chateau d'issan 3eme cru classe, margaux 2020
This is a sinewy, powerful and forward-moving wine with a sense of momentum. Moreish, with the elegance and plump damson fruits that Issan delivers so well, but more muscular than some years with the impact of both Petit Verdot and Malbec that are in the blend for the first time in this vintage. These add layers of spice and the overall architecture is clear. Peony and violet notes add a kick upwards on the finish, this has a delicacy even though it is intense. Less Cabernet in the blend in 2020 than in 2019, as is often the case in the Médoc due to low yields. This new blend in Issan will be seen going forward after the addition of plots from the purchase of Château Pontac-Lynch.
More backward, dense, and concentrated, the Grand Vin 2020 Château D'Issan offers darker currant and cassis notes as well as gorgeous floral, sandalwood, graphite, and chocolate nuances. Medium to full-bodied, voluptuous, and layered on the palate, with sweet yet building tannins, this is a gorgeous Margaux that brings ample depth and richness while still showing the classic elegance of the appellation. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec, raised in 50% new oak, and it’s a selection of only 45% of the total production. It's going to have some up-front appeal and a broad, lengthy drink window over the following 2-3 decades. Tasted twice.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2020 D'Issan is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec, aging in French oak barriques, 50% new. It has an alcohol of 13.29%, a pH of 3.71 and an IPT (tannin index) of 73. Displaying an opaque purple-black color, it has vibrant notes of Bing cherries, boysenberries, ripe redcurrants and juicy black plums, plus hints of pencil shavings, wild thyme, lavender and forest floor. The medium-bodied palate has impressive energy with crunchy red and black fruits and compelling tension, framed by fine-grained tannins, finishing long and mineral laced.
The 2020 Château d’Issan, picked from September 17 to October 2 and blended in early January, then matured in 50% new oak, has a beautiful and very pure bouquet of blackberry, blueberry and light cranberry notes intertwined with crushed stone and subtle potpourri and violet scents, all wonderfully focused and exquisitely defined. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle but insistent grip on the entry. The tannins are very chiseled and the acidity lends plenty of tension that is palpable from start to finish. This is a sophisticated Margaux in the making, full of breeding and class.