Chateau Margaux’s production of its main wine largely escaped the effects of the April frost last year that hit the wider region, although output of its second wine Pavillon Rouge was significantly reduced, according to Managing Director Philippe Bascaules.
In the end ``2017 was relatively easy for us,’’ Bascaules said during a tasting April 13 in the Norman Foster-designed cellar adjacent to the chateau with its signature neo-classical façade. ``The frost reduced our overall production by 10 percent.’’ Yields at 35 hectoliters a hectare were ``a little less than usual’’ but 37 percent of the harvest went into the main wine, a little higher than average.
Cabernet Sauvignon accounted for 89 percent of the blend in the main wine, Merlot 8 percent, Cabernet Franc 2 percent and Petit Verdot 1 percent. He described the 2017 wines as having ``aromatic freshness'' and said it was ``an early vintage, which allowed us to have good maturity of tannins.''
Pavillon Rouge output fell 50 percent from 2016, partly reflecting the climatic challenges and also the estate’s policy of increasingly rigorous selection. Only 22 percent of the harvest went into the second wine, which was composed of 76 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 17 percent Merlot, 4 percent Cabernet Franc and 3 percent Petit Verdot.
Chateau Margaux is considering planting more Cabernet Franc on selected clay-limestone parcels of its vineyards, with the aim or increasing the overall presence of the varietal in the potential assemblage while reducing the quantity of Merlot, Bascaules said.