Margaux to release third wine

Bordeaux first growth Châteaux Margaux is to release a third wine onto the market this year.

Château Margaux

Château Margaux

Margaux de Château Margaux 2009 is made from wine that didn’t make it into the estate’s second label, Pavillon Rouge.

According to Margaux’s managing director Paul Pontallier, around 3,000 cases of the wine were made, with the majority coming onto the market this autumn rather than being sold en primeur.

Pontallier told the drinks business that a price for the wine has yet to be decided.

Margaux de Château Margaux was created due to the favourable conditions of the 2009 vintage, which meant that the wine that didn’t make it into Pavillon Rouge was of such a high standard it merited its own bottling.

Previously, the wine had been declassified and used for generic AOC Margaux.

The addition of Margaux de Château Margaux to the Margaux portfolio means the estate now produces four wines, taking the AOC Margaux into account.

Paul Pontallier gave db a preview of Margaux 2012 last week

Paul Pontallier gave db a preview of Margaux 2012 last week

In terms of the 2012 vintage, Pontallier said the key to a successful en primeur campaign would be finding the right price point for the grand vin.

“The global market is more open than it’s ever been but we need to come out at the right price point for today’s market and to really listen to it,” Pontallier told db.

Last year, Margaux came out at €360 a bottle for its 2011 vintage, down 40% on the €600 release price of 2010.

Composed of 87% Cabernet, Pontallier describes Margaux 2012 as sharing the concentration of 2009 and superior in quality to 2011 due to its better tannic structure, freshness and softness.

Pontallier believes that while 2012 Margaux is drinking well early, it is “built for the next 50 years.”

While he was pleased with the quality of Margaux’s top wine, quality was by no means uniform across the board, with more AOC Margaux made in 2012 than any previous vintage.

“For us the vintage was very heterogeneous, with different levels of quality and style. For our best terroirs, it was an outstanding vintage for Cabernet, but it didn’t ripen well in the lesser terroirs in the region,” Pontallier said.

He also revealed to db that he has made a concerted effort in the past few years to lower the alcohol levels in his white wine – Pavillon Blanc – made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc.

“2007 was a turning point for our white. I always had trouble finishing a bottle and realised that I didn’t want a high-alcohol show wine so brought the abv right down,” he said.

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