93 Points Robert Parker
The 1988 Chateau Margaux is a wine that was always overshadowed by the succeeding pair of vintages and like many 1988s, appeared rather conservative and lacked flair. However, I was gobsmacked by the performance of this wine at 28 years of age. Deep and clean in color, the bouquet is quintessentially Chateau Margaux with blackberry, potpourri, cedar and violets. It has wonderful clarity. The palate is medium-bodied, fresh as a daisy on the entry with a killer line of acidity that offsets those vibrant black and red fruits. There is energy here, vivacity, as if this Château Margaux suddenly realized its true potential after all these years. While it does not possess the length of the 1989 or 1990, there is such pleasure bound into this wine that you care little about that. Maybe I underestimated this wine for many years or perhaps it is a simple case of a "late bloomer." While the 1988 might not belong in the top echelons of releases from this First Growth, it might be considered the undiscovered gem of that prosperous decade for the chateau. Tasted May 2016.
Source: Robert Parker (Robert Parker Wine Advocate) by Neal Martin. October, 2016
In a somewhat chunky, full-bodied, rather muscular style, with a dark, almost opaque garnet color and a big, smoky, earthy nose, with hints of compost, melted asphalt, black fruits, mushrooms, and new oak, this wine lacks the elegance one expects from Chateau Margaux, but does have plenty of tough-textured tannin and an almost rustic, corpulent style to it. The wine is mouth-staining as well as mouth-filling, but in a relatively chunky style. Anticipated maturity: Now-2018. Last tasted, 3/02.Source: Robert Parker (Bordeaux Book, 4th Edition) January, 2003 by Robert Parker