Château Margaux 2019
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 2019 Château Margaux is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, accounting for 37% of the crop. The alcohol came in at 13.9%, the IPT was 75, and the pH was 3.66. Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose begins with intense scents of crushed blackberries, warm cassis and plum preserves before fanning out into a whole array of floral, exotic spice and earth scents: iris, red roses, star anise, cassis, tilled soil, moss-covered bark and black truffles, with an emerging waft of crushed rocks. The medium-bodied palate quivers with energy, emitting loads of mineral sparks, featuring bold freshness and fantastically ripe, finely grained tannins to support the delicate, perfumed layers, finishing very long and wonderfully poised. The juxtaposition between the acidity and the richness in this Château Margaux is just extraordinary!" - Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (6/17/2020, Bordeaux 2019 Issue), Ratings: 97-100
"The 2019 Château Margaux, like many other top names, was tasted in 12-hour intervals after opening. Like the Pavillon Rouge, it is tightly-wound on the nose initially and it is really only after 12-hours that it begins to motor, revealing enticing scents of blackberry, briary, seaweed and crushed stone, perhaps less florality, less violet-inspired aromas compared to previous vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with very lithe tannins that disguise the considerable backbone of this First Growth. This is imbued with a sense of linearity and focus, a strictness that gradually gives way to more sensuality. It is a beautifully proportioned Château Margaux, somehow "effortless", fanning out nonchalantly with residues of white pepper and fresh tobacco on the finish. Outstanding." - Neal Martin, vinous.com (June 2020), Rating: 96-98, Drink: 2029-2065
"The 2019 Château Margaux is another inky hued beauty from this estate that does everything right. Incredible notes of blackcurrants, blueberries, sandalwood, cedar, and loads of floral tones all dominate the bouquet, and this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, flawless integration in its tannins, acidity, and fruit, building structure, and an almost “iron fist in a velvet glove” like mouthfeel. Reminding me of the 2016, yet with even more density, it's a quintessential Château Margaux that will benefit from a decade of cellaring and keep for 50 years or more." Jeb Dunnuck, Bordeaux 2019: A Modern-Day Version of 1982? Rating: 97-100