- BlendProprietary Blend
Domaine de L'ile Margaux Rouge Cuvee Mer De Garonne 2000
Domaine de L’ile Margaux is one of the coolest vineyards ever. Originally a part of the iconic Chateau Margaux estate going back to the 1855 classification (it is quite literally a five wood away), this island was annexed from the Chateau in 1999 and sold soon after to the Favarel family. This 2000 vintage, a remarkable year for Bordeaux, is drinking beautifully at a full two decades since bottling. You won’t find this anywhere else in the U.S. – and how often do you find 20+ year old Margaux, with this sort of pedigree, at this incredible price?
This vineyard occupies a teardrop shaped island of about 20 hectares in the Gironde estuary system. The Favarel family has 14 hectares of vines planted – at a mind-boggling 1.5 meters BELOW sea level. The border of the island is surrounded by over 360 varieties of fruit trees planted on a raised berm to minimize wind and flooding. The soil make up is a special hydrogeological structure – a gradual sedimentation of blue clay and sand layers that are hydrated and drained 4 times each day, following the natural rhythm of the tides. This unique environmental condition protects the vines against heat and water stress. Just wild stuff, right?
But let’s get to it… the wine is delicious! We tasted through a vertical of these wines almost a year ago now and the 2000 was, without question, the best wine in the 10+ vintages that we tasted. Seriously, cool stuff going on in the glass – classic Bordeaux profile that joins rich berry notes with a mineral edge and earthy undertones. It even has that pure, indescribable Margaux-ness… *shakes head in disbelief*. The aromas are mature with notes of forest floor, rose petal, dried morel mushrooms, coffee beans, pencil lead, and saddle leather. In the palate, the wine roars to life – showcasing red cherries and raspberries, sandalwood, soy, fig jam, and black olives. This is nuanced, complex, and contemplative juice with a long finish that maintains a youthful grip, soft but chalky tannins, and ample, lively acidity. You’ll be blown away!
The vineyard is planted mostly to merlot (~45%) followed by smaller amounts of cabernet sauvignon (~20%) and then petit verdot, cabernet franc, and malbec. The Faravel family has been quietly producing this singular wine since 2000, and reinvesting in the land and island since their purchase of the property in 2001. They have recently received organic certification in 2015, and have always been fully committed to sustainable farming practices (I suppose when your vineyard is planted below sea level, you kind of have to, right?). This is one of the cooler finds for us in some time, and something that is not to be missed by any true Bordeaux fan! While it lasts!
PAIRING IDEAS: This savory wine makes me crave steak in the most cave-man way. I’m thinking a strip steak, cooked over a live fire, with this Sherry Mushroom Cream Sauce...ok, I’m hungry again.
MUSIC SUGGESTIONS: Full transparency...I picked this song, because I imagine these vines felt “Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed” once the island resurfaced from the depths in the early winter of 2000...but is David Bowie really ever the wrong call? Methinks not.