Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux

Wine Producers » Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux

Region: Medoc

Appellation: Margaux

Classification: Second Growth

Average annual production: 18,000 cases

Grapes (Typical Blend): Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), Merlot 20%, Petit Verdot 3% & Cabernet France 2%

Made by: Paul Pontallier

Owned by: Mentzelopoulos family

A little history: The second wine of a wine so good, it was allowed to take the name of its appellation, not to mention be protected by the French Government as a ‘National Treasure’, is probably really rather good itself too. Pavillon Rouge de Margaux is made in nearly equal measure as its eponymous first wine, although understandably with the grapes that don’t quite made the cut for no.2. Reassuringly there are another 2 grades below it, with 4 wines in total coming out of the vinous wonder that is Chateau Margaux.

True to Bordeaux history, the estate was guillotined along with it’s aristocratic owner in the French Revolution at the end of the 18th Century. What followed was a very tricky time for the region, from transient ownership to phylloxera nearly wiping the entire vineyard out. Luckily sense & science were at hand, & Count Pilet-Will (together with Frederic Moreau) poured both time & energy into the estate in the late 19th Century.   They grafted French vines onto US rootstock & set about restoring the estate.

These younger vines didn’t produce fare of the same quality, so made for a more official 2nd wine offering (in fact Chateau Margaux 2nd Wine had been around from the beginning of the 17th Century) & so Pavillon Rouge was born. The first properly recorded vintage came in 1908 & a smattering of recorded vintages are seen from then until the early 30s. After a blip in production 30s to 70s, the wine was relaunched & loved by Andre Mentzelopoulos come 1977. Mentzelopoulos poured his Supermarket made fortune into Margaux, bringing brilliant people, like oenologist Emile Peynaud, into the team. His untimely death in 1980 brought daughter Corinne into the limelight rather earlier than perhaps she would have both expected & sought. However Corinne has flourished & brought further brilliance into the young team: Paul Pontallier coming in at the tender age of 27 in 1983.  Oenologist Paul is now the Executive Director & has seen in a period of restoration, development & improvement at the estate with most delicious & fruitful results.