2002 Magdelaine is surprisingly young and fresh because it barely starts opening up after one hour of full decanting. Colours are dark, dense and tight. Oozing nose of vanilla and black cherry, it gives a rich, full-bodied taste. The tannins remained firm, which gave it a long palate. This slow-to-evolve style from the Right Bank also form some of the critical comments from one vertical tasting(2008, 1998, 1995, 1990, 1989, 1985, 1982, 1978, 1990, 1970, 1966, 1961 and 1950) hosted in January 2016 by the HKWS.
Well before 2016, Chateau Magdelaine vineyards shifted to form Chateau Bélair-Monange. This plan allows the owner Moueix family start systematically replacing the old and not particularly hearty vines from Château Bélair a few years ago. There are lots of commercial braveness and wisdom to the decision; however, gone forever is the classic Magdelaine stylistics(long fermentation, early harvest, use of some stems, tannic and slow to evolve style; terroir) because Chateau Madeglaine by then no longer exist.
One can imagine that this step is envisioned by the firm as necessary to push Bélair- Monange one day up into the top official “A” division of St. Émilion Prémier Grand Cru Classés, which was heretofore solely the fiefdom of Châteaux Ausone and Cheval Blanc.
Surpassed by its neighbour Canon, eclipsed by Trotteville, priced at Second Growth level, slow to evolve, expensive to keep....., wines from Chateau Magdelaine of Moueix has never been as famous in the marketplace as several other of the Moueix-owned properties, such as Château Trotanoy or Château Pétrus. Sadly, wines from Chateau Magdelaine have never really captured the imagination of the market despite the attachment of its Magdelaine fans. Some 92 Points awarded by James Suckling. How generous.
One unsung requiem for a beloved Chateau in this fetish wine world.