Margaux is a magical word in the world of fine wine. Haut-Brion-trained winemaker Jean-Marc Sauboua was able to get hold of a tiny amount of premium Margaux, grown a stone's throw from famed Châteaux Giscours and Cantenac Brown. A rare feat indeed in the soon-to-be-legendary (and sold-out) 99-point Wine Spectator-rated 2010 vintage.
Le Chai au Quai, which Decanter calls "a fabulous venture," is a magnificent 19th-century cellar in the heart of Bordeaux. Here, winemakers like Jean-Marc take premium 'parcels' — cherry-picked from top vineyard sites — and treat these wines to luxurious aging in top-of-the-range barrels (in this case, the same ones used by Château Margaux for their $1,000-a-bottle wine). But because there's no fancy château name to pay for, you enjoy access to top-class wines that could easily cost twice the price … which means this very fine Margaux will only cost you $43 a bottle.
Le Grand Chai 2010 is classic Margaux — hauntingly fragrant and seductively silky. It shows off all that made 2010 such a remarkable year: ripe, powerful red fruit flavors, with perfectly balanced, racy tannins and well-integrated acidity. You’re also in for a long, complex finish (where the quality of the oak really makes itself known).
One of the hallmarks of Margaux is its approachability when young (decant if you can). This opulent wine has a good decade or more ahead of it.