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Since the 17th Century, the first wine of Château Margaux has been recognised as being one of the greatest wines in the entire world. It owes its unique qualities to the genius of its terroir as well as to the passionate work of a succession of generations. It’s a remarkable wine that comes from a combination of characteristics that are only rarely found: finesse, elegance, complexity, density, intensity, length and freshness. Although its tannic concentration may be exceptional, it’s rare to detect astringency.
The great vintages are distinguished by their formidable ability to move us. The lesser vintages give pleasure to wise enthusiasts. They offer the advantage of evolving very rapidly and, reveal, after a few years, instead of power, this subtlety that is the prerogative of great terroirs. Château Margaux has an extraordinary ability to evolve. Over the years, it has developed a finesse, an aromatic complexity and a remarkable presence on the palate.
Château Margaux has sought to achieve excellence in its wines for over 400 years now through painstaking and necessarily long studies of its terroir, through a constant desire to learn and innovate, by remaining sensitive to demanding markets, and above all through a passionate commitment that has been shared by the families that have succeeded each other at the estate. At the end of the 17th century, it became part of the nascent elite “First Growths” – long before being established officially by the Classification of 1855. Since then, Château Margaux has known fame and fortune, seeing by experience how ephemeral both are.
The estate has 200 acres under vine. Each plot and each variety are treated differently from pruning throughout the growing season. Chateau Margaux’ goal is to nurture and maintain vines for as long as possible, as they believe vines need to reach 20 years of age to produce great wine. The estate is constantly trying to understand through experimentation how to improve soil health and fruit quality. Today, no insecticides are used, there is an important balance of healthy insects to counter pests, and any number of experiments with ploughing, organic farming, and biodynamic applications are ongoing. A final key point to note, Margaux has for the last 30+ years had among the lowest yields in the Medoc.
The wine was aged for 15 months, in 10% new oak and 90% second use barrels. Because of the particularities of the vintage, Cabernet Sauvignon made up an extremely high 88% of the blend, with Merlot only 12% of the blend. Importantly, the wine is held in bottle until ready to drink, which may not mean that vintages are released sequentially.
Bordeaux Vintage Report by Château Margaux / 1949 is one of the most concentrated vintages of Château Margaux; such tannic power did not appear again until 1961, and then again in 1986. Its colour is stunning, dense, very deep, still youthful. The nose is rich, clean, but does not have the same finesse as other more classic great vintages, such as 1953, 1955 and 1959. The power really comes through on the palate; we can feel just how concentrated the tannins are, and these still give the wine a firmness, even an astringency, which is surprising in a wine of this age. The finish lacks a little smoothness, but generally it is a remarkable wine. It is difficult to say whether it should be drunk now or kept... We believe this wine has potential for improving, but perhaps it will also eventually dry out a little. So, perhaps it would be better to drink it ! (september 2002)
A dry and especially hot year, particularly in July and August. It was long remembered for the great fires in the Landes forest which took dozens of lives. (The picking began 28th September)
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
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