Château Margaux 2008, 1er Cru Margaux
|Variety||Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot|
|Drinking||2020 - 2035|
About the Producer
Corinne Mentzelopoulos, daughter of André Mentzelopoulos, the Franco-Greek supermarket magnate who purchased the estate in 1977, now owns 100% of Chateau Margaux. Despite not having a background in...Read More
Notes & Scores
This is a superb vintage for Chateau Margaux, and while it may be too early to say this, the 2008 appears superior to the 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, and 2001. Only 36% of the crop was utilized and the yields were 40 hectoliters per hectare. An exceptionally late harvest for this estate began on October 3 for the Merlot, and finished on October 23. The final blend includes a whoppingly high 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and dollops of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. As always, the first characteristic one notices is the extraordinary floral component as well as the sweet black currant fruit allied to full-bodied richness, sweet tannin, and superb freshness and delineation. In many ways, the 2008 is reminiscent of the 1996, but the former wine is showing even more density and concentration than the 1996 did at the same point in its evolution. The 2008, which appears set for 30-40 years of longevity, is a remarkable effort from this great estate. - 95-97 points
Currant, blackberry and mineral aromas lead to a solid core of fruit, with fine tannins and a long, clean finish. Refined and very, very pretty. - 90-93 points
Corinne Mentzelopoulos, daughter of André Mentzelopoulos, the Franco-Greek supermarket magnate who purchased the estate in 1977, now owns 100% of Chateau Margaux. Despite not having a background in winemaking, she took the reins after her father's death and now expertly runs this celebrated estate with Paul Pontallier, who became manager when Philippe Barré retired, Emile Peynaud the oenologist and Philippe Bascaules who joined the team in 1990. Margaux is one of the most historic estates in Bordeaux and is considered a national treasure. It has changed hands many times over the centuries, passing through a who's who of French nobility as well as the hands of powerful merchants such as the Ginestet family. The consistently outstanding quality of Margaux during the years of the Mentzelopoulos-Pontallier partnership is no coincidence though and demonstrates that the greatest terroirs need to be understood and worked on by people of rare talent, passion and commitment to achieve their full potential.
The greatest vineyards have of course proved that they will produce great wine whatever the conditions. In a region as renowned and celebrated for its rich history as Bordeaux, twenty years is a mere blink of the eye. However, the changes over the last two decades have been profound. Vineyards have changed hands, new winemaking techniques have come and gone and of course the worldwide interest in the very greatest wines has gone into overdrive.
Fashions have seen the rise and fall of the garagistes and the influence of the consultant winemaker. However, for all of these human elements, the 1855 classification remains unchanged and, whether it has been the torrid heat of 2003, the gloom of 2007 or the glory of 2005, the greatest vineyards have proved that they produce great wine whatever the conditions.
In the next twenty years, we will undoubtedly see further pressure on supply at the top with prices continuing to stretch credulity. But what of the hundreds of smaller producers, who have struggled so badly in recent times? Theirs is not the good fortune of great terroir and in a fast moving world, it is here that reform is needed most strongly. The EU wine lake has been emptied and the bad practices that it encouraged are happily draining away too. For the consumer, the result must be the guarantee of ever greater quality because whatever the level of classification, if Bordeaux wants to maintain its position as the number one wine region in the world, quality must be at the centre of its plans.