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.
Medium deep crimson colour. Attractive red plum, strawberry, vanilla spice aromas with flowery herb garden notes. Silky textured supple wine with raspberry, strawberry cassis pastille flavours, looseknit lacy textures and mocha vanilla oak notes. Finishes chalky dense and minerally fresh and long. Very good. Tasted at Ch Margaux.
The 2016 Margaux is magnificent in the best tradition of the Château Margaux style, which always speaks more to finesse than power. Above all else, the 2016 is a wine of superb persistence, understated power and total refinement. There is wonderful depth and intensity to the ripe red and purplish-hued fruits, accompanied by mint, rose petal and sweet spice overtones that develop in the glass. The 2016 finishes with great aromatic lift and freshness. It has been absolutely compelling on the two occasions I have tasted it so far.
A purity of fruit marks this Margaux with lots of currant and berry character. Full body, bright acidity and round tannins. It’s a larger and more expanded style of Margaux. A wine with a heart and body. Strong. 98-99 points, jamessuckling.com
The 2016 Chateau Margaux is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc, plus 1% of Petit Verdot, representing 28% of the total production. This is the highest proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon apart from 2013, which was due to the poor Merlot. It was cropped around 50 hectoliters per hectare depending on the grape variety, for example it could be up to 65 hectoliters per hectare in some sectors. Lucid in color, it has a detailed and precise bouquet with mineral-rich blackberry, raspberry coulis and limestone scents. It feels very perfumed, though not powerful like many Grand Vins in 2016. The palate is a different creature to the aromatics. Here is the intensity of the vintage with shimmering black fruit laced with spice, a killer line of acidity and an irresistible crescendo on the finish. Then, graphite lingering on the aftertaste, a nod to Pauillac perhaps. The aftertaste is so long you could probably write a letter to your friend enthusing about this wine before the aftertaste fades. Doubtless it is destined to be compared to the magnificent 2015 Château Margaux and to be truthful, there's a hair's breadth between them. In a word: crystalline.
94% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a little bit of Petit Verdot. pH 3.6 (cf pH 3.65 in 2015). Sweet rich start and then very fresh. Seems a little bit marked by oak at the moment. Sinewy. Hint of chocolate -- just like Palmer! Slightly drying tannins. Sandpaper on the end. 13% 17.5/20 points, jancisrobinson.com
'A gorgeous, captivating bouquet gives the 2016 Margaux an irresistible allure. Weightless and yet wonderfully persistent, in the way only the château's wines can be, the 2016 Grand Vin is a wine of exceptional breeding and pedigree. So many wines in this vintage are obvious, but Margaux is a wine that takes time to discover, like a great book or piece of music. Shades of tobacco, cedar, mint, licorice and bright, red-toned fruit reveal themselves over time. And yet it is a sense of total harmony and seductiveness that elevates Margaux into the stratosphere in 2016. 2026-2066'
99 Points, Antonio Galloni
"The 2016 Château Margaux represents 28% of the entire production this year. It has an alluring, gorgeous bouquet that blossoms with aeration to reveal black cherries, veins of blue fruit, crushed violet petals and a suggestion of vanilla. The poised, mineral-driven palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin and just the right amount of salinity. The 2015 Château Margaux is ahead by a nose, but this will be a formidable first growth with a five-decade life span. 2026-2070"
98 Points, Vinous
"It’s very friendly and warm on the nose showing flowers, such as roses, and red fruit. But then on the palate, it lets you know how serious it is. Full-bodied, yet reserved, extremely tight and well-formed with super polished tannins that go on for minutes. A solid and typical Margaux with all the personality and beauty in strength. Try after 2027."
99 Points, JamesSuckling.com
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Château Margaux (blended of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot) sashays out of the glass with glamorous red currants, candied violets, kirsch and crushed blackcurrants scents followed by notions of tilled black soil, forest floor, cast iron pan and cigar box with subtle wafts of lavender and oolong tea. Medium-bodied, mineral laced accents hover over the palate with an ethereal sensation of weightlessness, yet it is super intense with layers of red and black flavors supported by a firm texture of silt-fine tannins, finishing wonderfully fragrant and incredibly long.
99 points, Wine Advocate (December 2018)
The grand vin 2016 Château Margaux is a beauty and tastes like the essence of Margaux. Thrilling notes of blueberries, cassis, crushed violets, flowery incense, and spice notes all give way to a full-bodied 2016 that strikes an incredible balance between richness and elegance. A blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot brought up in new barrels, it’s more focused and elegant than the 2015, yet I suspect it’s just as concentrated, and readers are going have a blast comparing these two magical vintages over the coming 4-5 decades.
97+ points, jebdunnuck.com (February 2019)
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.