Read more about Margaux and its wines
As with a large part of the Bordeaux vineyards, vines first appeared in Margaux
during the Gallo-Roman period.
In 1705 a text mentions Château Margaux . But we have to wait for the end of the eighteenth century and the coming of the earliest techniques in aging for the concept of wines of high quality to develop. The confirmation of this was the famous 1855 classification which recognized 21 Crus Classés in the Margaux appellation. One hundred years later, the Viticultural Federation and the Margaux appellation of controlled origin were born. The appellation, which stretches out over five communes, is actually unique in the Médoc in that it is the only one to contain all the range of wines, as rich as they are vast, from First Great Cru Classé to the Fifths, not forgetting its famous Crus Bourgeois and its Crus Artisans.
In Margaux there is a predominance of Garonne gravel on a central plateau of about 4 miles in length and one and a quarter wide. To the east-south-east, it overlooks the low lying land by the estuary. Its east side is marked by gentle, dry valleys and a succession of ridges.The layer of gravel in Margaux was spread out by a former Garonne in the early Quaternary. Rather large in size, it is mingled with shingle of average dimension and represents the finest ensemble of Günz gravel in the Haut-Médoc. It is on this ancient layer on a Tertiary terrace of limestone or clayey marl that the best Médoc crus lie. All the conditions for successful wine are present : a large amount of gravel and pebbles, poor soil which cannot retain water and deep rooted vines.
It is customary to say that Margaux wines are the "most feminine" in the Médoc, thus stressing their delicacy, suppleness and their fruity, elegant aromas. This does not affect their great propensity for aging; just the opposite, for the relatively thin terroir imparts tannins which give them long life. The other characteristic of these wines which combine an elegant vitality, subtlety and consistency, is their diversity and personality. Over and above the flavour which is their "common denominator", they present an exceptional palette of bouquets, fruity flavours which show up differently from one château to another.
Production conditions (Decree dated August 10 1954)
In order to have the right to the Margaux appellation of controlled origin, red wines must:
- come from the commune of Margaux, Cantenac, Soussans, Arsac and Labarde, "excluding the land which by the nature of its soil or because of its situation, is unfit to produce wine of this appellation".
- satisfy precise production conditions: grape-varieties (Cabernet-Sauvignon, Cabernet-Franc, Carmenère, Merlot Noir, Petit Verdot, Cot or Malbec), minimum of sugar (178 grammes - 6.27 oz. - per litre of must) degree (an acquired 10°5) base yield (45 hectolitres per hectare).