Chateau d’Issan 2012, Margaux Third Growth
Chateau d’Issan 2012 is a true Margaux. Elegant and soft, it is rich, dense, generous and easy, reflecting character of vintage 2012 .The violet nose is just charming.With excellent structure, the wine is extremely balanced, pointing to its strong Cantenac character.
If you are buying Chateau d’Issan 2012, you are buying value and quality.
To begin with, Chateau d’Issan was, and is, similar to Chateau Margaux in setting. Chateau d’Issan and Chateau Margaux are both from Cantenac; the outline of the 2 chateaux is almost the same, their boundaries, their proximity to the river and the networks of ditches, canals and moats for serving the transports and defence systems. So, given the similarity, Chateau d"issan is of even higher value because it is just fetching 20 to 30% of the prices of Chateau Magarux wines!
Should Chateau d’Issan have maintained its name and standing before 1855, and should even more liberal revisions would have done to the 1855 Classification, Chateau d’Issan might have a First Growth, who will achieve and enjoy today same status like that of Chateau Margaux.
Chateau I'ssan's charm lies in its aristocractic stylistcs, one element which, in our view, surpasses that of Chateau Margaux. And that 'nice arrogance' has been shining through and make a distinction as a unique and humble 3rd Growth from appelation Margaux. Why you are buying Chateau I'ssan, you are buying more than a Classed Growth from Margaux.
In the past people of good taste always drink Chateau d’Issan. Emmient examples are: Prince of Wales demanded that he should have Chateau d’Issan (Candale at that time, sic 1750’s) in his cellars; Emperor Franz-Joseph of Austria demanded that this wine was to be set for ‘the tables of kings and the altars of the gods’. From our own experience, the former glory of chateau d’Issan is still very alive amongst us. The enlightenment spirit of Chateau d'Issan during our participating in one 'May in Bordeaux Festival' 10 years ago, which is an annual and aristocratic event at which international musicians and the Bordeaux high society come together is still with us.
Listed below are the more important tasting references:
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Château d’Issan, builds on the richness of the second wine and adds more body, structure and density. It has an inky purple color and a stunning nose of spring flowers, blueberry and blackberry fruit as well as touches of incense and graphite. Medium to full-bodied and stunningly concentrated, this 2012 is a great success in the vintage, one of the superstars. Moreover, its precociousness suggests it could be drunk in the next 4-5 years or cellared through 2025. I underrated this wine dramatically in my report of April, 2013 (Issue 206). (4/2015)
92 points James Suckling
Complex aromas of black cherries with hints of cedar and spices. This is a full-bodied red combining firm tannins, good acidity and a clean finish. A fascinating iron undertone. Drink in 2018. (2/2015)
Bright red-ruby. Subdued but pure nose offers blueberry, violet, licorice, menthol and grilled herbs. Enters the mouth fresh and clean, then turns austere, with nicely integrated acidity framing delicate dark berry and herbal flavors. Finishes firm and fresh, with fine-grained tannins and a hint of herbaceousness. A juicy, brisk, classic Bordeaux red with no shortage of energy and lift. I'm always a big fan of Issan, but I wonder if this vintage's relatively modest quantity of ripe fruit will last. (5/2013)
This has a strong roasted alder note leading the way, followed by lively plum and red currant fruit. The tightly focused and energetic finish lets the sanguine and iron accents stretch out. A solid effort, with an old-school edge. Drink now through 2019. (3/2015)