Château Margaux

Château Margaux, a premier Cru Classé property, has been producing the finest wines in the Médoc since 1978. That’s the year the Mentzelopoulos family took ownership of this outstanding property.

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The History

Château Margaux was built in the early 19th century and remains one of the grandest, most spectacular buildings amongst the Médoc châteaux. Though viticulture had been practised on the estates for several centuries before, a chequered period of ownership in the 19th and early 20th century led to fluctuating quality of some Margaux vintages.

André Mentzelopoulos, who was Greek by birth but had lived in France since 1958, immediately instigated much-needed investment in vineyard and cellar. After his untimely death in 1980, though, the reigns were passed down to his daughter, Corinne.

Corrine shrewdly recruited young (and talented) winemaker Paul Pontallier to oversee the production. Pontallier remains at the helm to this day. In the 30 years since he’s taken control, Margaux has produced some legendary wines that display marvelous consistency through the good and the inferior years.

The estate has 82 hectares under vine, with Cabernet Sauvignon dominating the crop (75%) and Merlot (20%) making up most of the rest. There is a smattering of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, as well. What makes Margaux unique to its counterparts is the production of a white wine, Pavillon Blanc, made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc. The two red wines produced here are, of course, Château Margaux itself and Pavillon Rouge. Typically, 30,000 cases of red wine are made each year, with the Grand Vin accounting for just over 40% of the total. Production of white wine amounts to fewer than 3,000 cases.

Fermentation takes place in oak vats, and the ageing for Château Margaux happens in 100% new barrels for 22 months. It is Paul Pontallier’s staunch belief that the Cabernet Sauvignon grape is responsible for the Château Margaux’s unique characteristics, leading to its ever-greater percentage of this varietal in the blend of the Grand Vin.

Margaux wines are renowned for perfumed elegance, which is not to say these wines are light-bodied. Far from it, in fact. The best Château Margaux boast an enviable structure, layers of complexity, and formidable length.

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