Margaux's second wine is made from a serious selection process that takes place at this First Growth Chateau. There is also a third wine called Margaux de Margaux (that is not sold En Primeur) and a fourth wine that is sold off in bulk.
The 2017 Pavillon Rouge represents 22% of the harvest. It has an attractive bouquet with brambly red and black fruit, pressed roses, orange rind and a touch of incense, very comely and welcoming in style. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins on the entry and more black than red fruit. The sappy finish comes crisp and slightly brittle but fresh with blackcurrant lingering on the aftertaste. Very fine. Drink 2021-2035.
The 2017 Pavillon Rouge de Margaux, which is matured in 50% new oak, has a lovely, melted tar-tinged bouquet with plenty of black fruit. I like the definition and focus here. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly gritty, rigid tannin on the entry that lend this Pavillon Rouge quite a firm backbone. It does not convey the elegance of the 2016 but there is plenty of spice and vigour on the finish. 2021 - 2032
Blended of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux has a lovely open and expressive spicy nose of cinnamon and cloves with a core of red currant jelly, kirsch and crushed blackberries plus touches of tobacco and new leather. The palate is medium-bodied with great mid-palate intensity and plenty of red and black fruit layers, finishing on an uplifting perfumed note.
The quality of tannins in the Pavillon Rouge is really beautiful with extremely fine grain. It’s medium-bodied, fresh and silky. Racy and extended on the palate. Really pretty. Strength with elegance. Drink after 2022.
There is very pretty purity of fruit to this with lots of currant, strawberry and plum character. Lots of chocolate and hazelnut too. Full body, velvety tannins and a chewy finish. Excellent for the vintage. About half the normal production. This is the same level of quality as 2016.
The 2017 Pavillon Rouge is soft, luscious and very pretty. Sweet red cherry, red plum, mint, spice, blood orange, cedar and tobacco contribute lovely touches of freshness. There is some firmness in the tannin that needs time in bottle to soften; otherwise, the 2017 is very nicely done. This is a very pretty, classy wine built on aromatic depth and persistence more than anything else. Drink 2022-2037
The 2017 Pavillon Rouge is a very pretty wine. Fresh, floral and beautifully lifted, the 2017 is all class. There is a purity to the flavors here that is simply remarkable. Estate Manager Sebastian Vergne told me the winemaking team opted to raise temperatures at the end of fermentation to gain a bit more color, depth and polymerization of tannins. Pavillon Rouge represents 22% of the estate's production.
Bright healthy crimson. Rich, pure-fruited and generous. Smooth, velvety tannins, deep and long. Deep and rich and even.
Tasted blind. Deep ruby colour. Enticing and floral nose – violets, cherry blossom – accented with baking spices. Bright and crunchy on the palate, this is a compact and well-proportioned style. Slightly heavy on toast and cedar for now. The oak should integrate with time and there is structure to suggest potential moving forward.
Drink 2023 – 2037
Half of the normal production this year. 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Bright ruby in the glass with expressive, ripe red fruits and perfumed florality. The palate is fleshy and forward, with succulent cherries and plums washing over the refined and supple tannins. Excellent texture and approachability, still with the freshness of the vintage. The finish is creamy and juicy, with just a touch of woodsmoke on the back end to add complexity.
Fragrant and fresh the nose is light with a mix of back fruits and red fruits the start of the palate has bramble freshness. Sweet in the middle the tannins are fine, supple and rich at the back with fresher fruits showing on the finish which is quite light, fragrant and long. 2024-37
This has great concentration, with carefully balanced black fruits that are fleshy and inviting but unfussy. The berry size was a little bigger than last year after the September rains (70mm in 20 days) so there is a feeling of juice and mouthwatering seduction once you give it some time to work through the initial austerity. There's no dilution through the mid-palate, and it's one of the few second wines that really gets your attention in 2017. They lost 10% of the crop to frost, giving a yield of 35hl/ha, with no secondary fruits used in Pavillon or Margaux (not even the first generation buds from any affected plots). 22% of total production is the lowest ever for Pavillon, and combined with the low yield means there will be 40% fewer bottles. The vineyards were entirely organically farmed in 2017, although there are still no plans to go for certification. Harvested 18-26 September. 3.7pH. IPT 73 - as high as last year. 4% Cabernet Franc also in the blend. Will be 60% new oak.
Drinking Window 2024 - 2038
There were 8 hectares damaged by frost, so approximately 10% of production was lost. The season was ‘easy’ apart from that but from the second week of September, the rain came and then it went, thankfully, and higher temperatures returned with the sunshine. They harvested everything fairly smartly. This is a bright, very intense Cabernet-themed wine with amazing density considering its framework, which is not muscular at all. The purple-ink colour and incredible length are fascinating. On paper it is not dissimilar to the 2016, but in flavour terms it couldn’t be more different. It needs time to soften, as this is a tense, coiled-up Pavillon.