I’ve had a few alcohol milestones that I’m pretty proud of. It was a truly unique experience to drop hundreds on a single bottle of Tactical Nuclear Penguin beer. Most recently, I tasted the bourbon unicorn Pappy Van Winkle 23. And just last month, I had a chance to try a wine from famed, legendary, first-growth Bordeaux vineyard Chateau Margaux.

No, it wasn’t the flagship Marg. But it was their relatively new line, Margaux du Chateau Margaux, which was created to capitalize on the exceptional 2009 vintage (which, not to brag, was only surpassed by the 2010 — the one I got to drink). So even if it wasn’t THE Margaux, it was A Margaux, and a damn good one at that.

I shit you not, this wine came when I asked for a glass of the “house wine.” Of course, when the house is a three Michelin star restaurant, its wine is going to er on the upscale. The restaurant we ate at was in Tokyo, called Kanda, and I can highly recommend both the food and the alcohol selection for anyone who’s in Japan, loves food and hates money.

But on to the main event. Here’s what I thought:

Margaux du Chateau Margaux 2010 Review

Don’t open this wine yet. Let me state again — EVEN THOUGH I LOVED THE 2010 YOU SHOULDN’T OPEN THIS WINE YET.

The rest of my review is going to be extremely positive, because the Margaux du Chateau Margaux is absolutely delicious. But it should all be read with the caveat that this wine is best laid down in a cool place for another decade before opening. It’s got a while to go before it peaks. You’d have to be some kind of mad genius to open a 2010 Marg as your house wine. But I guess that’s Kanda.

In the glass, the wine looked a deep dark red, turning a little lighter towards the edges as I tilted it. The nose of the Marg du Chat Marg is interesting and delicate. It’s surprisingly herbal with notes of thyme, and maybe even a touch of basil (I expect that to disappear with age.) There’s an undertone of dark fruit and vanilla, and it was evident from the get-go that this was going to be an above-average wine — at least in the complexity department.

The flavours of the Margaux du Chateau Margaux were unbelievably good, especially given its relative youth. It’s a bit tight at first, but once you give it a minute, you’re hit with plums, dark cherries, fresh garden soil, and a subtle herbalness that was more main-stage on the nose. There’s also a surprising kick of black pepper that was more than welcome. The body is rich and chewy, and wants to sit on the tongue for as long as you’ll let it. The finish is very intense and long, airing towards jam and tobacco.

All in all — a delicious glass of wine.

Margaux du Chateau Margaux


Final Verdict

When I went to Kanda, I wasn't expecting to leave with an opinion of the Margaux du Chateau Margaux. But I'm sure glad I did. They were crazy enough to keep an open bottle, and that suited me just fine. That said, I implore you to check back on it in several years -- there's a lot of potential in the 2010. I can't wait to come back to it down the road, and sip it slow again.