Château Marquis d'Alesme 2012
Château Marquis d’Alesme defies expectations; continuing to evolve and grow. For many decades the wines of this Third Growth Margaux property were unremarkable, and the estate was cloaked in obscurity. All that changed when the dynamic and ambitious Nathalie Perrodo inherited the property from her father, Hugo Perrodo. Since 2014, the wines have received increasing critical acclaim and attention – yet their prices remain quite affordable. Out of the myriad Classified Growths, this is without a doubt one of the estates with the most potential. With its quality wines and fascinating story, Château Marquis d’Alesme should be on every discerning buyer’s radar.
A rich interweaving of French and Chinese cultures has remained synonymous with the history of Château Marquis d’Alesme throughout its lifespan. The property’s inception in 1585 was due to the French aristocrat, the Marquis d’Alesme. The Marquis was a scholar of the enlightenment, had a fascination Chinese art, and was responsible for planting the estate’s vineyards. The Château was acquired in 1809 by a Dutch Merchant named Jean Bekker Terrlink who frequently traveled to China.
In 2006 the self-made entrepreneur, Hubert Perrodo purchased Château Marquis d’Alesme with grand ambitions. Hubert noticed Château Marquis d’Alesme was within close proximity to the First Growth Château Margaux and they shared a similar terroir. He believed in the potential of this estate and wanted to produce truly great wines. Hubert was a skilled businessman who entered the elite world of the Wine Trade entirely of his own accord. Hugo met his Chinese wife, Carrie in Hong Kong and had two children – one of which was Nathalie Perrodo. Hubert tragically passed in a skiing accident before he could realize his dreams of greatness for the Château, and Nathalie took over. She inherited his gift of business and with a predominately all female team, took Château Marquis d’Alesme to new heights.
Château Marquis d’Alesme underwent an extensive renovation in 2015. The new interior shows a blend of French and Chinese influences to honor the legacy of the estate and Nathalie’s heritage. Nathalie hired the gifted enologist and General Manager, Marjorlaine Maurice de Connick and the legendary Michel Rolland as a consultant. The estate is now sustainably farmed, and viticultural practices are inspired by Biodynamic farming. The team harvests according to the lunar calendar, uses cover crops, and has a series of beehives throughout the grounds to help with pollination. The vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are harvested by hand – with only the most perfect berries reserved for the wines.
The property is worth a visit, and guests are made to feel welcome at Château Marquis d’Alesme. They can explore the offerings of the Château at the wine bar on the grounds, Le Hameau, that was added during the 2015 renovation. It is apparent the estate values its people, most of all. When asked what the driving force behind her motivation to work at Château Marquis d'Alesme was, enologist Marjorie Maurice de Connick says, “Château Marquis d’Alesme has an unusual and exceptional soul, full of classicism, utopia and fantasy that drives us in our daily tasks.” It is apparent that this passionate team continues to create wines that surprise and excite. One can only imagine what the future holds for Château Marquis d’Alesme.
" This medium-bodied wine exhibits a dense purple color as well as a sweet bouquet of creme de cassis, blueberries and spring flowers with the oak clearly pushed to the background. It is a major revelation for the vintage. This cuvee has been so disappointing for so long that it was shocking to taste a wine of such remarkable quality emerge from this classified growth estate.
This is the finest wine I have ever tasted from the Marquis d'Alesme Becker estate and its relatively new owner, Marjolain De Coninck. This 37-acre property has underperformed for about as long as I've been tasting in Bordeaux, nearly 35 years. However, in 2012, yields were cut to 35 hectoliters per hectare and the final blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc hit 13.5% natural alcohol. " - Robert Parker Jr. The Wine Advocate (4/24/2013, Issue 206), Ratings: 88-90
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