Tasted blind as a vintage comparison at the Valandraud vertical, the 1991 Chateau Margaux was actually much better than I expected and certainly surpassed my solitary previous encounter. It is quite deep and clear in color with a surprisingly generous bouquet that is not complex, but attractive with scents of mulberry, mint and star anise. It opens nicely in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly rustic, irony tannin, though the fruit profile is charming: blackberry, chestnut, spice box, cumin and a touch of undergrowth. Of course, after 25 years it is firmly into its secondary phase and yet it has retained admirable cohesion and freshness. Nobody is going to bat an eyelid if you drink this now and might wonder why you never did in the 1990s. But given the substance and unexpected lack of greenness, a bottle of sound provenance will continue to hold in there. Tasted December 2016. (NM)
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