Château Margaux, 1er Cru Classé, Margaux, 2010

  Château Margaux

Paul Pontallier refers to the `genius` of the Cabernet plots at Margaux in 2010. When other estates are experiencing record alcohol levels, Chateau Margaux weighs in at a very dainty 13.5%. When asked how they did it, Paul shrugs a very French shrug and says, `we didn't do anything, this is the magic of Cabernet Sauvignon on these soils`. Produced from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 1.5% Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. The impressive vintage book appositely refers to the 2010 Margaux as `classic, with a twist`. That it is. Wonderfully vibrant colour, beautifully fragrant, fabulous intensity, true to its terroir, layers of complexity, muscled, aristocratic, effortless, reserved; this wine has it all. The nose is a freshly cut bouquet of flowers, minerals, wild strawberries and grilled toast. On the palate the fruit is exquisitely poised, precise, vibrant, creamy, packed with blueberries, cherry liqueur and sweet summer berries. One can almost taste the terroir, the gravelly minerality is so evident on the palate. Dense, yet light footed, there is a weightless freshness and class to this. A regal, tight knit beauty. Splendid.

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.