Classification: First Growth
Château Margaux is the Médoc's only First Growth outside of Pauillac and has the unique privilege of bearing the name of its appellation. The history of Château Margaux stretches back to the 12th Century when it was known as La Mothe de Margaux. La Mothe comes from the French word motte, meaning a small rise in the land. The château was once the residence of Edward III, King of England, and was one of the most stately fortified châteaux in Guyenne. The château that we see today was built by the Marquis of La Colonilla when he acquired the estate in 1804.
The wines of Château Margaux have been famous for centuries - in 1705, the London Gazette offered the first sale of great Bordeaux wines: 230 barrels of 'Margoose'! The 1771 vintage was the first claret to appear in a Christie's catalogue. The English Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole bought 4 casks of Margaux every 3 months and Thomas Jefferson, the President of the United States wrote, 'there cannot be a better bottle of Bordeaux'.
Château Margaux was purchased by Laura and Andre Mentzelopoulos in 1977 and Andre was affectionately known as “the Greek in the Médoc”. The Mentzelopoulos family invested heavily in the château at a time of economic depression for Bordeaux, this showed his commitment to making great wines. Château Margaux passed to his daughter, Corrine Mentzelopoulos, at a very tender age. With the aid of general manager Philip Barré, and consultant oenologist Professor Emile Peynaud, Corrine and the Margaux team continued with the program of improvements.
The vineyards of the château span 222 acres and lie on sand and gravel over a a clay subsoil known as Calcaire de Plassac around the château. A smaller separate plot is used to grow the white grapes for Pavillon Blanc de Marguax. The red grapes grown are 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot and the white grapes are purely Sauvignon Blanc. The vines average 36 years of age.
The wines of Château Margaux are opulent, rich, classic and beautifully balanced. They have layered aromas of black currants, spice, vanilla and violets. The wines are stylish with good structure and harmonised tannins. They have notes of ripe black berries, smoke, tobacco, pepper and minerals. They have great ageing potential and should be cellared well.
Owner: Corrine Mentzelopoulos
Château Website: www.chateau-margaux.com
Oenologist: J Boissenot