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|10/13/2000 Eternal new beginnings|
The celebrations were a resounding success, as was the harvest which nothing and nobody upset right through to the end. For the winegrowers it’s a year that is finishing, the crowning glory of their efforts after months of hard work ; they’ll go on holiday in a few days and most of them won’t come back until the beginning of November in order to prune their vine plots, already contemplating the next season. For the winestore workers it’s the opposite, another year beginning, and very soon, they’ll start running off the wine into the barrels, in the month of November 2000. For all of us these eternal new beginnings are not a repetition but a rebirth, a reflection of Nature, to whom we feel so very close and to whom, today, we feel so indebted. We have a real sense of happiness which, even beyond this news, we’ll try to continue sharing with you.
|10/09/2000 Harvest 2000 – A growing impatience||
The weather hasn’t let us down with superb Cabernets and after a weekend of harvesting, we’re impatient to finish them this evening. There are only three plots that are still dragging their heels and, anyway, these won’t be included in the composition of the first wine. At least, not until they’ve reached the age of thirty or forty and their vigour can be controlled to allow the vine to give the best of itself. The dry weather has been accompanied by abnormally low temperatures, -5 degrees in the morning and no higher than 17 degrees during the day. Of course, such cool temperatures don’t affect the grapes. But once harvested, it’s reassuring to know that they’re in the warm in our wooden vats. Thermal inertia is one of the great advantages of wood. The wine can then be kept at high temperatures, around 30 degrees for several days after fermentation. This allows both efficient and moderate extraction of the tannins. Up till now, not a single vat of Cabernet has finished its fermentation: we’re going to have to wait at least two more days before being able to start tasting them. We’re like children getting impatient around the Christmas tree, waiting for permission to open their presents.
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.
2000/ We were unaware at that time that we were harvesting one of the greatest vintages of the late 20th century.
The grapes had rarely, perhaps never, been as concentrated, particularly the Cabernets. In certain cases we surpassed the already historic levels of the 1986 and 1995 vintages, with an elegance and softness on the palate, reminiscent also of the 1990 and 1996 vintages. It seemed in fact that 2000 was setting a new benchmark in quality, never before attained, at least in terms of style. Throughout the barrel ageing time, these first impressions were gradually confirmed.
April and May were warm and rainy, an early encouragement to downy mildew which was halted by the very dry summer. The absence of rain in August and at the beginning of September was very beneficial for the ripening process and the concentration in the grapes. A few light showers at the beginning of the harvest could not spoil this dream vintage. (The picking began on 25th September)
BORDEAUX 2000 – A DREAM VINTAGE
Weather conditions / Vintage 2000 has from the very start been proclaimed as one of the best vintages of modern times. In spring 2003, I've had many opportunities to find out, if we really have a true dream vintage in our hands.
During harvest 2000, while doing "personal inspection" in the vineyards, I noticed that something extraordinary big was on its way. Grapes looked extremely healthy.
While sorting table was rolling, I observed, that there were few leaves, stalks and weeds among the grapes. That's why sorting out grapes went so easy and quick. It must be one of hallmarks of 2000 vintage, because normally even the great vintages require a lot of work at sorting table.
2000 vintage is classic, extravagant and extremely long-lived Bordeaux with dark, extremely dense wines, which have enormous concentration of fruit, length and superbly concentrated tannin. The tannin is not allowed to dominate, because it's well wrapped up by fruit. A scent of sub-maturity is only present in few wines. One of this vintage's trademarks is an intense and deep aroma of dark berries, like blueberries, blackberries and black cherries.
All red grape varieties reached perfect maturity, including Bordeaux' most capricious and unruly grape variety, Petit Verdot. Petit Verdot gives the much meeded contribution of backbone and power to the wines.
Also the grapes for whites, like Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle, did ripe perfectly and produced tremendously fine dry white wines. Sweet white wines turned unfortunately to be a few light, elegant and charming wines, which were based 100% on September pickings. Beginning on the 11th October, it rained heavily in Bordeaux and it continued until the end of the year.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|856€ -4.4%||895€ -5.3%||945€ +19.8%||789€ -16.3%||943€ +16.7%||808€ -28.7%||1 134€ +1.0%||1 123€ +197.1%||378€|
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