Château Marquis de Terme 2014
• Domaine: Château Marquis de Terme
• Appellation: Margaux
• Classification: Fourth Growth, 4ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
Château Marquis de Terme is a Fourth Growth estate in Margaux with a long history that dates back to the 1600s. For the 200 years that comprise the 19th and 20th centuries, only two families - the Sénéclauze family and the Feuillerat family - have owned the estate. This is quite a rare feat, considering the turbulence of historical events and economic ups and downs that are inevitable with such an immense passage of time. In the modern era, Château Marquis de Terme has experienced a bit of a renaissance in terms of quality and the team here continues to put great effort into improving the quality of the grand vin at the estate.
The history of the Château Marquis de Terme begins with the original owner Bernard de Faverolles. In 1661 the property was sold to Pierre des Mesures de Rauzan, the owner of the incomparably vast Rauzan estate. For those who know their history, they will remember that the Rauzan estate was comprised of what would later be four classified growths. These properties were Château Rauzan-Ségla, Château Rauzan-Gassies, Château Desmirail and last but not least, Château Marquis de Terme. Château Marquis de Terme was already a favorite of oenophiles in the 1700s, and Thomas Jefferson was known to rhapsodize about his love of this property in his wine journal during his travels to Bordeaux. The property was classified as a Fourth Growth during the 1855 Classification and in 1886 it was sold to Fredrich Eschenauer, a popular wine négociant at the time. At the turn of the century, phylloxera dealt the property a very heavy blow, but since then the resilient team at Château Marquis de Terme managed to bounce back.
In the modern era, Château Marquis de Terme is run by the Sénéclauze family. The Sénéclauze brothers are very active in running the daily operations of the estate. Ludovic David, who formerly worked with Bernard Magrez at Château Fondaudege, is the current managing director. Ludovic and the Sénéclauze brothers have made some unique changes to their winemaking process. They recently purchased egg-shaped cement vats made by the French group Nomblot that are used at the legendary Rhône producer, Maison M. Chapoutier. These egg-shaped vats cost a pretty penny, coming in at a staggering 3,000 Euros a piece to age 10 percent of their wines. Ludovic describes them as a, “Blue-Ray compared to DVD… They give high definition to the fruit – brilliant, vibrant and mineral with a purity of fruit which could be too much alone but is softened and balanced by oak-aged wine.”
In addition to the new equipment, Château Marquis de Terme also has a new tasting room, restaurant headed by Nicholas Lascombes, and a new touring room. This estate is also one of the few that explains the 1855 Classification in depth to visitors, which is an unusual thing for the properties in Bordeaux to do. The trajectory of the estate is without a doubt an exciting one, considering the recent investments put into the property. Praise is beginning to trickle in, and at Laguna Cellar, we look forward to seeing the results.
"The 2014 Marquis-de-Terme offers strawberry preserve and raspberry coulis on the nose, quite pure and generous, though I would like to see more mineralité and terroir expression. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. The oak needs to fully knit on the entry, though there is sufficient fruit to absorb that with time, and the finish feels caressing in the mouth. If this can foster more terroir expression, more personality, then it will merit a higher score. It's like a film director yelling at the actress... give me more!" - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (3/31/2017, Interim Issue), Ratings: 90, Drink: 2019-2035
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