Robert Parker 89
Destined to forever be in the shadow of the impeccable 1961 Palmer, the 1961 Chateau Margaux remains an attractive wine, if not one that reached its full potential. Now at 55 years of age, it has developed a dark mahogany core. The nose is attractive, but as I have noticed with respect to previous bottles, it does lack expected vivacity and intensity, yet pleasure can still be found in the vestiges of black fruit, cedar and cigar box; perhaps this bottle a little more Burgundy-like than I remember. The palate is nicely structured, straight-laced and correct, though there is plenty of freshness. It is quite a masculine wine with hints of dried blood emerging towards the foursquare finish. It will probably last a few years, but spare its blushes by not serving it against the 1961 Palmer. Tasted May 2016.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026
Healthy ruby. The start of decay on the nose. Delicate Margaux perfume but a little feeble compared to the other 1961s shown alongside.
Anticipated maturity: 1975-2000
The 1961 Château Margaux has been a disappointing wine and this is no different. The bouquet is decent enough but surely lacks the complexity and vigor of superior Margaux such as Palmer and Giscours. The palate is medium-bodied with strong tobacco and cedar notes, but it lacks the level of fruit to give body and substance on the finish. It feels conservative and unwilling to really translate what nature bestowed that year. Not bad, but not a great First Growth. Tasted at the 1961 dinner Chairman Miaow’s in Hong Kong.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2030