Château Margaux 1999
Some people are drawn to wines for their stories. They believe the tales associated with each vintage are just as important as the contents inside each bottle. If you love a good comeback story as much as a good bottle of wine, you will love Château Margaux.
The history of Château Margaux is one of innovation and countless winemaking “firsts.” In the 17th Century, the château was the first to consider terroir’s effect on certain varietals and vinifying white and red grapes separately. Château Margaux also pioneered “night picking,” the practice of picking grapes later in the day to get the fullest, most concentrated expression of fruit. The château was rightfully designated a Ffirst Ggrowth in the 1855 Classification -- the only estate to receive a perfect score of 20/20.
During the economic crisis of Bordeaux in the 1960s and 1970s, Château Margaux suffered due to mismanagement and financial constraints. Its name was tarnished and was for sale for over two years before its was acquired by André Mentzelopoulos, a Greek supermarket magnet who fell in love with the gorgeous Neoclassical architecture of the estate. After his passing in 1980, his French-born and educated daughter, Corinne, inherited the estate and proceeded to make substantial improvements to the property.
Initially, Corinne worked with the general manager already in place. In 1983, she appointed the young professional Paul Pontallier as general manager to lead new efforts to renovate the vineyard. Paul led the construction of a new cellar. He was general manager for over 30 years until his premature death from cancer. The last vintage Paul supervised, the vintage of 2015, became the most storied vintage in Chateau Margaux’s recent history. It garnered 100 pts, a perfect score, from influential critics.
Château Margaux currently hosts 192.7 acres of vines that are on average 35 years old. It produces roughly 400,000 bottles of wine a year. The vineyards are painstakingly tended to by hand, and the grapes that go into the Grand Vin are organically farmed. Red varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc are planted on the white gravely soil. Château Margaux also produces one of the most well-respected white wines in the entire Médoc -- Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux. This enchanting stunner is composed of entirely 100% Sauvignon Blanc and dazzles with its fruity depth and subtly herbal, oaky qualities.
Château Margaux produces some of the most ravishing, multidimensionally rich and balanced wines in all of Bordeaux. They are known for their sensuously opulent bouquets of black currents, violets, and spicy vanilla.
During the 1980s, many claimed that the best wine in all of Bordeaux was from Château Margaux and these claims were not unfounded. Curiosity is integral to the spirit of Château Margaux – and those in charge have learned from past issues that in the pursuit of sustained excellence, complacency is not an option. The story of Château Margaux is of redemption, and proof that with determination and efforts, one can bounce back from struggle.
"The 1999 Château Margaux has been the standout First Growth since I first tasted the wine from barrel. Now reaching its plateau of maturity, it has an understated nose at first, armed with impressive mineralité with a gorgeous graphite seam. The definition and precision here is top class. The palate is medium-bodied and smooth in texture, very harmonious and assured, surprisingly with some new oak still to be fully assimilated into the wine. The signature Margaux traits of crushed black cherries and violets comes through towards the finish, suggestions of raspberry reserve and desiccated orange peel enhancing the long finish. Perhaps I might temper my initial enthusiasm for the 1999 Château Margaux...but only slightly. It comes highly recommended. Tasted May 2016." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (10/28/2016, Issue 227), Ratings: 95, Drink: 2016-2040
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