The 2019 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois en Provence Rouge (60% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Grenache) captures the eye with its brilliant ruby/purple robe. Full-bodied but silky smooth, the 2019 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois en Provence Rouge exhibits an intoxicating aroma redolent with the scents of black cherry, currant, and violets – all dusted with a hint of exotic spices. On the palate, the wine’s elegance, purity, and power are all on display. In the mouth, dark cherry, exotic spice, and herbal tones all come to fore and are superbly carried on a bed of flowing tannins. Light, well-integrated oak tones add complexity and enhance the wine’s long, sensuous finish. Concentrated and refined, this youthful Provençal dandy is eminently enjoyable now but will pay even greater dividends if allowed to rest an extra year or two in bottle. For optimum enjoyment we suggest affording this prestigious Provençal classic at least 30 minutes of aeration before serving at cool room temperature (55°-60° F). Anticipated maturity: 2022-2030. Enjoy!
All things lamb provide splendid accompaniments to the beautifully wrought 2019 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois en Provence Rouge. The proprietor’s favorite accompaniment is Rosemary Lamb, grilled loin of lamb basted with olive oil and of course fresh rosemary. A Porterhouse steak rubbed with olive oil, garlic and Provençal herbs before being seared and grilled to perfection makes a splendid companion, too. However, Château Margüi’s Côteaux Varois en Provence Rouge can hold court with a tremendous variety of meats and vegetables. It is equally adept in the company of a rotisserie roasted chicken served with garlic mashed potatoes, butternut squash, and ratatouille as it is with a splendidly prepared lobster ravioli. Gnocchi stuffed with braised veal, porcini mushrooms, and a hint of Pecorino cheese also earns two thumbs up in the company of this youthful wine. Vegetable lasagna provides another fine complement, but then Château Margüi’s Côteaux Varois en Provence Rouge will complement almost any meat, game, or grilled vegetable combination. You may even want to try it with dessert with a Guanaja Dark Chocolate Soufflé. Bon Appétit!
The rare and superlative wines of Château Margüi are some Provence’s most sought after wines. Château Margüi is now in the hands of George Lucas’s Skywalker Vineyards, but Château Margüi is not just some celebrity’s name on a brand; it is the product of many years of hard work on the part of winemaker and former owner Philippe Guillanton, who brought this ancient estate to the very top of its game. Moreover, Château Margüi is located deep in the heart of Provence, the most beautiful and glorious wine country of France. As Renoir and the Impressionists found a way to capture the brilliant light of Provence and paint it on canvas, Philippe Guillanton discovered how to pour the beauty and luminosity of Provence into each and every glass of Château Margüi wine.
Philippe Guillanton worked as an agent for Yahoo, where he essentially opened Europe to the company. In the process, he made a small fortune. As Philippe tells it, he wanted a home where his then wife Maria could create a beautiful formal garden. While searching the couple came upon Château Margüi, an old manor house on a picturesque wooded hilltop near the village of Châteauvert in the Côteaux Varois, deep in the heart of Provence. The region is famous for its spectacular hills, cliffs and grottos as well as the scintillating wind known as the mistral that illuminates the land and scours the countryside clean. Côteaux Varois also serves as a renowned paradise for hikers and climbers, and of course a source of great wine. Long a haven for artists and artisans, Châteauvert is an idyllic little village that prides itself on being a completely “green” village: everything in the village is organic, including Château Margüi.
The purchase of Château Margüi is the classic little old lady story: the manor was inhabited by an elderly lady who could no longer care for the property and realized she must sell it. The estate was completely run down, the vineyards and olive groves had been abandoned, and the house was grand but falling apart. Perfect!
The Guillantons bought the property and immediately began restoration. Philippe’s first success was with white wine, which is something of an anomaly in Provence. Very little white wine is made in Provence, with white wines comprising less than 10% of the region’s total production. However, Philippe’s white wine was more than a cut above and an instant success. It quickly became sought after by the top restaurants and wine shops on the French Riviera. He soon found himself making deliveries to the restaurants of Alain Ducasse and others in Nice and St. Tropez. His next successes came in the form of an ethereal seductive Rosé, followed by a full-bodied complex Rouge. The production is all certified organic at Château Margüi. Philippe moved beyond organic to even stricter biodynamic methods of viticulture, which means the already small 5,000 case production at this great estate is not likely to grow. In addition to fashioning fine red, white, and rosé wines, Château Margüi produces a first class Extra Virgin olive oil from his own olives.
In 2017 Star WarsM director George Lucas and Skywalker Vineyards purchased Château Margüi, which is close to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Miraval estate. Skywalker Vineyards has further renovated the château and winery and turned this ancient estate that dates from Roman times into a secluded hideaway. Happily, they retained Phillippe during a transition period and they remain committed to organic viticulture and the production of award winning ECOCERT certified estate wines.
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