Friends, a few weeks back I had the wonderful opportunity to visit one of the storied wineries of the world, located on the left bank of Bordeaux, Chateau Margaux. Dating all the way back to the 12th century, Margaux was called “La Mothe de Margaux” (the Margaux mound) and at the time there were no vines planted at the property. During the 12th century this region was taken over by England and at the time the Bordeaux “claret” was adopted as a table wine by Richard the Lion Heart, King of England in the XII century.
Pierre de Lestonnac then took over the land from 1572 to 1582, and took over the vineyard and anticipated the general evolution of the Médoc that had started to abandon cereal growing in favor of planting vines for making ‘claret.’ Towards the beginning of the 18th century, Château Margaux had amassed 265 hectares which was property that would never be divided again. Roughly one third of the estate had vines planted.
Famed United States president, Thomas Jefferson, served as United States Ambassador to France, and fell in love with the wines of Château Margaux as records having him placing an order for Margaux 1784 on which he wrote “There couldn’t be a better Bordeaux bottle.” Then in 1855 Empereur Napoléon III created the ‘Second Universal Exhibition.’ It divided about sixty Médoc growths, and a property in the Graves, into five quality levels. Four growths were classified “Premier Grand Cru Classé”; only Margaux was marked twenty out of twenty. Fast forward to the twentieth century, Chateau Margaux has gained nearly unparalleled success with their wines from wine critics and wine collectors alike.
Visiting the property I cherished the few minutes I had to take in the incredible history of the property. My tasting was located in a new, more modern wing of the chateau. Somewhat spartan, this simple room was thoughtfully designed to only focus on the wines. Needless to say I was absolutely blown away with the new releases. One of the best Bordeaux Blanc wines I have tasted in many years, the 2016 Chateau Margaux ‘Pavilion’ Blanc (WWB, 97) is an incredible white wine that not only has a seamless texture but an incredible richness and salinity. This is a complete, head-turning white wine that will enjoy many decades in the cellar, only picking up tertiary notes. I found the 2016 Chateau Margaux Red Wine (WWB, 100) to be nothing short of perfection in the bottle. This was the best bottling that I sampled during my visit to Bordeaux. Simply put, this wine has it all —from tension to viscosity — to earthy character and impeccable blending. Learn more about this famed chateau at https://www.chateau-margaux.com Here are the brilliant new release wines by Chateau Margaux.
2016 Chateau Margaux Pavilion Blanc- You are absolutely blown away initially with this beautiful nose that ranges from honeysuckle to apricot to ripe pear and green apple with suggestions of nutmeg. The texture to this wine is simply stunning as the wine delivers gobs of mouth-watering acidity. Gravenstein apple, ripe lychee and pineapple flavors connect with an incredible salinity. This is Bordeaux blanc at its best. Drink 2022-2045- 97
2016 Chateau Margaux Pavilion Rouge- This second wine has been made since the late 1970s but Chateau Margaux has made a second wine for many years prior to that. This wine takes on a classic Bordelaise nose with red bell pepper, anise, creme de cassis, and green peppercorn with blackberry cordial. The palate takes on wonderful freshness with good intensity and wonderful freshness. Coffee grounds, green bell pepper, anise and creme de cassis flavors all collide on the palate. The texture is seriously good considering this is a second wine. This stunning wine is nowhere near ready right now and will have an exceedingly long life in the cellar. The Bordelaise character really shines here. Drink 2025-2045- 95
2016 Chateau Margaux Red Wine- The 2016 Chateau Margaux is pure perfection in the bottle. Silky, elegant and round, this wine has it all. The assemblage was quite rigorous in this vintage (94% Cabernet Sauvignon with small parts Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot). This wine only represented 26 percent of their harvest. Quite astounding amounts of wine was either blended into their third wine or was sold in bulk, On the nose this takes on a huge range of aromatics from blueberry compote, to tar, to mocha and anise as this is already shining brightly aromatically. The palate has an exceedingly deep core with creme de cassis, mocha, anise, red bell pepper and blueberry compote. Massive and intense, this gorgeous wine is merely an infant now and needs at least ten years in the cellar. This will be a hugely long lived wine. Drink 2029-2059- 100