The Merlot yields, especially those from old vines, were seriously affected by the onset of coulure and particularly millerandage. We might have thought that a relatively low production would have enabled the grapes to reach better ripeness levels; however, the fine weather arrived too late for the Merlot, whose ripeness was too far behind to catch up. The quality of the Merlot was, on the whole, disappointing.
On the other hand, the Cabernets and the Petit Verdot took full advantage of this Indian summer, which so often produces very good, even great vintages in Bordeaux. Their quality was, on the whole, remarkable.
Our final blend, therefore, includes very little Merlot (it may even be the lowest ever proportion in history at Château Margaux). So it is essentially a wine made up of fine, pure, rich, tight-knit and tender Cabernet Sauvignon. It may lack some complexity and depth in order to be considered a great vintage. Very fine September weather can certainly make up most of the lost ground, but it cannot totally replace the ripeness that is attained during a glorious August. After the bottling, Château Margaux 2002 had acquired even more finesse, without losing any of that classic tight-knit tannic structure which bodes so well for excellent ageing.
The quite adverse weather conditions during the period of flowering resulted in severe millerandage in the old Merlot plots.
The summer was cool and relatively humid, especially during August. Fortunately however, as from September, hot, dry and sunny weather set in until the end of the harvest. (Picking began on September 30th)