A pair of decades: wines from Margaux

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At two consecutive dinners at the properties of Châteaux Kirwan and Prieuré-Lichine during the recent Bordeaux en primeurs I was given the opportunity to taste pairs of wines from different decades for 5 properties in the Margaux appellation. 1996 produced a far better selection of wines, which were still quite fresh, than 1998 which seemed to have lost its fruit for most of those we tasted. 1996 also produced the best Monbrison of the evening. In the decade of the noughties Rauzan-Gassies, Prieuré-Lichine (however their 2008 was rather closed) and Kirwan are showing their stripes. 2006 also showed particularly well.

Taking as an example the relative current average auction prices for a 75cl bottle for Château Margaux (representative for the Appellation) for the years 1996, 1998, 2006 and 2008 for the three months to 30/4/2011 these were as follows :

1996 £550 / 75cl
1998 £299 / 75cl
2006 £324 / 75cl
2008 £487 / 75cl Note 1Price at time of going to press (not auction

This would seem to confirm the quality of the wines we tasted in terms of their vintages and highlight that 2006 is a vintage which is somewhat overlooked although specific prices for the châteaux in question are unlikely to show such a disparity at wine merchants.

Fabian Cobb


1 Price at time of going to press (not auction