The second wine of Chateau Margaux came about partly due to misfortune - when an attack of phylloxera decimated the vineyards, necessitating a replanting of the majority of their vineyards. The lack of grapes eliminated the possibility of a First Growth Quality wine and led to the production of their “second wine” - the Pavillon Rouge de Chateau Margaux, the first official vintage of which was released in 1906.
Renowned as a sterling example of a second wine, the 2016 has been hailed as a particularly superb vintage. Medium-bodied, silky, intense and tannic, it continues its impressive trajectory year upon year.
Blackberry, plum, light earth and undergrowth on the nose. Citrus, too. It’s full-bodied with rich, chewy tannins that turn energetic, fine and tight on the finish. Lively acidity. Second wine of Margaux. A blend of 69% cabernet sauvignon, 19% merlot, 9% petit verdot and 3% cabernet franc. Try after 2024.
95 points, JamesSuckling.com (January 2021)
The 2018 Pavillon Rouge is a powerful, brooding wine with huge fruit and equally imposing tannins. Time in the glass brings out elements of château Margaux finesse to balance things out. In 2018 the Pavillon has some lots that tend to go into the Grand Vin, but that were deemed too tannic for that wine.
94 points, Vinous (March 2021)
This cuvée has been in the running for the best second wine in the vintage for a number of years now, and I think it just might be there in 2018. The 2018 Château Margaux Pavillon Rouge checks in as 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, and it's no lightweight effort, revealing a dense purple color as well as gorgeous crème de cassis, black cherry, crushed violets, sandalwood, smoke tobacco, and incense. It's loaded with Château Margaux character, has medium to full-bodied richness, ample structure, and a great finish. I followed this bottle for multiple days and it only improved with air. Don't underestimate this second wine – it's incredibly impressive. Hide bottles for 3-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades.
95 points, JebDunnuck.com (March 2021)
On Bordeaux’s Left Bank, near the southern end of the Haut-Médoc, lies Margaux, one of the most celebrated villages in the world of wine. Margaux is home to Château Margaux, the revered first-growth property, as well as 20 more Grand Cru Classé estates ranked in the 1855 classification of Bordeaux. The acclaimed wine of Margaux benefits from the diverse soil types in the appellation.
In general, Margaux has a very thin layer of topsoil, and the very best vineyards, above the Gironde River, have gravelly soils that encourage deep root growth and allow for good drainage. Because of the variations in soil, Margaux wines can range from delicately flavoured to highly concentrated, from medium- to full-bodied. Yet all Margaux wines share a fragrant bouquet, silky texture and remarkable balance. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in the wines of Margaux, as it does throughout the Left Bank, with Merlot and Cabernet Franc used in small percentages for blending. Because of their excellent aging potential, the best Margaux wines are prized by collectors.