Appellation Bordeaux margaux
The Margaux appellation bears the name of the most famous château in the region. It is an important appellation in the Haut Médoc of Bordeaux. It has acquired its letters of nobility with its supple and aromatic wines based on Cabernet Sauvignon. In this Margaux wine guide, we will review the terroir and the best wines of Bordeaux Margaux that combine velvety textures, power, unique floral characters and silky tannins.
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Overview of the Margaux terroir
This region is located 25 km north of the city of Bordeaux. Its history of viticulture dates back almost 2000 years to the time of the Romans. In the 17th century, it already made a name for itself as a producer of quality wines. This prompted the American president Thomas Jefferson to visit some of the châteaux in the region, including Château Margaux. However, many of these châteaux would have been downgraded if the 1855 classification was changed. Fortunately, improved winemaking techniques and aggressive competition have encouraged many châteaux to produce quality wines. The terroir of Margaux is characterised by a high gravel content, some sand and limestone. This type of soil ensures excellent drainage and low nutrient levels. The vines dig deep to feed and ripen. This makes them more resistant and stronger. The grape varieties allowed in the region are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Carmenere, Petit Verdot and Malbec. The total area of vineyards in the appellation covers 1335 ha.
Our selection of the best wines of the appellation Bordeaux margaux.
Nearly 80 estates and chateaux maintain fields of vines in this appellation, which includes 21 classified growths from the 1855 classification. Among them, Château Margaux and Château Palmer produce remarkably consistent quality wines. Other châteaux also stand out after restructuring work, such as Château Brane Cantenac, Malescot St Exupéry... The best wines are to be tasted, pure wines with velvety textures. But like all other wine regions, the vintages differ in style, character and price. If they are not the most powerful and dense of Bordeaux wines, they can stand out for their intense floral character that is at once sensual, elegant and fragrant. The best vintages can also age gracefully for decades.
-Giscours: This vast 102 ha vineyard was on the verge of bankruptcy when Albada Jelgersma bought it in the 1990s. The businessman has turned the situation around by improving the quality of each vintage. The wines of this strong brand are characterised by their gentle elegance, purity, fine tannins and great roundness in the mouth. They also evolve beautifully over the decades.
-Palmer: the 66 ha vineyard of this château located in the Cantenac sector of Margaux produces sensual wines of great beauty, offered at consistent prices. Palmer has all the characteristics of a great Bordeaux wine: complex, elegant aromas and a full-bodied, rich flavour.
-Kirwan: the 40 ha vineyard of Chateau Kirwan is planted with several blends of grape varieties. Classified as the 3rd growth of Margaux, the wines did not deserve their status. But the Schÿler family undertook the development of the terroir and the style of wines with the help of the oenologist Michel Rolland. The wines then lost their lean character and became fuller-bodied, more floral with a very impressive balance.
-Brane Cantenac: classified as a 2nd growth, the 75 ha vineyards of this château produce great, racy, aromatic, complex wines. On tasting, they are immediately noticeable for their elegant, feminine, stylish character, aromatic freshness and velvety texture. A little decanting is necessary for the older vintages. The wines can reach their maximum maturity after 1 to 3 decades.
-Lascombes: the vineyard of this château, which belongs to the MACSF group, covers 120 hectares in the Margaux appellation. It is one of the largest vineyards of the 1855 crus classés. It has the advantage of occupying the most prized parcels of Margaux. This allows to produce powerful, elegant wines, rich in tannins. Visit the dedicated page to choose the right wine for your budget and needs.
-Issan: the reputation of this brand dates back to the end of the 12th century when it was served at the wedding of Eleonor of Aquitaine to Henry Plantagenet. Classified as the 3rd growth of Margaux, the wines of this 44 ha estate are appreciated for their elegance and fruitiness. They offer the best conditions for tasting after 12 to 30 years of ageing.
-Rauzan Gassies: the 28.5 hectare vineyard of this château is located on an exceptional terroir on the most beautiful slopes of the Margaux appellation. This allows the grape varieties to reach maturity and to produce well-structured, subtle and elegant wines. The wines develop their full potential after 1 to 2 decades of ageing, depending on the vintage, and taste wonderfully well.
-Prieuré Lichine: the 70 hectare vineyard of this château belonging to the Bellande family has also been given a new lease of life with the advice of winemaker Stéphane Derenoncourt. Classified as the 4th growth of Margaux, this vineyard produces supple and elegant wines with an aromatic bouquet characteristic of the great Margaux wines. The wines reach their maximum maturity between 10 and 25 years.
-Malescot Saint-Exupéry: the terroir devoted to the vines of this château extends over 30 hectares. After renovation work and investment in high-tech equipment to restore the reputation of the brand, it has regained its superb quality. The wines of this château, which is the 3rd classified growth of Margaux, shine with their creamy, rich textures and soft, elegant tannins. These wines offer the best conditions for tasting between 10 and 30 years depending on the vintage.