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By Robert Parker Bordeaux's Bernard Magrez made his fortune as a n?gociant, a merchant/wholesaler who buys grapes or wine from small growers, bottling it under his own label. Over the years, he also acquired many estates, and in 2005 he sold his n?gociant firm to concentrate on winemaking.
Magrez now owns 10 Bordeaux properties and contracts for special cuv?es at 10 more in Bordeaux and 5 in Languedoc-Roussillon. His wine interests extend to Spain, Argentina, the U.S., and even Morocco and Algeria. Wherever he goes, Magrez sets the highest standards. Here is a taste of his wines.G?rard Depardieu Confiance 200390 points. Produced in partnership with the actor it's named for, this wine has a voluptuous texture along with sweet berry aromatics intermixed with toasty oak and earth. This fruit-forward Premi?res C?tes de Blaye wine should be enjoyed in its first five to seven years. $25-$35Fombrauge 200389 points. Wines from the largest vineyard in St.-Emilion, acquired by Magrez nearly a decade ago, have soared in quality. They tend to be a blend of 70% merlot, 15% cabernet franc, and 15% cabernet sauvignon. With notes of white chocolate, figs, plums, and black cherry liqueur, the heady, fleshy, seductive medium- to full-bodied 2003 can be enjoyed over the next six to eight years. $26Les Grands Ch?nes 200388 points. This M?doc wine is a sexy, sensual effort displaying a ripe black currant and smoky-scented nose, soft, lush, medium-bodied flavors, good glycerin, low acidity, and a heady, expansive mouthfeel and finish. It is a wine to be enjoyed over the next five to six years. $27Ma V?rit? Cuv?e d'Exception G?rard Depardieu 200388+ points. This dense ruby/purple-tinged, medium-bodied, muscular Haut-M?doc exhibits classic notes of cr?me de cassis interwoven with smoked herbs, cedar wood, and spice. The finely tuned cuv?e will benefit from two to three years of cellaring and should last for 10 to 15 years. $35La Tour Carnet 200390 points. From Haut-M?doc, this blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon, 37% merlot, 6% cabernet franc, and 2% petit verdot offers both complexity and pleasure. Already sensual and evolved, it reveals soft notes of plums, figs, black currants, pain grill?, and earth. Although full-bodied, opulent, pure, and rich, it appears to be maturing quickly, so drink it over the next decade. $35Magrez-Tivoli 200390 points. The dense purple-tinged M?doc boasts superb aromatics??oasted coffee, black currants, cherries, dried herbs, and meat. It has low acidity, full body, and moderate tannins. Give it one to two years in the cellar, and drink it over the following 12 to 15. $35Pape Cl??ment 200394 points. This Pessac-L??ognan estate is Magrez' flagship. The wine's complex characteristics of smoke, meat, lead pencil shavings, sweet plums, black cherry liqueur, blackberries, and a hint of espresso are followed by an opulent, full-bodied wine with silky tannin. Copious glycerin gives it a big, savory mouthfeel, and the finish is long. The wine should last at least 15 or 20 years. $90Wines rated from 96-100 are extraordinary; 90-95, excellent; 80-89, above average to very good. Robert Parker is the world's most influential wine critic. Visit www.eRobertParker.com to see tens of thousands of tasting notes, buy his books, or subscribe to his newsletter, The Wine Advocate.