2010 Château Malescot St Exupery, Margaux, Bordeaux
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 28/02/2013
(95 Robert Parker- Wine Advocate- Feb 2013)
This estate, which has been on a qualitative crescendo for over ten years, has made a prodigious 2010 that ranks alongside their 2009, 2005 and 2000. A gorgeous fragrance of spring flowers, cedarwood, black and red currants and hints of spice box and subtle oak is followed by a generously endowed, full-bodied, opulent wine with layers of concentration, a restrained yet exuberant personality, superb fruit purity and a long finish. There is plenty of tannin, no doubt elevated alcohol and wonderful freshness as well as delicacy. This beauty should drink well for 25 or more years.
(94-96 Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr-2010)
About this WINE
Chateau Malescot St Exupery
Château Malescot-St-Exupéry, a 3ème Cru Classé Margaux property, can trace its history back to the 18th century. Over the years its reputation slipped and the estate became dilapidated and run-down.
In 1955 Malescot-St-Exupéry was purchased by the Zuger family who invested heavily in the estate, and it is now one of the best-maintained and most quality-driven of the Margaux crus. Today it is run by Jean-Luc Zuger. The winery and the cellars are located in the town of Margaux, while the vineyards now consist of five separate parcels in the commune of Margaux.
Malescot-St-Exupéry's wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot - it is matured in oak barriques, 80% of which are new, for 16 months and is bottled unfiltered.
Malescot-St-Exupéry can be light and lean when young but after 6-7 years of cellaring displays a seductive perfume and a harmonious and silky texture which few wines from Margaux can match.
If Pauillac can be seen as the bastion of ‘traditional’ Red Bordeaux, then Margaux represents its other facet in producing wines that are among Bordeaux’s most sensual and alluring. It is the largest commune in the Médoc, encompassing the communes of Cantenac, Soussans, Arsac and Labaude, in addition to Margaux itself. Located in the centre of the Haut-Médoc, Margaux is the closest of the important communes to the city of Bordeaux.
The soils in Margaux are the lightest and most gravelly of the Médoc, with some also containing a high percentage of sand. Vineyards located in Cantenac and Margaux make up the core of the appelation with the best vineyard sites being located on well-drained slopes, whose lighter soils give Margaux its deft touch and silky perfumes. Further away from the water, there is a greater clay content and the wines are less dramatically perfumed.
Margaux is the most diffuse of all the Médoc appelations with a reputation for scaling the heights with irreproachable wines such as Ch. Margaux and Ch. Palmer, but also plumbing the depths, with too many other châteaux not fulfilling their potential. There has been an upward shift in recent years, but the appellation cannot yet boast the reliability of St Julien. However, the finest Margaux are exquisitely perfumed and models of refinement and subtlety which have few parallels in Bordeaux.
Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Margaux, Ch. Palmer, Ch. Brane-Cantenac, Ch. Rauzan-Ségla , Ch. Dufort-Vivens, Ch. Ferrière, Ch. du Tertre, Ch. Giscours, Ch. d'Angludet.
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.
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Gorgeous, flowery, classic Margaux once again, the 2010 Malescot St.-Exupery continues to show virtually no toasty oak, given the impeccable balance and full-bodied, full-throttle style it possesses. Black raspberries, creme de cassis and spring floral notes intermixed with forest floor and a hint of charcoal are followed by an opulent, sexy, full-bodied wine whose tannins have become much sweeter, while the wine is less restrained yet still exuberant and impressive. This is a phenomenal example once again for this estate, harmonious in every sense of style, extraordinarily long, rich and ageworthy. Three to four years of bottle age will do wonders to make it more accessible, but this wine is set for 25-30 years of longevity.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 28/02/2013
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