Producer Profile: Château Margaux

Producer Profile: Château Margaux

Château Margaux

“The…acclaimed 1978 Margaux was followed by a succession of brilliantly executed wines that are so stunning, rich, and balanced that it is not unfair to suggest that during the 1980s there was no better wine made in all of Bordeaux than that of Margaux…The style of the rejuvenated wine at Margaux is one of opulent richness, a deep, multidimensional bouquet with a fragrance of ripe black currants, spicy vanilla oakiness, and violets.” World’s Greatest Wine Estates, Robert Parker Jr.

The estate that comprises Château Margaux today was first consolidated during the beginning of the seventeenth century by the Lestonnac and d’Aulède families. Around the turn of the eighteenth century, the Marquis d’Aulède began to recognize the burgeoning demand for higher quality wines from defined châteaux, and responded by implementing some of the first modern viticultural techniques in Bordeaux. These included matching varietals with specific soils, waiting for vines to fully mature before utilizing their fruit, separating white and red grapes for vinification, and selecting only the best grapes for the first wine. By the late 1700s, Margaux had gained a reputation for excellence.

Chais 2As with many estates in Bordeaux, the French Revolution sparked a turbulent period for Margaux. Ownership of the Château transferred frequently from family to family throughout the nineteenth century, and these owners’ differing priorities resulted in variation in the wine’s quality and style. While the early twentieth century seemed bright for Margaux, a confluence of poor vintages and changes in the way wines were marketed and sold put a strain on the Château during the 1960s. Fortunately, in 1977, businessman André Mentzelopoulos purchased the estate, and immediately set to work revitalizing it. Much of the vines were replanted, drainage was improved, and renowned Professor Émile Paynaud was brought on as an advisor. Margaux rebounded under Mentzelopoulos’ leadership, culminating with a historic vintage in 1978. André’s daughter, Corinne, has since continued his legacy.

VineyardToday, Margaux’s wine embodies the stunning château that graces its label and grounds. Under the leadership of Corinne Mentzelopoulos and director Paul Pontallier, the Château has implemented scrupulous practices with an aim for quality, including meticulous éclaircissage (crop thinning before ripening begins) and exclusive hand-harvesting. Combined with the estate’s superlative gravel/gravelly-clay soils (that are perfectly-suited for Cabernet Sauvignon), these efforts create wines of impeccable grace and harmony; wines that are beautifully refined, yet never lack strength.

Our current retail offering spans sixteen vintages of Margaux, from 1979 to 2013.

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Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. - 1511 W 38th Street, Chicago IL  60609 - Phone: 312.482.9996  Fax: 312.335.9096