Chateau Margaux gets experimental

Mar 09, 12 Chateau Margaux gets experimental

Posted by in Biodynamic wine, France

If you are one of the 5 First Growths of Bordeaux (Ch. Margaux, Ch. Lafite Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Haut-Brion and lastly, Ch. Mouton Rothschild), you might think you could rest on your laurels, not give a fig for any new fangled advancements and just continue to produce wine the way it’s always been done. I mean, the first classification was done in 1855 and only one chateau has been added since then (Mouton Rothschild), and that was back in the 1970’s. You could do that but if you’re Chateau Margaux you won’t or rather, you don’t. That’s not to say the others are not also innovating but Ch. Margaux is the first to go public with their experimental findings.  Paul Pontallier, Managing Director and winemaker of Ch. Margaux was in town recently to give us a sneak peek into the inner workings of Ch. Margaux and how they are striving to maintain their reputation as one of the best wines of Bordeaux. He wants the world to know that Margaux is a forward thinking chateau and that they are looking to the wine business of the future, and the younger generation that will not only carry on the traditions but also build upon and improve what has gone before them. According to Paul, there is a plenty of experimentation and research going on in Bordeaux. He stressed however, that they themselves are not making anything new but rather in an organized way, they started these experiments because he does envisage change at some point in the future and his goal is to make the best possible wine and remain the best possible wine now and for future generations. So what are they up to? Pulling back the curtain of the great and mighty Oz (as in Wizard, not Clarke) we find, biodynamic wine! Let me explain first that the wines we tasted are not the ones that go into the first growth but are distinct plots that they are using on the estate...

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L’espirit de Bordeaux – affordable,quality French wine, what more could you ask for?

Jan 03, 12 L’espirit de Bordeaux – affordable,quality French wine, what more could you ask for?

Posted by in Food and Wine, France

Affordable, quality French wine from Bordeaux? Does it exist anymore? Back in the day, say before investment wine-ing came into fashion and back when the Chinese were still Communist, Bordeaux was a wine that one could buy at reasonable prices. Fast forward to the 2010’s and it may seem like you have to be a gazillionaire to get your hands on quality wines, never mind affordable prices. The Yvon Mau group has decided enough is enough and wants to bring Bordeaux in from the cold, show drinkers that you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to drink well. And that’s where L’Espirt de Bordeaux comes in. Philippe Lequeche, managing director of Yvon Mau has vowed to “never surrender” the UK market. He thinks Bordeaux may have lost their way by focusing on the lux end of the market but the real bread and butter of Bordeaux has been and should be the mid-tier wines of the region. Focusing on the £10-£30 bracket, Philippe believes that there are plenty of wines that can and do represent value for money from Bordeaux. How do you guarantee quality when there are so many, let’s face it, inferior producers in Bordeaux? Philippe responded that Yvon Mau is taking it’s time in choosing to work with what they feel are producers who agree with their vision of quality wines at a fair price. The company is taking the time to cultivate relationships with producers they feel have high quality wines and are looking for owners with personality whose wines reflect that. They currently have 8 producers on their books but are looking to expand to around 15. When asked if they would expand beyond that, Phillipe  responded that once  you get too big, it’s difficult to maintain the quality and relationships that they are building with producers. We had the opportunity to try the 2009 and 2010 wines from 7 of their producers and the wines are of very good quality and value for money. Producers...

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