Chateau Margaux 1969 Margaux
3/98. Opened for us by my friend Oded Lerer at a wonderful and unusual dinner his wife Nitza made for the four of us.
Before the Ch. Margaux, we tasted a tough unclassified 1988 Bordeaux whose name I can't even remember. Later on we had a superb jammy 1988 Vosne-Romanee 'Les Beauxmonts' by Leroy. A great wine I always adore, for which I've written a number of tasting notes in the past.
On to the old Ch. Margaux then. 1969 must have been such an awful year in Bordeaux, that I could not find any reference to it in my library...
Externally, the bottle looked as miserable as they come. Dirty label, high shoulders fill, a cork that looked like it has a whole colony of fungi striving on and around it. In short, not the most promising and appealing bottle.
COLOR: A little faint but not much really. Perhaps a touch paler than the 1988 Leroy, but not more. Some noticeable clearing towards the rim. Naturally quite a lot of sediment at the end of the bottle.
NOSE: Very faint though pleasant at first. With time - for about an hour or so - the nose (and the taste) gained complexity by the minute! The more it stayed with us, the more it became a Margaux by the nose.
TASTE: I find it hard to describe the taste of this old bugger (lady?). Not much concentration, no evident fruit or even winyness. Just the most harmonious silky liquid I have tasted for a long time! For me (Dorit didn't like it so much) it was a sheer pleasure to drink. I don't remember a feeble wine that sang so much for me. It was all smoothness and elegance on the palate.
LENGTH: This one barely had an impact when still in the mouth...
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Very weak body. No fruit, no backbone and very little winyness. Yet... not overly alcoholic and not too acidic. It was smooth, elegant, and - in a minor-key sort of way - supremely balanced!
OVERALL: Hard to judge this wine by normal standards. For me this 30-years bad-vintage Margaux was a true and rare pleasure.
MARK: 18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.
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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.