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2015 was, literally, an historic year at Chateau Margaux. We celebrated the bicentenary of the Estate's buildings dating from 1815, and the inauguration of the new facilities, designed or reorganised, by Norman Foster. It is easy to imagine how much we dreamed that 2015 would be a great vintage! Without doubt, some of the result is owed to decisions made at the time of blending; only 35% of the harvest went into the first wine, which was a record of severity for a vintage of this standard. As usual, it was the Cabernet Sauvignon in first place with 87% of the blend; in addition to its concentration and finesse, this year it has an unusual vigour and strength. The Merlot has nothing to be ashamed of, at least in the great plots; it makes up 8% of the first wine. Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%) also find their place in this elitist blend, which confirms that, enable all grape varieties to express their own propensity. How can we compare 2015 to its predecessors? It is a thankless task, and a little futile, particularly for the great vintages. There are, of course, similarities, affinities, and also some differences where we do not expect to find them… But we can evoke a combination of the strength of 2005, the flesh of 2009, the subtlety of 2010, and the inimitable charm of Chateau Margaux.
Winter, which was appreciably colder than those of the previous years, caused late, but perfectly regular blossoming. Dry and sunny weather in the spring made for optimal conditions, so flowering took place very quickly and homogenously. This hot, dry weather persisted throughout the months of June and July, to a point where we were afraid there could be water stress, at least in the most sensitive plots. Fortunately a little rain in August arrived just in time to ensure a quick and regular colour-change. The drought, which arrived again in September, together with very warm days and cool nights, enabled the grapes to balance their richness in sugar with good acidity, to render their tannins more silky and to make their aromatic potential more complex. The harvest of the reds took place from September 8th to October 6th. The small size of the grapes and their thicker skins indicated a very high concentration of tannins. The 2015 weather conditions are, in fact, the feature of very great vintages, like 2005, 2009 and 2010.