Thursday, 13 November 2014

Château Margaux and Justerini & Brooks in Jakarta

Posted by Justerini & Brooks

We organise many dinners and tastings all over the world, but last week we hosted a particularly memorable event in Jakarta with Paul Pontallier of Château Margaux. It was the first time that Paul had been to Indonesia, so Justerini & Brooks put on a gala evening at the Grand Hyatt hotel for our Indonesian customers, and arranged to have vintages of Château Margaux, back to 1966. The evening began with a chilled glass of Dom Pérignon 2004 to cleanse our palates and get us in the mood for a sensational flight of Margaux that would follow. Once our guests were seated, we started with Pavillon Blanc de Château Margaux 2010. This 100% Sauvignon Blanc cuvee, which is from a 12 hectare site just outside the Margaux commune, was rich, youthful, and utterly delicious, and was a fabulous match with baked lobster. It was followed by Pavillon Rouge de Château Margaux and Château Margaux both from the legendary 2005 vintage. The Pavillon Rouge was delightful, and much more approachable than the Château Margaux at this precocious stage. The Grand Vin was an extraordinary powerful wine, full of promise. Its beguiling bouquet slowly unravelled with aeration to reveal a deeply seductive wine, packed with dark fruits, and silky ripe tannins. This will no doubt be stunning in time, but patience will be required. In fact, Paul Pontallier believes that this may well be his best vintage yet (and he started with the estate in 1983.)

After the 2005 we moved on to Margaux 1996. This proved to be the star vintage on the night – a sensational wine that showed everyone how sublimely seductive Margaux can be. It had everything in the glass: rich, gloriously perfumed aromas, and a depth of cool, ripe fruits that were covered in the silkiest of tannins. This is a truly gorgeous wine that is drinking perfectly at the moment; the epitome of 1st growth quality, and it worked so perfectly with Wagyu beef.

This was followed by Château Margaux 1986, a more savoury vintage, and one filled with nuance. The tannins on this structured vintage have slowly softened and mellowed over time to show highly refined, elegant fruits and a wine that has a beautiful lengthy persistence on the palate. 

The 1983 and 1982 Margaux were then served side-by-side. These two vintages of Margaux always form a fascinating conversation when placed together, and usually divide opinion. This again was the case last week, where there was much debate. The 1983 Margaux had a superb definition and balance, but for me the ripe weight and silky fruits of the ’82 made it even more enjoyable. With wines of this age, it is always about individual bottles, and there have often been times where I’ve preferred the 1983. 

The evening finished with 1966 Margaux. This fully mature wine was a delight to end with. The Château has come a long way since the 1960s and although the wines from this era are not well reviewed, they are still fascinating and drinking well – proof that great terroir always shines through… This was soft, with luscious fruits that caressed the mouth as one slowly sipped it; a fitting end to a great and highly memorable evening. 

- Chadwick Delaney, Managing Director