2020 Château d'Issan, Margaux, Bordeaux

2020 Château d'Issan, Margaux, Bordeaux

Product: 20208008798
 
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2020 Château d'Issan, Margaux, Bordeaux

Description

Cabernet Sauvignon 55%, Merlot 39%, Petit Verdot 2%, Malbec 1%

Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec all appear for the first time ever, following the purchase of a parcel of old vines from neighbouring Pontac-Lynch in 2020. There’s also less Cabernet Sauvignon than usual, resulting in a beautifully juicy, open and positive wine. It’s not at all overdone – indeed, just the reverse. On the palate, there’s a silky, alluring texture from the old-vine Merlot of the walled L’Enclos. There’s more detail in the structure, perhaps from the new varieties. This is a new chapter, thinks Emmanuel Cruse – and a sumptuous vintage.

Drink 2027-2042

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson96/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous93-95/100
Neal Martin, Vinous93-95/100
Wine Advocate93-95/100
Jancis Robinson MW17.5/20
James Suckling97-98/100
Jeb Dunnuck93-95+/100
Michael Schuster93-94/100
Jane Anson96/100
This is a sinewy, powerful and forward-moving wine with a sense of momentum. Moreish, with the elegance and plump damson fruits that Issan delivers so well, but more muscular than some years with the impact of both Petit Verdot and Malbec that are in the blend for the first time in this vintage. These add layers of spice and the overall architecture is clear. Peony and violet notes add a kick upwards on the finish, this has a delicacy even though it is intense. Less Cabernet in the blend in 2020 than in 2019, as is often the case in the Médoc due to low yields. This new blend in Issan will be seen going forward after the addition of plots from the purchase of Château Pontac-Lynch.

Drink from 2028 to 2045

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous93-95/100
The 2020 d'Issan is the first vintage that incorporates Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec to complement the traditional Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the blend. Pretty floral and savory accents complement a core of ripe red/purplish berry fruit. Medium in body and vibrant, with superb persistence, Issan is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. The purity of the flavors is striking. Harvest took place over three weeks between September 17 through October 2, which is only about a week earlier than normal, so not that displaced relative to what was the norm in much of Bordeaux. Tasted three times.

Drink from 2035 to 2055

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous93-95/100
The 2020 Château d’Issan, picked from September 17 to October 2 and blended in early January, then matured in 50% new oak, has a beautiful and very pure bouquet of blackberry, blueberry and light cranberry notes intertwined with crushed stone and subtle potpourri and violet scents, all wonderfully focused and exquisitely defined. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle but insistent grip on the entry. The tannins are very chiseled and the acidity lends plenty of tension that is palpable from start to finish. This is a sophisticated Margaux in the making, full of breeding and class.

Drink from 2026 to 2055

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate93-95/100
The 2020 D'Issan is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec, aging in French oak barriques, 50% new. It has an alcohol of 13.29%, a pH of 3.71 and an IPT (tannin index) of 73. Displaying an opaque purple-black color, it has vibrant notes of Bing cherries, boysenberries, ripe redcurrants and juicy black plums, plus hints of pencil shavings, wild thyme, lavender and forest floor. The medium-bodied palate has impressive energy with crunchy red and black fruits and compelling tension, framed by fine-grained tannins, finishing long and mineral laced. 

Drink 2025 - 2045

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
Jancis Robinson MW17.5/20
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec (the latter three from parcels of Pontac-Lynch acquired in March 2020 – the Petit Verdot planted in 1948). 45% of the production. Cask sample. Classic Issan but with more aromatic complexity and a tad more length. Intense, floral with smooth, elegant tannins and balancing freshness. Persistent finish.

Drink 2028 - 2045

James Lawther MW, jancisrobinson.com (May 2021) Read more
James Suckling97-98/100
Extremely floral and fruity with currants and blackberries. It’s full-bodied and very layered with delicious, dense character. Full-bodied with dusty, layered tannins. Rich, but not heavy. Long and chewy on the finish. 55% cabernet sauvignon, 39% merlot, 3% cabernet franc, 2% petit verdot and 1% malbec.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck93-95+/100
More backward, dense, and concentrated, the Grand Vin 2020 Château D'Issan offers darker currant and cassis notes as well as gorgeous floral, sandalwood, graphite, and chocolate nuances. Medium to full-bodied, voluptuous, and layered on the palate, with sweet yet building tannins, this is a gorgeous Margaux that brings ample depth and richness while still showing the classic elegance of the appellation. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec, raised in 50% new oak, and it’s a selection of only 45% of the total production. It's going to have some up-front appeal and a broad, lengthy drink window over the following 2-3 decades. Tasted twice.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster93-94/100
A most seductive nose promised here, finely gravelly, gentle in blackcurrant fruit; rich, dense, fresh, particularly fine in tannin; freshly sweet, long, subtle, complex, a gravel-infused gentle blackberry succulence to taste, within a very beautiful tannin texture, and superb length to finish. Very Margaux-discreet, a most complete and beautiful Issan. The proportion of exceptional-quality Merlot is clearly important here, and the newly acquired neighboring plot of old vines, a little Malbec included, has certainly offered an extra depth and complexity. Wonderful wine.

Drink 2030 - 2055

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Chateau d'Issan

Chateau d'Issan

Ch. d`Issan is a Third Growth Margaux property that produces about 100,000 bottles each year. Its richly aromatic and silky-textured Clarets are often amongst the best of the appellation.

The estate’s history dates back to the 1152 when the wine was officially served at the wedding of Eleanor of Aquitaine to King Henry II, the beginning of a special relationship between Bordeaux and England. The d’Essenault family owned the estate over five generations and rebuilt the existing château at the end of the 16th century. Surrounded by a moat, it is one of the oldest châteaux in the region and is frequently described as the most romantic in the Médoc.

In 1945 the Cruse family – already established in the Médoc for more than 150 years – purchased the property. Today Emmanuel Cruse runs the estate with the Lorenzetti family (owners of Chx Pédesclaux and Ladouys). They own 44 hectares in Margaux, planted with 62 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 38 percent Merlot. The wine spends between 16 and 18 months in oak (around 50 percent new).

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Margaux

Margaux

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.

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

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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