Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux
For Pavillon Rouge 2017, we continued our uncompromising selection process: it represents only 22% of the harvest. For several years, we have made a concerted effort to refine our selection by plots, increasing the number of batches for tasting and opening up almost endless possibilities for blending. As a result, we bring ever more precision to our first wine and Pavillon Rouge.
This wine has a remarkable tannic structure that is at once powerful and smooth. Its 76% Cabernet Sauvignon gives it an exceptionally long finish. The 17% Merlot largely contributes to Pavillon Rouge’s soft, fruity aromatic expression. This wine also contains 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot.
After a relatively dry 2016, the first months of 2017 brought the necessary precipitation to keep the water table balanced. Winter temperatures weren’t particularly cold. The vines budded around April 4th, but we weren’t wary enough of the spring-like temperatures and a frost on the nights of April 27th and 28th served as a reminder that, above all, winegrowers are dependent on nature. The choice location of our vineyard plots allowed us to limit frost damage: only 10% of our red vines were affected.
In the whole growth cycle, only the last week of June saw heavy rainfall. The vines had already flowered between May 25th and 30th in the most favorable conditions for efficient, homogeneous pollination. Summer 2017 more or less resembled summer 2016: warm and very dry through July and August. Light rainfall in early September was the only thing that disrupted a rare opportunity to produce a third great vintage after 2015 and 2016; we had just harvested our white grapes when heavy precipitation dashed our hopes of a truly standout year.
We then had to make a crucial decision: to harvest quickly grapes that were not yet ripe enough for fear that Botrytis would ruin them, or wait for the sun’s return and harvest riper, more concentrated grapes later in September. In keeping with our high standards of quality and reassured by optimistic weather forecasts, we chose the latter and harvested the reds between September 12th and October 3rd in exceptionally fine weather conditions.