsewhere on the Left Bank. As with many things in wine, when marginal works, it really works.
This last happened in 1983, when famously the wines of Margaux were better than the 1982s which received such acclaim across Bordeaux in general. In 2015, and for the first time since, it’s happened again. This is a vintage and an appellation that I want to scream from the rooftops about, you need to be buying as many of these as you can while the wines are in their youth and affordable.
While I say that, at the top end many of the wines have already exploded in price. Château Margaux itself was first sold here at $550 per bottle, today it’s pushing $2000, and Rauzan Segla has gone from $75 towards $150. So, on many of the top ‘names’, the ship has sailed.
However, while ‘everyday’ Margaux doesn’t exactly grow on trees, it does just about exist, and I’m thrilled to offer an absolute winner today. Made by Château Tayac (picked out by Neal Martin as a top “under-the-radar” estate), this is a perfect example of the insane value that’s available even in the most prestigious parts of Bordeaux if you look in the right places. If you can find a Cabernet better than this for this price anywhere else in the world, I’d like to hear about.
Château Tayac, Cuvée Nicolas, Margaux
Inviting deep and ripe nose with dark fruit and violets, which manages to feel full and powerful while still restrained and balanced. Blackcurrant, plum and black pepper spice follow on the silky smooth palate. Fine long finish here, and this is serious bang for the buck. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot from 37 hectares in Soussans in the west of Margaux.