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Kirwan 2012 updated


Connoisseur or novice, 2012 is a year for all to enjoy by now. And indeed, it is a joy to experience 2012 Kirwan as a sleeper in the barrel stage to the recent manifestations on the nose and palate of black and red berries – cherry, black currant, and blueberry, enhanced by aromas of spices, pink peppercorns and vanilla. It starts mellow (20% Merlot), then offers the taste buds a rich body and power (68% cabernet), with soft tannins and an acidity that perfectly balances out its silky texture.

There are always some tones of meatiness and toastiness (and some complexities) from the relatively high percentage of balancing grapes, so there are 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. However, this percentage level is already one of the highest in Margaux.


Very drinkable now.

The 2012 Kirwan has great USPs of Kirwan. We can think of the following.

  1. Great terroir: the highest point in the appellation, sloping from the Cantenac to Brane; dense gravelly sand.

  2. 8000 vines in a HA

  3. 60-year-old vines; partial 27 to 30 years old

  4. Complimented as the First in the Third Growth (1855 Classification)

  5. 1.5m spacing in the field (not normal 1m) to increase ventilation and hence fruit freshness

  6. New stylistics under the baton of Eric Boissenot

  7. Current stance: more merlot, less balancing grape, less new oak, less late-picked and less jammy in style.

  8. Classic, aristocratic taste: 2012 Kirwan classic Margaux elegance, good purity and structure, well-rounded tannins, attractive red fruit, and is not as meaty as it used to be on the palate.

Scores are not bad.


WE92–94. Barrel sample. This solidly tannic wine is powerful and firm. It's a complete wine, showcasing fruit and tannin elements to give a complex, structured whole. A wine that is for long-term ageing. Edited.


Larson 92. Floral and elegant with wild berries, violet, tobacco and fine spices. Very silky and soft palate, good density of fruit, medium weight but very good length, purity and precision.

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