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Barton & Guestier Margaux 2000

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    The Margaux appellation covers about 3,250 acres on five communes (Margaux, Soussans, Cantenac, Labarde and Arsac). It is situated about 15 miles north of Bordeaux. It is the southernmost of the village appellations in the Médoc. The soil is characterized by hillocks of fine garonne gravel. Margaux wines are generous, delicate and full of finesse. VINTAGE 1997 will be engraved on winegrowers' memories as an extremely early year, for the duration of the harvest and for the difficulty of deciding when to pick. With regular flowering at the end of May, it was two or three weeks early compared with a normal year. July and August were, however, not so perfect: a rather cold July delayed color change, a warm and relatively fine August, marred by a period of rain, led to a threat of mildew and botrytis which was controllable. The dry winds which ocurred at the end of the month and stayed for several weeks were extremely beneficial and stopped the rot. A magnificent hot and sunny September lasted until harvest, which took place under ideal conditions. The 1997 Margaux wines are fruity and attractive. WINEMAKING Barton & Guestier's winemaking strategy is to favor aromatic and tannic extraction in order to produce elegant, aromatic wines typical of the appellation. Harvesting at optimum maturity (possible thanks to the exceptional weather before and during harvest) and strict sorting of the grapes, have led to the making of wines which comply to our specifications. While alcoholic fermentation was carried out at high temperatures (86-90°F), daily pumping over a three week maceration period were still necessary. After the malolactic fermentation, the wines were aged for eight months in oak barrels before blending and bottling. WINEMAKER NOTES Deep purple color with violet hue. Aromas of black currant, cocoa and hints of vanilla. Long and full-bodied attack. Fine, elegant tannins. Deep flavors, and a pleasant vanilla finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Barton & Guestier

    Barton & Guestier

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    Barton & Guestier, Margaux, Bordeaux, France
    The company's founder, Thomas Barton, left his native Ireland and emigrated to Bordeaux when he was just 30 years old. He was a true adventurer, looking to make his fortune, and founded a shipping company in 1725. The first barrels of wine were naturally exported to Ireland, which, along with Holland, was the biggest market for Bordeaux in the early 18th century. Very quickly, his efforts brought an unbelievable level of prosperity. He was the first shipper to have his own wine estates. By 1747, Thomas Barton was considered Bordeaux’s number one shipper. His loyal clients nicknamed him "French Tom".

    His family, his associates and his successors followed his example. In 1802, his grandson, Hugh Barton, teamed up with his friend Daniel Guestier, a French shipowner, to create Barton & Guestier. Both men's children and grandchildren went into the business, until the mid-20th century. Today, a dedicated team and over a hundred distributors continue to develop the Barton & Guestier brand worldwide. Barton & Guestier wines are widely recognized throughout the world as wines of excellent quality and tremendous value. The list of wines has also grown to include a broad range of classics from the greatest wine regions of France.

    Silky, seductive and polished are the words that characterize the best wines from Margaux, the most inland appellation of the Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux.

    Margaux’s gravel soils are the thinnest of the Médoc, making them most penetrable by vine roots—some reaching down over 23 feet for water. The best sites are said to be on gentle outcrops, or croupes, where more gravel facilitates good drainage.

    The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification but it is nonetheless important in regards to history of the area. In 1855 the finest chateaux were deemed on the basis of reputation and trading price—at that time. In 1855 Chateau Margaux achieved first growth status, yet it has been Chateau Palmer (officially third growth from the 1855 classification) that has consistently outperformed others throughout the 20th century.

    Chateau Margaux in top vintages is capable of producing wines described as pure, intense, spell-binding, refined and profound with flavors and aromas of black currant, violets, roses, orange peel, black tea and incense.

    Other top producers worthy of noting include Chateau Rauzan-Ségla, Lascombes, Brane-Cantenac, and d’Issan, among others.

    The best wines of Margaux combine a deep ruby color with a polished structure, concentration and an unrivaled elegance.

    Bordeaux Blends

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    One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

    In the Glass

    Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

    Perfect Pairings

    Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

    Sommelier Secret

    While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

    PIM96849_2000 Item# 61772