With wine tasting notes and advice on combining wine with food, discover everything there is to know about Chateaux Margaux, a first growth. In this article, this article will learn about the estate’s history, the top vintages, the vineyards, and winemaking.
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CHATEAUX MARGAUX – HISTORY
It’s incredible to consider that the origins of what is today known as Chateaux Margaux trace back almost a thousand years! The property was referred to as “La Mothe de Margaux” in the 12th century and was only available to royalty. Vineyards weren’t yet a part of the estate back then. Numerous individuals of noble birth were the subsequent owners of La Mothe de Margaux. The estate began to resemble the place we currently know as Chateaux Margaux when the Lestonnac family seized control. Between 1572 and 1582, Pierre de Lestonnac reorganized the estate and switched it from farming grain to making wine.
The d’Auledes family thoroughly developed Chateaux Margaux’s vines in the 1600s. The size of Chateaux Margaux reached 265 hectares at the end of the 17th century. A third of that area was used to grow grapes for making wine. The remaining space was used for parkland, vegetation, and trees.
Chateaux Margaux is one of the rare vineyards that has remained largely untouched for generations. To demonstrate that point, let’s look at the vineyards’ 75 hectares of grapes in 1680. Three hundred fifty years later, the vineyards are still roughly the same size with 80 hectares of vines planted, precisely as they were in 1700.
Traditional Bordeaux chateaus include Chateaux Margaux. They adopt new technology slowly in specific ways. Each step forward is carefully considered to ensure it is the right move forward.
Yet intriguingly, Chateaux Margaux is where modern winemaking first began. The first winemaker at Margaux, a guy by the name of Berlon, to vinify red and white wine grapes separately is responsible for this. The red and white vines were subsequently co-planted in the same plots.
CHATEAU MARGAUX MODERN TIMES
Due to rising indebtedness brought on in part by the declining prices for Bordeaux wine in the 1970s, the Ginestet family was forced to sell Chateau Margaux to Andre Mentzelopoulos in 1977. Although it may seem unbelievable to us now, the estate was up for sale for about two years until Andre Mentzelopoulos bought it for roughly $16 million, or 72 million French francs, at the time.
Andre Mentzelopoulos made his wealth trading grains to Pakistan and India before acquiring a chain of supermarkets started by Felix Potin. Following the passing of Andre Mentzelopoulos in December 1980, Corinne Mentzelopoulos assumed control of Chateau Margaux.
It’s possible that she wasn’t old enough to entirely understand what it needed to run Chateau Margaux. However, she had help from Philippe Barre, the estate director, and renowned Bordeaux oenologist Emile Peynaud, who were among the first employees the new owner hired at Margaux.
The winemaking facilities and cellars underwent renovations, which were finished in 1982. Soon after Andre Mentzelopoulos bought the Left Bank vineyard, replanting of some of its portions began, along with a scheme to improve the density of the vineyard plantings.
THE NATURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF CHATEAU MARGAUX WINE
The best wines made by Chateau Margaux combine delicacy, harmony, grace, and fruit purity. Perhaps it could be said to have Cary Grant’s charm, style, refinement, and elegance if wines were actors. This elegant wine isn’t a light one. Rich and full-bodied, it features cassis, truffle, and eerie violet aromas. There was a good reason why Margaux was preferred by America’s third president and first serious wine collector. He declared that Château Margaux was among the best 4 Bordeaux wines in 1787. Even after more than 200 years, his advice is still valid.
WINEMAKING AT CHATEAU MARGAUX
Vinification takes place in vats made of a blend of wood and stainless steel to create the red wine from Chateau Margaux. For the vinification, there are over 100 stainless steel and oak vats. The vats are available in sizes ranging from 5 hectoliters (used for experimentation) to 180 hectoliters (used for blending) and making wine at Chateau Margaux. Except for the press wine, which goes through malolactic fermentation in a barrel, fermentation takes place in vats. Depending on the caliber and personality of the Bordeaux vintage, the Chateau Margaux red wine is matured in 100% new wood for 18 to 24 months.
AVAILABILITY, EXPECTED MATURITY AND DECANTING TIME FOR CHATEAU MARGAUX
Wine from Chateau Margaux should not be consumed too young. The wine is typically very strong, tannic, and restrained in its early years. Young vintages can be decanted for a range of 3 to 6 hours. As a result, the wine can soften and develop its aroma. Older vintages might need just a tiny amount of decanting to get the sediment out.
Generally speaking, Chateau Margaux tastes best after at least 15 years in the bottle. That can, of course, change a little depending on the antique character. Chateau Margaux should be at its most drinkable between the ages of 18 and 60 after the vintage.
At 60 degrees Fahrenheit, or 15.5 degrees Celsius, Chateau Margaux is the finest enjoyed. The wine has greater freshness and lifts because of the low, almost cellar-like temperature. The finest foods to pair with Chateau Margaux include roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes made with veal, hog, beef, lamb, duck, or game. Asian cuisine and hearty fish courses like tuna, spaghetti, and mushrooms work well with Chateau Margaux. All varieties of seafood, shellfish, sushi, sashimi, veal, chicken, pork, and various kinds of cheese go superbly with Chateau Margaux’s Pavillon Blanc white wine.
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