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.
93-95/100 Andrew Caillard MW. Deep colour. Very perfumed violet/ black cherry/ plum/ vanilla toasty aromas. Buoyant sweet red cherry/ violet flavours, pronounced chalky/ graphite but fully resolved tannins, dukkha savoury oak, juicy, supple and elegant but well balanced. Lovely length. Highest quantity of tannin ever! Muscular but feminine. Beautiful physique.
94-96+/100 Robert Parker Jr. Administrator Paul Pontallier is nearly embarrassed to explain the amazing success of the 2011 Chateau Margaux, a candidate for wine of the vintage. With the harvest occurring between September 5-20, it was the smallest crop in over twenty years as yields were cut significantly by the drought. The berries were tiny. Moreover, analytically, the 2011 has a higher level of concentration as well as tannins than the 2009. A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, only 38% of the harvest made it into the grand vin. The wine offers an inky/purple color, barely noticeable sweet tannin, and a beautiful nose of creme de cassis, spring flowers and lead pencil shavings backed up by fresh acids and good overall structure. This medium to full-bodied effort possesses tremendous personality and character. It rivals what they achieved in both 2010 and 2009, which is virtually impossible to contemplate given the quality of those two vintages.
18.5/20 Steven Spurrier, Decanter. Floral cassis fruit, lovely florality and perfect texture, beautifully harmony of expression above concentrated natural tannins.
17.5/20 Julia Harding MW, Jancis Robinson. Very small berries brought greater concentration but also had to be careful with the extraction. Deep dark crimson. Rich, dark and intense fruit on the nose. Floral note of violets too – open and expressive with plenty of fruit. Expressive on the palate – open and approachable and soft. Balanced and harmonious but almost too soft. 'Nothing sticks out', Paul Pontallier said, with a positive intention, but somehow it was a negative to me, all rather too safe and unexciting. Moderate length.
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.