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Château Margaux Pavillon Blanc 1997

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5244136

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Château Margaux:
Château Margaux was one of the first four estates to be named a First Growth (Premier or 1er Cru Classé) in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855, and continues to be one of the most prestigious wines in all of France. The estate, then known as “La Mothe de Margaux,” was founded in the early 12th century on the left bank of the Garonne estuary in the Médoc. In 11... Read more
Château Margaux was one of the first four estates to be named a First Growth (Premier or 1er Cru Classé) in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855, and continues to be one of the most prestigious wines in all of France. The estate, then known as “La Mothe de Margaux,” was founded in the early 12th century on the left bank of the Garonne estuary in the Médoc. In 1152, Eleanor of Aquitaine married Henry Plantagenet, the future Henry II of England, which made Aquitaine (Bordeaux and environs) English property until the end of the 100 Years War in 1453. For over a couple of centuries, this ensured the sale and trade of Bordeaux wines, Margaux included, to the English market. The royal family and assorted English nobility became huge fans as a result. In the 1570s, Pierre de Lestonnac overhauled the estate and vineyards, clearing grain in favor of grapevines, and propelled the future success of the wines. By the beginning of the 18th century, there were some 265 hectares under vine, which is roughly what it still is today. This was also when the estate manager, only known as “Berlon,” established the practice of vinifying red and white grapes separately, as well as waiting till later in the day to pick grapes so they wouldn’t be covered in dew and rot as easily as they waited for production. The last part of the 18th century was a boom for Margaux. The 1771 vintage was the first Bordeaux to be sold at Christie’s. In 1787, Thomas Jefferson counted it among vineyards of the “first quality.” But not unlike other properties in this part of France, and despite its classification in 1855, Margaux suffered during the years of the Revolution, downy mildew and phylloxera. By 1893, it had regained its former glory with one of the most successful vintages of the 19th century. The estate went through a cycle of many owners over the next century. The 1970s were a particularly bad time under the Ginestets as much of the world was in a recession and three successive vintages - 1972, 1973 and 1974 - were deemed unsaleable (it was, incidentally, the Ginestets who had the bright idea to declare vintages only in “good” harvest years in the first place). Ownership was finally overturned to André Mentzelopoulos in 1977, who invested in the vineyards, reinstated the second wines of Pavillon Rouge and Pavillon Blanc, and renovated the estate. Even though he was only in control for a couple of years until his death in 1980, his tireless efforts paved the way for the great successes of the subsequent decades, starting in the early 1980s. 1982 in particular was the vintage when international investors really took note of both the Château Margaux and Pavillons, and when critics such as Robert Parker began promoting the “Bordeaux Futures” frenzy with Margaux as one of the top estates. This new tradition has persevered into present day as these wines continue to please palates, command huge auction returns and take coveted positions in cellars throughout the world.  Read less

External Reviews for Château Margaux Pavillon Blanc

External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

The 1997 Château Margaux is an immensely charming, open-knit, beautifully made wine offering soft, lush blackberry/cassis fruit intermixed with toasty oak. The wine exhibits excellent concentration, a seductive personality, and an easy-going, round, expansive finish. It should be drinkable after bottling in June, and last for 15 or more years. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2015.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

All in finesse, with berry, currant and light vanilla character. Medium- to full-bodied, with silky tannins and a fresh finish. Lovely, long finish. Gorgeous core of fruit in this wine. Drink now through 2004.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

Black color. Minty, with loads of violet and berry character and hints of spice. Full-bodied, racy and fine, with silky tannins and a long finish. One of the top wines of the vintage. Give it some time, but who can wait?


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

The 1996 Chateau Margaux, which was bottled in September, 1998, is undoubtedly one of the great classics produced under the Mentzelopoulos regime. In many respects, it is the quintessential Chateau Margaux, as well as the paradigm for this estate, combining measured power, extraordinary elegance, and admirable complexity. I tasted the wine on three separate occasions in January, and in short, it's a beauty! The color is opaque purple. The wine offers extraordinarily pure notes of blackberries, cassis, pain grille, and flowers, gorgeous sweetness, a seamless personality, and full body, with nothing out of place. The final blend (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) contains a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. It tastes complete and long, although backward. My instincts suggest this wine will shut down, but at present it is open-knit, tasting like a recently bottled wine. The fruit is exceptionally sweet and pure, and there are layers of flavor in the mouth. I do believe this wine will develop an extraordinary perfume, and possess a high level of richness. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2040


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

Bright full ruby. Pure, perfumed aromas of cassis and violet. Dense and tactile in the mouth; a huge, chewy wine with major extract but also considerable refinement. Almost painfully backward today, and a bit less perfumed than is was in the year or so after the bottling, but the huge tannins show no hardness. Another great expression of Cabernet Sauvignon from the '96 vintage. Drink 2015 through 2040.


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
11/14/2013

Some good berry and cherry character in this young red. Medium-bodied with firm tannins and a light finish. A bit hollow... Wine Spectator.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

Bottled in late November, 2002, the 2000 has turned out to be a colossal example of Chateau Margaux that is tasting even better from bottle than it was from cask. Only 40% of the crop made it into this 2000 Margaux, a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. The 2000 possesses a saturated ruby/purple color to the rim as well as an extraordinarily promising nose of creme de cassis intermixed with white flowers, licorice, and hints of espresso and toasty oak. There is great intensity, compelling purity, a multi-layered, full-bodied palate, and a finish that goes on for nearly 70+ seconds. Bottled naturally, with no filtration, it is a monumental example of the elegance and power that symbolize this extraordinary vineyard. A tour de force in winemaking, many of my colleagues predicted, far earlier than me, that it would be the "wine of the vintage." It is certainly one of the wines of the vintage, but there is plenty of competition, even at this lofty level of quality. Absolutely awesome! Anticipated maturity: 2012-2050.


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