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Tasting Notes and Scores
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 01/01/2003
As I have noted consistently, this can be a breathtaking wine, but having tasted it close to a dozen times since the last edition of this book, over half the bottles were marred by tainted corks. In fact, one would almost wonder if there was TCA problem in part of the wine storage area. The percentage of corked half-bottles is even higher than in the regular format. However, when clean this 1983, which has seemingly reached full maturity far faster than I would have guessed a mere four years ago, has a dense, murky plum/purple color and a gorgeous nose of smoked herbs, damp earth, mushrooms, and sweet creme de cassis intermixed with vanilla and violets The wine is medium to full-bodied, deep, rich, and powerful, with sweet tannins and loads of fruit concentration. Anticipated maturity: Now-2020. Last tasted, 11/02.
The 1983 Margaux is a breathtaking wine. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes achieved perfect maturity in 1983, and the result is an astonishingly rich, concentrated, atypically powerful and tannic Margaux. The color is dark ruby, the aromas exude ripe cassis fruit, violets, and vanillin oakiness, and the flavors are extremely deep and long on the palate with a clean, incredibly long finish. This full-bodied, powerful wine remains stubbornly backward and at least 5-6 years away from maturity. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2030 (96)
Tasted at the Amuse Bouche offline in Hong Kong. I though in the melee of bottles this was overlooked, perhaps because everyone knows that it is a great wine. It is consistent with previous notes: beautifully defined on its vivacious nose, wonderful symmetry and tension on the palate. It is one of those bottles that can get lost when so much is going on around it, because it is such a subtle Margaux, there is no need to show off. Tasted November 2011.
This pulls together all the glorious notes of a fully mature Margaux, with singed cedar, rooibos tea, rose water and sandalwood aromas, followed by a stunning mélange of both fresh and dried red and black fruits, including currant, cherry, raspberry and plum. The long finish lets everything drape together beautifully. Absolutely stunning, this seems in no hurry to go anywhere. Remarkably fresh and defined at this time.--Non-blind Château Margaux vertical (December 2013). JM
Deep ruby-red. Exotic aromas of cassis, meat and smoke, plus a whiff of funky wood. Then remarkably sweet, lush and suave, with a flavor of raw berries. Pure Margaux silkiness allied to firm structure. Finishes very long, with rich, sweet tannins. Remarkable wine, particularly considering that the bottle was not perfect. Pristine bottles of this wine are just now embarking on their period of peak drinkability, which should last another 20 years or more.
This has always been said to be the best wine of the 1983 vintage in Bordeaux because the appellation of Margaux performed slightly better in 1983 than in the legendary 1982 vintage. It certainly is more structured than the 1982 Margaux. It is incredibly fresh and clean still. It's full-bodied and tannic, structured and powerful yet shows such balance and length. Decant three hours before serving.