Château-Margaux

Château Margaux

France, Bordeaux

1855 classification - Premier Grand Cru Classé Margaux, originally La Mothe de Margaux, has a long history dating back to at least the 12th Century. By the 17th Century, Margaux was widely recognised for the quality of their wines - in 1771 Château Margaux was the first wine sold by Christies, and Thomas Jefferson bought some Margaux when he was Ambassador to France. The French Revolution was a turbulent time for Margaux but, by the turn of the 19th Century, the estate was in the hands of the Basque Marquis de la Colonilla who's singular contribution was to build the château that we see today. Margaux's reputation was recognised by the 1855 classification which placed it among the elite group of Premier Grand Cru Classés. By the 1960's, however, Margaux was trading as much on reputation as anything else and a run of poor vintages in the 1970's led Margaux to be sold. This was its salvation, for the purchaser was André Mentzelpoulos who, despite some rumblings of discontent locally at such a grand property falling into "foreign" hands, poured in investment, replanting the vineyards, building a new underground cellar and renovating the château. Also more than renovated was Margaux's reputation as one of Bordeaux's leading estates, a reputation it now richly deserves, still under the benevolent eye of the Mentzelpoulos family. Château Margaux is a large estate, running to nearly 265ha, although under vine there are only 82ha. For red wines the vines are 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot with smaller plantings of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Wines are fermented and aged in barrels made at Margaux's own cooperage, the reds spending up to two years in wood. The second wine of the estate is Pavillon Rouge de Château Margaux which has been produced since the 19th Century, making it among the longest established of such wines. Château Margaux also produce a very successful white wine - Pavillon Blanc de Château Margaux - 100% Sauvignon Blanc, aged in wood for six months. This is classified as AOC Bordeaux as there is no appellation for white Margaux.