Château Margaux 2017
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.
"A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Château Margaux charges from the gate with opulent kirsch, raspberry preserves, wild blueberries and cassis notions accented by roses, violets, Chinese five spice and fragrant earth with touches of underbrush and truffles. Medium-bodied, it fills the mouth with vibrant, ripe red and blue fruits, layering in perfume and spice nuances. It's framed by very finely grained and plush yet firm tannins and great tension, finishing with epic length." - Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2018, Issue 236), Ratings: 96-98
"Wow! This makes the whole room smile. The stunning nose hits you right off the bat, followed by wonderful fleshy damson fruit. This has some of the best aromatics in the business this year and a wonderful creamy texture through the palate. There's great density, and the tannins flatter it but they have menace and intent too, pulling the structure inwards and bouncing along to finish beautifully. This is more opulent than the Pavillon, which has some clear austerity, and the scale of the fruit is a little fresher than the 2015, with around the same ripeness level as the 2016. The 3.7pH is a little higher than the last two years, while an IPT of 73 is the same as last year. 37% of production went into the grand vin, including a 1% drop of Petit Verdot. " - Jane Anson, Decanter (4/2018), Ratings: 96
"Despite Margaux being a slightly more difficult region for the Medoc in 2017, this estate has fashioned an incredible 2017 Chateaux Margaux that’s unquestionably in the same league as the 2015 and 2016, and that’s saying something. Based on 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot representing a draconian selection of just 22% of the total production, it reveals a deep purple/ruby hue as well as stunning notes of creme de cassis, blueberries, crushed violets, unsmoked tobacco, and Asian spice. With flawless tannins, medium to full body, brilliant concentration, and a great, great finish, it's easily one of the standouts in the vintage. It’s already stunning, yet a good 7-8 years of bottle age are warranted, and it should cruise for 20-25 years in cold cellars." Jeb Dunnuck, 2017 Bordeaux From Bottle (2/26/2020) Rating: 98
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