Vincent Millet, quality director of the estate, is our guide today . The Chateau Margaux winery can actually be visited, upon appointment, monday to friday ( closed in august ) .Call for reservations at : 33 (0)5 57 88 83 83 . The place is 350 years old . Total surface of the estate is 250 hectares, of wich 78 hectares of red grape vineyards, 10 hectares of white, and another 10 hectares at rest, not yet replanted . Medium age of the vines is 30 years . They envision to keep these vineyards productive till the age of 75-80 years . Vincent Millet says that for an estate, what makes the quality of its vineyard is not the mono-plantation of a given variety, but the complexity of vineyards located on different soils, wich translate in different expressions of the plots .
Here, harvest happens later than on the right bank . In the wine , at least 80% Cabernet Sauvignon ( more than the planted % ) . They do a pre-blending before the final assemblage . they would ideally need smaller tronconic vats in case they need to vinify the plots individually . to that effect, they have added a few compartmentalized stainless vats when such smal plots need to be worked alone . A typical compartmentalized vat has three successive vats, vertically .
Vincent millet says the "angel share" ( "la part des anges", this variable percentage of the wine wich mysteriously evaporates from the casks ) is kept low at Chateau Margaux thanks to humidity control, wich is maintained here at 80% to 90% .
Tasting salon, now :
__1 Pavillon Rouge 1999 . 37,5 bottle .
JMQ says this is a great wine he had once at Ramey ( a restaurant in Bordeaux ), with lobster . Beatiful nose . Mouth : silk . Melts in the mouth . JMQ feels plum aromas, that can be felt also, he says, in Chateau Margaux wines . At least 45% Merlot here . No tannins .
__2 Chateau Margaux 1er Grand Cru Classé 1999 . Smells great . With freshness on the first nose, JMQ says . Delicate in the mouth, ample and long . Someone says : Purity is the chief quality of these wines ... It coats the palate, I feel . And it lasts. Very soft . Matured 20 months in new casks . Question is : How can wood be so indetectable with 20 months in new casks ?? JMQ says this is the quality and the mystery of well matured wines . And I would add, maybe of carefully selected wood .
__3 Not Planned . Gift ! Chateau Margaux 1er Grand Cru Classé 2000 . Bottle opened this morning ( our visit was in the afternoon ) for another tasting . Strong, sugary note . Someone sees a beautiful smoke note . Suave wine . See my glass pictured in front of the fireplace . Brings good mood around ( not that we were in a bad mood before ) . Laughs . Jokes . Excitement in the party . Magic of wine... A privilege . Not tasted everyday, even here . Solid base, JMQ says . Can't be traced to a grape variety . And undetectable tannins, even less than in the 1999 we tasted . I find both of them silky . Vincent Millet still considers this wine has to wait some more, in spite of its fine tannic structure . JMQ agrees, saying it is somehow still closed, tight . What to eat with it ? With these wines in general, roasted meat with potatoes and chanterelles .