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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.
1970 Vintage by Château Margaux: We find it hard to imagine today the excitement caused by this vintage, whose abundance and generosity appear all the more remarkable when you consider the complete disasters of the two previous vintages (1968 and 1969). Most of the wines produced in the Médoc stayed closed and quite hard for a long time. As with the 1975 vintage, it could have been a question of the Cabernet Sauvignon not being ripe enough when it was picked. In many estates, even in the greatest, the vat cellar equipment, in particular the number of vats, was not able to adapt to such a large crop. The vinification conditions therefore were not ideal. It was the case at Château Margaux, where the 1970 demonstrated the quality of the vintage very well, but lacked a little concentration and flesh. The nose is complex, well developed, deep, and quite harmonious. On the palate, it is fine, pleasant, but a little short and dry in the finish. We think this wine is ready to drink now, but it undoubtedly has good staying power and even has potential for improving. (January 2009)
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
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