Peter Maude Fine Wines

2018, Château Marquis d'Alesme Becker, MARGAUX

$114

Bordeaux Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc.

The 2018 Marquis d'Alesme is a very silky, elegant wine. Sweet pipe tobacco, cedar, dried flowers and mint are laced throughout this wonderfully nuanced Margaux. Bright red berry fruit, mid-weight structure and silky tannins add to an impression of total finesse. The 2018 is so impressive, even in the early going. 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous (2021).

The 2018 Marquis d'Alesme (the Becker is only noted on the back label!) has a beautiful and very pure bouquet of violet-tinged black fruit, crushed rock and India ink scents, all very seductive. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, perfectly pitched acidity and a velvety-smooth texture that lingers. Plush and extraordinarily harmonious, and one of the purest 2018s you will find on the Left Bank. 94 Neal Martin, Vinous (2021).

The 2018 Marquis d'Alesme Becker is from the lieu-dit Les Terrasses de Margaux. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc, and it has 14.5% alcohol. It was aged for 18 months in 65% new and 35% two-year-old barrels. Deep garnet-purple coloured, it needs considerable swirling to unlock notes of ripe blackcurrants, wild blueberries and Morello cherries, plus suggestions of violets, star anise, underbrush and Sichuan pepper. The medium to full-bodied palate is charged with energy, featuring loads of red and black fruit preserves layers and a finely grained texture, finishing long and mineral tinged. 95+ Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (2021).

Plenty of power and tannin up front, but you need to wait for the nuance of the fruit to unfold. The palate is dominated by gourmet curls of coffee bean, chocolate, black cherry and pepper. As the tight frame softens, a more seductive edge of blueberry and raspberry fruit appears, and the texture softens to creaminess. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 93 Jane Anson, Decanter (2020).

This is the third vintage using Marquis d'Alesme's handsome new cellar, which has contributed to a marked change in the wines since the 2015 vintage. The 2018 has expansive floral aromas and very pure, seductive raspberry fruit flavours and a creamy texture. All the fruit goes into the grand vin here, as the property is quite small, with only 15 hectares of vines. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 5% each Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, which come from very old vines planted on the appellation's limestone plateau. 94 Elin McCoy, Decanter (2021).

Drinking Window: 2028 - 2048

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