The premier cru property known today as Chateau Margaux had moved from grain to grapes by 1582 and by 1680 vineyards made up about 80 hectares of a much larger (262ha) property, the same as today. The exceptional quality of the wine was soon recognised and, uniquely, the property took the name of the appellation. The spectacular chateau dates back to the early 1800s. Margaux was purchased in 1977 by the Mentzelopoulos family. Massive renovations were completed in 2015 and the modern estate also employs organic viticulture.
Château Margaux consistently makes one of the greatest Bordeaux wines, largely because of a grape selection regime that has seen production of the grand vin fall from 20,000 dozen in the 1980s to around 12,000 dozen today. The Margaux red grape vineyards total a little less than 70ha -- 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. They are mostly on sandy-stone topsoil over gravel with a clay base. There is also 11ha of Sauvignon Blanc. The grand vin is made in a combination of both wood and stainless steel vats and matures in new oak for 18-24 months. Margaux is one of few Bordeaux estates with its own cooperage. Margaux also produces a second wine, Pavillon Rouge (since 1906), a third wine, Margaux de Margaux (since 2009), and Pavillon Blanc, a 100% Sauvignon Blanc. The grand vin is among the world’s most sought-after wines. It is known for elegance, purity of fruit, harmony and finesse yet is also rich and full bodied, offering cassis, truffle and, distinctively, the scent of violets.
The nose is complexity and subtlety personified. Again a smoky edge to the aromatics, this time violet-edged, and a beautiful sense of a wine stretching out endlessly before you. This is still young, and it’s hard not to fall in love with a wine that can do this to you – the tannins and fruit structure are rich and fairly tight, with bilberries, truffles and a gentle zing of minerality. Still holding itself in line, not giving away all its secrets even now. A beautifully-made wine at its perfect moment that you just don’t want to let go of. Incidentally (remember we tasted these blind), Margaux owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos recently told me that the 1982 had overtaken the 1983 as her favourite vintage. On this showing, I have to agree. 100 points, Decanter (10/2016).
Consistently scoring between 98-100, the superb 1982 Margaux may be slightly bigger, bolder, and more masculine than vintages produced over the last 15-20 years. Its dark plum/purple color is followed by notes of melted tar intermixed with sweet cassis and floral underpinnings. Very full-bodied and dense for a Chateau Margaux, with a slight rusticity to the tannins, it boasts blockbuster power, richness, and impressive aromatics. It appears set for another 30-40 years of life. 98 points, Wine Advocate (6/2009).
What a youthful ruby colour. And it's fresh and young on the nose with currants, plums, mint, and flowers. A full-bodied red, with slightly tight and firm tannins, it opens to a long and satisfying finish. What freshness. Leave it five years, or decant three or four hours in advance before serving. 97 points, James Suckling (11/2010).
The 1982 Château Margaux is a real stunner. An exotic, almost candied bouquet melds into sweet red-hued fruit in a voluptuous, racy Margaux endowed with magnificent purity. Large and ample on the palate, with silky tannins and translucent fruit, the 1982 is rich yet also miraculously seamless. All the elements are in the right place. I followed this bottle over several hours, during which it only improved. The 1982 won’t last forever, but it will deliver thrilling drinking for up to another decade. This is one of the better 1982 Margauxs I have tasted. 97 points, Vinous (5/2015).
Deep ruby-red. Boysenberry, cassis, toasty oak and bitter chocolate on the slightly dusty nose. Penetrating and powerful; quite dry but almost exotically ripe, with sappy berry flavours complicated by graphite and licorice notes. Finishes very tannic and very long, with a strongly spicy character. 94(+?). Second bottle: Medium ruby. Vibrant aromas of boysenberry, violet and licorice. Pure silk in the mouth, with great sappy verve. Hugely concentrated and compellingly sweet. Utterly spherical wine, finishing with outstanding mounting fruit. Drink now to 2030. 96 points, International Wine Cellar (8/2002).
On Bordeaux’s Left Bank, near the southern end of the Haut-Médoc, lies Margaux, one of the most celebrated villages in the world of wine. Margaux is home to Château Margaux, the revered first-growth property, as well as 20 more Grand Cru Classé estates ranked in the 1855 classification of Bordeaux. The acclaimed wine of Margaux benefits from the diverse soil types in the appellation.
In general, Margaux has a very thin layer of topsoil, and the very best vineyards, above the Gironde River, have gravelly soils that encourage deep root growth and allow for good drainage. Because of the variations in soil, Margaux wines can range from delicately flavoured to highly concentrated, from medium- to full-bodied. Yet all Margaux wines share a fragrant bouquet, silky texture and remarkable balance. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in the wines of Margaux, as it does throughout the Left Bank, with Merlot and Cabernet Franc used in small percentages for blending. Because of their excellent aging potential, the best Margaux wines are prized by collectors.