Margaux is a small historical village and appellation located in the Haut-Médoc district in Bordeaux. The appellation is mostly well-known for its red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon predominantly blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, as well as very few white wines, blends from Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. The Margaux appellation was the first area to be planted with vines in the Médoc by the Romans more than 2000 years ago. Later, the wines of Margaux became the favourites of many respectable figures like the third President of the United States Thomas Jefferson and the writer Ernest Hemingway.
Margaux is the largest appellation with 1355 hectares in the Médoc area with 21 cru classé properties from the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, and is divided into four communes including Arsac, Cantenac, Labarde and Soussans. The climate of Margaux is a temperate maritime climate with warm summers with relatively cold nights helping to cool down the grapes. The soil types are the thinnest in Bordeaux with deposits of gravel, limestone with pebbles, stones, rocks, white gravel and only a minor amount of clay in the vineyards. The lack of depth in the soil allows it to heat up fast and to transfer the heat to the vines, making them ripen faster than the neighbouring appellation. In that sense, it is the warmest in Médoc district and the highest altitude is not more than 30 metres above sea level.
The diverse array of soils makes the styles of Margaux wines quite varied. Often they are not the most concentrated, powerful or tannic wines of Bordeaux, but can be the most elegant, sensuous, refined and perfumed. They are full of aromas of flowers, especially violets and lilacs when young and with time they develop scents of truffle, cigar box, earth, cherry, plum and tobacco. The concentration, ripeness and depth can vary widely, depending on the terroir and the philosophy of the winemaker, and at the same time, the tannins can display unmatched levels of elegance. Margaux wines can age beautifully for several decades and even more.
Some of the most sought after wines in the world from Margaux come from the renowned Château Margaux, named after the appellation and Château Palmer. Some good value for money estates are Château Rauzan Segla, Château Malescot St. Exupery, Château Brane Cantenac and Château Brane Cantenac, as are Château d’Issan, Château Giscours and Château Marquis d'Alesme.