It’s difficult to summarise in a few lines, the long and passionate history of the estate, it could be entitled “Once upon a time “Château Margaux”.
It was in 1810, when La Colonilla was already seventy years old, that the work on the château and the farm buildings that we admire today, started. La Colonilla died in 1816 without having ever lived in his château.
Empereur Napoléon III paid an important service to the great red wines of the Médoc by organising in Paris, in 1855, the Second Universal Exhibition. It was an occasion for him to glorify French products, among which were the prestigious Médoc wines. He wanted the wines to be presented in the form of a classification. A blind tasting was organised in Paris which led to this official classification of 1855. It divided about sixty Médoc growths, and a property in the Graves, into five quality levels.
The production of Château Margaux resumed when new treatments were found and replanting undertaken. The remarkable 1893 vintage was so abundant that they had to stop the harvest for six days because they didn’t have enough vats! Its production overtook that of the legendary 1870, the greatest year before the phylloxera. Nevertheless, the young vines in the replantations weren’t able to produce grapes of optimal quality and part of the production was sold as “second wine”: that would be named the Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux in 1908.
In 1896, Count Pillet-Will found someone he could trust in the person of Pierre Moreau who would play an essential rôle at the property by managing it and bringing together all the future shareholders in Château Margaux. He nominated Marcellus Grangerou for the position of cellar master who would be succeeded by his son Marcel and his grandson, Jean.Pierre Moreau’s most important innovation was the obligation to bottle the wine at the château, adopted in 1924, and was a real guarantee of authenticity for the buyers.
It was in 1977 that André Mentzelopoulos bought the property.
Terroir is a concept so French that the word doesn’t have an equivalent in any other language. Terroir is a genetic heritage of great wines. Without it, nothing is possible, however its character is only truly revealed as a result of the work and determination of men.
Traditionally the great Bordeaux wines are served “chambrés”, that is to say at an ambient temperature about 18-19°C (64-66 °F). Above that temperature, the nose loses some finesse and the alcohol overpowers the delicate aromas of the bouquet; even in the fruit in young wines the tannins appear to be drier and less fleshy. When the temperature is too low, the aromas have difficulty in coming out and the wine seems dull and shorter. The same principles apply to the Pavillon Blanc; however, the temperature threshold is lower and it should be served at between 10 and 13°C (50 and 55°F) depending on the room temperature.
Hope that one day you will have the pleasure to enjoy a “Château Margaux”.