A Bordeaux "third wine" from Private Cellar
Every now and then a wine comes along that is in a different league entirely.
In my case it is often a Bordeaux. Does that say something about Bordeaux or about me? Probably a bit of both.
This Expression de Margaux is a white-labelled third wine - one of a pair offered in limited numbers by Private Cellar late last year.
Second Wines are a relatively common phenomenon - the slightly less-good grapes of the chateaux are bottled and labelled separately from the Grand Vin in order to maintain quality (or exclusivity, depending on your view).
In any event, for cost-plus, rather than trophy pricing, you get a taste of something with a First-Growth pedigree. Over time, some Second Wines have developed a following of their own and a Third Wine is added.
2011 is not a year that suggests a surplus of good-but-not brilliant grapes, so how or why these two third wines came into being is something of a mystery.
Deep, vibrant red black with a fabulous nose of rich, spiced red fruits, oriental with a hint of cardamom, leading to a soft, supple palate of juicy black fruits, rich and broad, with delicious supple tannins and light acidity behind; classic Margaux velvety fruit, rich and exuberant.
Very Good; drinking nicely now with about half an hour in the decanter, it will continue to improve for some years.
Match with roast red meat - beef or lamb now, something gamier in a few years' time.
The Pauillac apparently needs a few more months to become approachable.
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On Wines of a Certain Age