Chateau Margaux Margaux. Château Margaux,
archaically La Mothe de Margaux, is a wine estate
of Bordeaux wine, and was one of four wines to achieve Premier cru (first
growth) status in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855. The estate's
best wines are very expensive, with a standard-sized bottle of the Château
Margaux grand vin. The estate is located in the commune of Margaux on
the left bank of the Garonne estuary in the Médoc region,
in the département of Gironde, and the wine is delimited to
the AOC of Margaux.
The estate also produces a second wine named Pavillon
Rouge du Château Margaux, a third wine named Margaux de Château
Margaux, as well as a dry white wine named Pavillon Blanc du Château
Margaux which does not conform to the Margaux appellation directives.
Following the Bordeaux
economic crisis of 1973, the Ginestet family were forced to sell Château
Margaux. An attempt by National Distillers & Chemical Corporation to
acquire Château Margaux was vetoed by the French government on grounds that the
estate was a national treasure. (This has since been reported as a Coca-Cola
Company effort prevented by French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.
A successful acquisition took place in 1976 by French grocery and
finance group Félix Potin, headed by Greek André Mentzelopoulos for
a sum near 72 million francs, or $16 million. Mentzelopoulos transformed the vineyard through
restoring the neglected vineyard, chais, and mansion and the consultancy of
oenologist Émile Peynaud. By the time of Mentzelopoulos' death in
1980, Château Margaux was considered substantially restored to its former
reputation, with the 1978 and 1979 vintages declared "exceptional".
At the beginning of the 1990s, an exchange of shares was negotiated
with the Agnelli family but the management remained in the hands of Mentzelopoulos'
daughter Corinne Mentzelopoulos. In 2003, Corinne Mentzelopoulos bought
back the majority stake and became the sole shareholder of Château Margaux.
A bottle of Château Margaux 1787 holds the record as the most
expensive bottle of wine ever broken, insured at $225,000.
Margaux Hemingway received her given name from this wine.
The domaine of Château Margaux
extends 262 hectares (650 acres), of which 87 hectares (210 acres) are entitled
to the Margaux AOC declaration. 80 hectares (200 acres) are planted with
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, with 2% Cabernet Franc and Petit
verdot. 12 hectares (30 acres) are cultivated with Sauvignon blanc to
make the dry white Pavillon Blanc.
The average annual production of the Grand vin, Château
Margaux, is 150,000 bottles, while the second wine Pavillon Rouge du Château
Margaux has an average production of 200,000 bottles. The dry white Pavillon
Blanc du Château Margaux has a production of around 35,000 bottles, and must be
sold under the generic Bordeaux AOC as the cultivation of Sauvignon
blanc does not fall under the directives of the Margaux AOC. The remainder of
the production, what is determined to be "lesser grapes", is sold off