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What is the right way to taste a Margaux Grand Cru Classé?
Giscours
 - 
on 30/05/2022
What is the right way to taste a Margaux Grand Cru Classé?

Tasting a wine is often a special moment, a feast for the senses, and getting to grips with the codes and practices of tasting can take a little time. Didier Forêt, Technical Director at Château Giscours, shares a few tips on how to taste a Margaux Grand Cru Classé.

What is the ideal occasion to open a Grand Cru Classé?

Although they are often highly prestigious wines, there is not really any right or wrong moment to taste a Grand Cru Classé. Whether it’s a special event such as a wedding or an anniversary, a moment which means a lot to you, or simply an intimate occasion where you want to indulge yourself, the options are endless! Tasting a Grand Cru Classé is always a special moment to share with friends and family.

How do you open a Grand Cru Classé?

To open a Grand Cru Classé bottle correctly, I recommend using a corkscrew with a very fine screw and a wide “thread,” in order to remove the cork simply and cleanly. For older vintages, using a twin-blade corkscrew may help to keep the stopper intact as you remove it, since the cork can deteriorate as it ages. There are also air-pressure bottle openers which work well for older bottles, sucking out the stopper and avoiding the risk of leaving little bits of cork in your wine.

Should I leave the wine to breathe before tasting it?

Wine, like the cells in our body, evolves, ages and matures over time as it interacts with oxygen. The more polyphenols a wine contains (compounds which give the wine its colour and tannins, and which act as antioxidants), the more air it will need. The younger the wine, the more polyphenols it will have.

Whether or not it’s a Grand Cru Classé, when tasting an older vintage it is preferable to prevent the wine coming into contact with oxygen once the bottle has been opened. For younger wines, you may wish to carafe or double decant the bottle a few hours before tasting. This will help to release the aromas, particularly if it is a powerful wine with strong ageing potential. When we talk about a wine’s ageing potential, what we mean is its capacity to withstand the ravages of time, and particularly of oxygen.

What are the different steps involved in tasting a Margaux Grand Cru Classé?

Choosing the right glass is important. It must have a broad rim, allowing it to reach all of the taste buds on your tongue. You also need to be able to swirl the wine in the glass, allowing it to breathe.

Next, take a moment to observe the wine in your glass. The colour of a Grand Cru Classé de Margaux can tell you a lot about the age of the wine. A young Grand Cru will present a deeper crimson hue, revealing more ruby-red notes and flashes of gold as it ages. Depth of colour gives an indication of the power of the wine, while the hue reflects its age as well as the style of winemaking and how it was matured.

Lift the glass to your nose, and revel in the complex, multi-layered aromas so typical of the Margaux terroir. Younger wines will have livelier fruit aromas, leaning more towards red fruit or dark berries depending on their maturity. Barrel ageing brings greater complexity to the bouquet, as well as a certain hint of sweetness. As the wine ages in the bottle its bouquet becomes more complex, revealing notes of candied fruit and even a hint of chocolate.

Margaux is the archetype of an elegant Médoc wine. On the palate, our wines are at once powerful and silky-smooth; the metaphor you often hear used to describe Margaux is a “hand of steel in a velvet glove.” The mouthfeel is framed by a finely-chiselled tannic structure, guaranteeing great ageing potential while retaining a sense of freshness which illuminates the sensuous finish.

Our Wines

What should I serve with a Margaux Grand Cru Classé?

Food-wine pairings continue to evolve with each new generation, as does gastronomy in general. Historically, Margaux’s great wines were long associated with local red meat specialities such as Bazas beef and Pauillac lamb. The finesse and charm of our wines mean that they are perfectly suited to more modern fare, including many Asian dishes, as well as characterful cheeses. Ultimately, you can enjoy a Margaux Grand Cru Classé any way you like, making the most of the experience your way.

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