Château Margaux, 1er Cru Classé, Margaux, 2017

  Château Margaux

Having tasted the Pavillon Rouge, we had a certain sense of expectation - we were not disappointed. The 2017 Chateau Margaux is pure class. Fashioned from 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, and accounting for 37% of the crop, this is a consummate Margaux. Initially the floral fragrance of roses, potpourri and cherry blossom, then hints of Kirsch and pure raspberry and notes of gravel and cassis. The palate flows seamlessly into flavours of griotte and sweet redcurrant. It is so lucid and poised. There is a femininity to the precision and elegance of the fruit, but this us underpinned by power and authority. The press wines were so successful that 8% was included in the final blend. This lends power and breadth. As one would expect, the tannins are exceptional. They gently caress the mouth with noble fruits and touches of minerality. Despite its delicacy there is so much power and length - nuances keep developing and linger with real persistence. This is a truly exceptional Margaux and sits comfortably next to the extraordinary 2015 and 2016 vintages. Outstanding!

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Margaux

Great as the wine of Margaux is, no introduction to this estate would be complete without mention of the magnificent Chateau, built by the Marquis de Colonilla and designed by Louis Combes. The Marquis allegedly had no real interest in wine, but his legacy is still enjoyed by everyone who visits.

The Mentzelopoulos family bought the estate from the Ginestet family in 1977. In an era of appalling vintages and economic depression in Bordeaux, Andre Mentzelopoulos invested in improving drainage, replanted vines, built a new barrel cellar and encouraged the use of a second label to improve quality. He sadly died in 1980 before the fruits of his labour were to become apparent, but he can be credited with the revival in Margaux’s reputation and setting the foundations for more successful times that followed. Today, Andre’s daughter, Corrine owns the estate and with the general manager, Paul Pontallier has continued the program of investment.

There is a general trend to producing wines with very high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. It is Paul’s belief that the best gravel croupes are best suited to Cabernet, with much of the Merlot utilised in the second label, Pavillon Rouge and a new third label. There is a 12 hectare vineyard further inland that is planted with Sauvignon Blanc, used in the white wine, Pavillon Blanc. At its best, the Grand Vin is ethereal, perfumed, powerful and always supremely elegant.

Appellation: Margaux

The wines tend to show more perfume and roundness than neighbour St-Julien, Pauillac, and St-Estèphe, whilst retaining a certain structure and concentration. Margaux is the most southerly and most extensive of the famous Médoc communes, a patchwork of vineyards with lesser parcels classed purely as Haut-Médoc. A myriad of soil mixtures can be found, clay, limestone, and gravel. Though quality is not always consistent here, the potential is great as more Margaux properties were included in the 1855 classification of the Médoc and Graves than any other appellation.

The two leading lights are the highly sought after Châteaux Margaux and Palmer, though there are several other solid performers including Brane-Cantenac, Rauzan-Ségla, Durfort-Vivens, Lascombes, Giscours, Ferrières, Malescot St Exupery and Luc Thienpont’s new boutique vineyard, Clos des Quatre Vents.

Grape Blend: Cab. Sauvignon | Merlot | Cab. Franc | Petit Verdot

The full complement of permitted Bordeaux varieties (excluding the rarely used Carmenere & Malbec) and the classic left bank Bordeaux blend. The Cabernets and Merlots usually dominate the blend with small percentages of Petit Verdot blended in for colour, structure and complexity. Several producers outside of Bordeaux have tried to emulate this with a Bordeaux style blend of their own, a particularly successful example being Cain Cellars in the Napa Valley and their splendid Cain Five.