A Short History of Château Margaux
Thursday, October 9, 2014 in News
Langton’s is currently co-hosting dinners around Australia featuring tastings of Château Margaux, one of the world’s rarest and most famous wines. It says something about Margaux’s reputation that the five events in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney are sold out – at $895 per person!
This will be Château Margaux’s first visit to Australia – attending are ambassador for Asia Thibault Pontallier and Directeur Général of Bordeaux négociant Veyret Latour, Jean-Bruno Cantorné.
The Margaux property has been occupied since at least the 12th Century, and known for its wines – under names such as Margou, Margous and Margose – since the 15th Century.
One famous fan was Thomas Jefferson, the wine-loving diplomat and founding father of the American Republic, who in the 1780s rated Margaux at the top of the Bordeaux hierarchy, a status confirmed when it was officially designated one of just four ‘First Growths’ in the famous 1855 Bordeaux Classification.
The Margaux property, in the commune of the same name, is approximately 260 hectares, with 80 hectares of red-grape vineyards – 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 2-3% each Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot – plus roughly 10 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc (used to make the dry white Pavillon Blanc). The spectacular Château, as seen on the label, was completed in 1812.
The modern era began in 1976 when the property was acquired by the Mentzelopoulos family. The personal and financial commitment of two generations of this family has seen its standing exceed historical highs. The reputation of Château Margaux today – and the price of its flagship Grand Vin – is higher than it has ever been.
So expectations will be high this week as diners sit down to four of the greatest recent vintages of Château Margaux: 1990, 1996, 2000 and 2010, preceded by 2012 Pavillon Blanc and 2004 and 2009 Pavillon Rouge, the second wine of the Château, produced since 1908.
Total production of the Château Margaux Grand Vin is around 12,000 dozen each year. For the first time in 2009, a third wine was produced, Margaux du Chateau Margaux, which is currently available only in France, Britain and the U.S. Something to look forward to.
Did you know? Château Margaux was a favourite wine of the American writer Ernest Hemingway. His second grand-daughter was subsequently named after the estate.