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Margaux a ‘classic’ but doubts persist about market

Chateau Margaux's 2002 vintage is 'a dream expression of what we thought we could make at Margaux this year', according to director Paul Pontallier - but they are as undecided as the rest of Bordeaux as to how the market will treat them.

Speaking this morning at Margaux, Pontallier said the wine was a ‘very precise idea of what Chateau Margaux should be like’. Decanter consultant editor Steven Spurrier has given it five stars, saying it is ‘a true classic’.

While the wine may be a winner, both Pontallier and Margaux owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos are undecided as to whether the economic and political uncertainty caused by the war in Iraq is going to damage American sales or not.

The American market is ‘very important’ to Margaux, Mentzelopoulos told decanter.com, adding that she had received several ‘boycott emails’ from American buyers, the senders saying they were ‘angry and disappointed’ that an ally of America should not have supported America in the war on Iraq.

‘But what will happen to the market is another question,’ Mentzelopoulos said. ‘Some wine distributors are embarassed to run advertisements for French wines. The First Growths have a special position but we are not immune to market forces. Every year we are surprised by something.’

As an example of how strong feelings ran in the United States, she said a May New York dinner showing French wines and run by a prominent American enthusiast had recently been cancelled.

The price of Margaux is most likely to be lower than in 2001, Mentzelopoulos said. She could not say whether a spring en primeur campaign would go ahead or not, although ‘the professionals are pushing for an early sale, as they say things are unlikely to get any better in the weeks to come.’

  • Peter M F Sichel of Chateau Fourcas-Hosten in Listrac said it would be ‘beneficial to have a later campaign’ due to the fact the market was unsure of how it stood, and also because a good deal of the 2001 vintage was left unsold.But he added, ‘I believe there will be an attempt at a campaign in April. We hope that the First Growths will start the campaign.’

    Written by Adam Lechmere in Bordeaux

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