Astonishingly, the famous Chateau de Margaux that wine lovers love today had been there since the 12th century, the property was named “La Mothe de Margaux” at the time and was reserved for only the nobility. The property had been passed down to noble people time after time. It was only then that the Lestonnac family changed the structure of the property that led us to how we see Chateau Margaux today. Back then, it was called Pierre de Lestonnac, and they changed their production from grain to Bordeaux wine.
By the end of the 1700s, when it was passed over to the d’Auledes family, they grew it to a considerable size of 265 hectares. It was unchanged throughout the centuries and 350 years later, the vineyards, still retained their original size of 80 hectares, just like how it was during the 1700s.
In 1906, Chateau Margaux labeled their wine with “2eme win” for the customer to know that that is their brand of wine. It was also in this year that Chateau Margaux released their first-ever official vintage. During the Great Depression, Chateau Margaux suffered a lot of problems, leading them to stop bottling up until 1949. The Ginestet family, being the successful negociants at the time, bought the remaining shares, also in the same year.
Chateau Margaux in the Modern Era
In 1977, Andre Mentzelopoulos bought the property from the Ginestet family due to the Bordeaux wine going downhill. The property was actually on the market for almost two years before being purchased by Andre. Under her vision and the help of famous Bordeaux oenologists, Emile Peynaud and Philippe Barre, the property took renovations to modernizations that include new winemaking facilities, and newly-built cellars. They also took the initiative to replant hectares of vineyards and increase the vineyards’ density.
During 1983, Paul Pontallier, an engineer in agriculture with a doctorate in enology joined Chateaux Margaux as their director in his 27 years of age, having the same age as Corrine Mentzelopoulos. He served Chateau Margaux as the director for about 30 years. At that time, Corrine Mentzelopoulos partnered with the Agnelli family, which owns Fiat. For some time, one of the largest shareholders of the Perrier water company was Corrine, until 2003. After that, Corrine Mentzepolous exclusively gave her full attention to Chateau Margaux.
The Personality of Chateau Margaux
The elegance of Chateau Margaux blends in finesse, the pure taste of the fruit, and the passion of its production. Its richness in taste can blend into a few complementary foods, and one can taste the purity of its making if it is paired to select dishes. In 1787, America’s third president stated that Chateau Margaux is one of the top 4 Bordeaux Wine.
Chateau Margaux best vintages are: 1900, 1921, 1928, 1929, 1953, 1959, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1995, 1990, 1999, 1996, 2003, 2000, 2005, 2004, 2008, 2006, 2010, 2009, 2014, 2013, 2015, 2014, 2017, and 2018. The numbers are quite consistent if you ask me.
One apt description on specifically Chateau Margaux’s 2003 vintage made by Robert Parker’s wine advocate “Am I being too stingy with the 2003 Chateau Margaux? A wine of extraordinary complexity and intensity, it reveals a deep purple color, a style not unlike the 1990 Margaux (possibly even more concentrated), a velvety texture, and notes of spring flowers interwoven with camphor, melted licorice, creme de cassis, and pain grille. Not a blockbuster, it offers extraordinary intensity as well as a surreal delicacy/lightness.” Chateau Margaux is just one of the Sokolin Margaux Wines that is in the blog.
Chateau Margaux’s Production
Chateaux Margaux vineyards are divided into 80 parcels. They are close to the Chateau unlike most of the other estates. They are divided into three sections, vines that are planted surrounding the property, ones that are planted near the church, which is on the south, and up among the hills that are on the north. The land that remains is reserved for the greenery that includes forestry, parks, and gardens. The estate keeps the vines for an average of 35 years but, some parcels with old Cabernet Sauvignon vines, are close to 80 years now.
Most of the vineyards receive organic farming, which means the vineyards receive no artificial tweaking. 100% percent of the vines that are used for the Grand Vin was worked on organically in 2017. Pavilion Rouge’s grapes are mostly done naturally when produced.
Chateau Margaux’s wines and their production are improving since the Mentzelopoulos’ took over. Corrine Mentzelpoulos’ leadership even took it further, gaining its fame and success today.
When Drinking Chateau Margaux
Chateau Margaux is best drinking on the older it is, which is better than the young side. The wine tastes powerful, more tannic, and restrained. It can be decanted for about 3-6 hours for it to release its aroma and pure taste, on the young side. On the other hand, the old side can be decanted for only a bit of time, just enough to get rid of the sediment. Usually, Chateau Margaux is better with the bottle’s age of 15 years, which can vary, given that the best time to drink it is in its peak maturity of 18 to 60 years.
The best temperature to drink it with is 15.5 celsius with its almost cellar-like chill giving it more freshness and taste. It is usually at its best when paired with meat dishes like pork, roasted chicken, tuna, etc. Also, Asian dishes are paired with it, the exotic taste of the meal and the classic purity of the wine gives off a great flavor on the palate.
Chateau Margaux is one of the best wine producers that are inherited from a long line of history. It brings the best kind of flavor, given that it had been in the process of production for centuries. Its taste, character, and aroma can be astonishing and reminiscent as it brings us back nostalgia through its long history, which brings us back today. It is one of the classics, ripen with age. Enjoy.