Highlights from Bordeaux | Behind the Scenes at Two Prominent Château

Château du Tertre

Dating all the way back to 1736, Château du Tertre is a breathtaking property nestled in Bordeaux’s Margaux appellation. As a member of the Millesima Blog Awards jury, I had the opportunity to visit and experience their incredible hospitality. We enjoyed a gorgeous lunch paired with their finessed, elegant wines. 

One of the highlights for me was their sleek 2005 Margaux, along with the sun-kissed 2010 Caiarossa from Italy – a Super Tuscan that’s produced by the owners of Chateau du Tertre. These wines truly speak to their respective terroir, and unique sense of place.

Winemaker Lorenzo Pasquini describes Terte’s terroir as very different and particular within the appellation, yet uniquely representative of Margaux. Terte is unique for a variety of reasons, including being situated at the southern and westernmost part of the appellation, being also the highest elevation (27 meters above sea level) and for their unusually high concentration of Cabernet Franc in their wines – which Lorenzo prizes for the freshness, spice and lift it contributes to their wines. 

Chateau Giscours is also a sister property, and despite being located very nearby in Margaux, these wines couldn’t be more different. The Tertre is a beacon of that hallmark Margaux finesse and subtle restraint, while the gravel soils at Giscours result in a wine that’s quite dense and powerful. According to Lorenzo, his job is to put the velvet around the iron fist of Chateau Giscours. I’m happy to report that he succeeds beautifully at doing so.

Château Cos d’Estournel

Viticulture at Chateau Cos d’Estournel dates all the way back to 1811, when Louis Gaspard d’Estournel identified the potential of this special terroir. It’s southeastern exposure and gravelly well-draining soils are ideal for the cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Aptly named, Cos actually means “hill of pebbles” in the old Gascon French dialect. Sadly, Cos d’Estournel would achieve venerable second growth status just two short years after Louis’ passing.

Today, this incredible property is stewarded by Michel and Karen Reybier who not only generously sponsored the 2019 edition of the Millesima Blog Awards, but also invited the award winners and jury to visit the estate for a truly special evening.

We had the opportunity to tour their utterly impressive and unexpectedly contemporary cellar, as well as get a peek at some of their most prized vintages – some dating all the way back to the 1800s!

After formally presenting the blog awards to their recipients, we seated for dinner and enjoyed an intimate meal with the Reybier family.

Our hosts generously poured Cos d’Estournel Blanc 2006, Pagodes de Cos 2009, Cos d’Estournel 2005 and Cos d’Estournel 1985 – which at 34 years old was absolutely sublime, and a testament to how gracefully these wines age.

Cos d’Estournel was one of the wines of the vintage for me. Imagine a wave of dense, silky black fruit cloaking an iron fist, its intensity continuing to build on the palate. Crushed rocks and gravel undertones linger on the lengthy finish.

A truly monumental effort that impeccably marries power and refinement, with tannins so polished you could almost drink it now yet to do so would be a tragic case of infanticide, for a wonderfully long life lies ahead for this wine. While 1985 Cos d’ Estournel may indeed be hard to come by, so are experiences this memorable.

Click here for more insights on the 2018 Bordeaux vintage.

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8 thoughts on “Highlights from Bordeaux | Behind the Scenes at Two Prominent Château

  1. Mark Ricardo

    Great blog post! Amazing content and pictures.
    Glad to see you are doing well.
    It has been a while since we last saw each other at the Zachys’ wine auction.
    I hope you have enjoyed some of the beautiful Bordeaux you picked up then.
    Looking forward to staying in touch.
    Mark Ricardo


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