Something about Chateau Margaux
Château Margaux is one of those legendary Grands Crus that have been fundamental in the establishment of Bordeaux’s reputation, and more particularly the reputation of the Left Bank, in the Medoc region. Since the twelfth century this property has been known as the “Mothe de Margaux” since the Medoc is home to a landscape without relief. At the end of the 17th century, Château Margaux occupied the same land it still occupies today: 262 hectares, one third of which is dedicated to the cultivation of the vine. A landmark period for Margaux, known as the estate’s “golden age” began with the recognition of the Grand Cru abroad, thanks to the influence of the English and Dutch. From then on, its reputation was confirmed when the estate obtained the title of “Premier Grand Cru Classé” in the official classification of 1855. Margaux was the only one of the four chateaux present to obtain a score of twenty out of twenty.
With the acquisition of the property by André Mentzelopoulos in 1977, Château Margaux turned a new page in its history. A true visionary, the new owner carried out spectacular work both on the vineyard and in the cellars. The chateau itself is known in the appellation for its architectural prowess, radiating the superb qualities of the estate’s unique terroir. Elevating the quality of the Château Margaux Grand Vin to an even higher level, Mentzelopoulos re-introduced the Second Wine of the Château, the Pavilion Rouge du Château Margaux, whose first vintage was in 1908.
Following in her father’s footsteps after his untimely death, Corinne Mentzelopoulos took control of the family business, injecting her own energy and passion into the Château Margaux estate, which has become a Bordeaux masterpiece, recognised far and wide for its neo-Palladian style. As a result of the extremely close attention paid to the wines by Corinne Mentzelopoulos and her team, vintage after vintage, Château Margaux wines consistently stand out among the best in the world.
Château Margaux owes its remarkable quality to its rare and unique terroir. The estate’s vineyards are planted mostly with the region’s flagship grape variety, Cabernet Sauvignon, supplemented with Merlot, Petit verdot and Cabernet Franc. The clay-limestone soils of the estate give rise to legendary wines, with a classy and sensual quality. Finesse, rare elegance and complexity are the most relevant characteristics of Château Margaux wines. These wines also offer aromas of rose and violet, concentrated notes of black berries and an olfactory palette exuding the identity of the appellation. On the palate, the body is fantastically structured with highly concentrated tannins without an ounce of bitterness, but with shocking length and freshness.
Château Margaux produces a great white wine as well, the Pavillon Blanc of Château Margaux. This 100% Sauvignon Blanc, is characterised by a great finesse, complexity and length continuing on a mineral frame. With its fantastic potential for guard, it is one of the greatest white wines of Bordeaux.
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The 2017 Chateau Margaux is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it needs a little coaxing to reveal alluring notes of blackcurrant cordial, Black Forest cake and black raspberries with suggestions of candied violets, tilled soil, fallen leaves, licorice and espresso plus wafts of underbrush and rosehip tea. Medium-bodied, the elegance and finesse on the palate is simply bedazzling, exuding a quiet intensity of fresh black fruits layered with oh-so-subtle floral and earth nuances. It has a soft, velvety texture and seamless freshness to support the tightly wound flavors, finishing long and perfumed. Beautiful! This grand vin accounts for just 37% of the crop. Drink: 2024-2060
The 2017 Château Margaux, bottled in June/July 2019, has a classic aromatic profile for this First Growth: blackcurrant leaf, raspberry, cold black tea and pressed iris rather than violet petals this time. It is well defined, if not as intense as the 2016 as you would expect. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, fine acidity, quite saline in the mouth with superb precision on the elegant finish. This is one of the most approachable Château Margaux that I can remember, less opulent than out of barrel and supremely refined. Drink 2024-2055.
There is ripeness and opulence to this, in an almost exotic and sassy way. Crushed berries with chocolate and spice. Floral and cashmere undertones. This starts off slowly and just rolls off the palate with beautifully polished tannins and a salty, minerally note to the long, extended tannins. Really brilliant. So classy. Structured. Try after 2025.
One of the clear highlights on the Left Bank, the 2017 Margaux is magnificent. Soaring in intensity, the 2017 exudes class from the very first taste. Margaux is so often a wine of charm and seduction, but the 2017 is anything but that. Instead, Margaux is dark, somber and mysterious, with layers of sepia-toned nuance that opens up with time in the glass. Cabernet Sauvignon, picked 5 days later than first anticipated, is especially prominent. The 2017 is going to need a number of years to be at its very best, but it is a super-promising wine. Wow. 2027 - 2057