Bordeaux 2021 Primeurs: Margaux

Margaux is not an appellation known for consistency, even in the best vintages. The broader nature of the appellation, spread over five communes, and the associated variation in terroir, with some châteaux located on prestigious beds of gravel close to the Gironde, others on much heavier and cooler soils, in some cases several kilometres inland, does nothing for homogeneity. In a vintage such as 2021 these differences are naturally exacerbated.

Bordeaux 2021

Having said that, I don’t think Margaux is really any different to any other corner of Bordeaux in this vintage. This is a markedly heterogeneous vintage in every appellation, from Pauillac, to Pomerol, to Pessac-Léognan.

While many of the top names further north denied seeing any frost damage in 2021, the voices of Margaux spoke different truths. “We lost 5 hectares of reds with the frost”, said Philippe Bascaules of Château Margaux, “and 2 hectares of white”. The latter is hardly surprising, given that the white varieties are planted much further inland, not far from Château Bel Air-Marquis d’Aligre, but it is a significant loss in red when taking into account the position of the vines not far from the Gironde. It was the same at Château Palmer, where Thomas Duroux described the loss of 9 hectares, and Nicolas Audebert at Château Rauzan-Ségla lost “a few parcels, near the woodland, not in the main vineyard”. Of the big names in the appellation, only the team at Château d’Issan got through the frost without taking a hit.

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