Following the release of Mouton Rothschild yesterday, this morning has seen another First Growth release, Chateau Margaux 2017. In 2017 Chateau Margaux has been awarded 96-98 points from Lisa Perrotti-Brown, who describes it as having ‘great tension, finishing with epic length’ and 97-98 from James Suckling, who calls it ‘Luscious and muscular at the same time’. These scores places it just behind the great vintages. The release price matches Mouton Rothschild at £4,320 per case of 12, or £2,160 per 6. This reflects a 16.6% discount on the 2016 release price and an incredible 200% reduction on the current 2015 trading price: an outlier.
Todays’ release price offers a 36% excellent discount to the average trading price of Margaux from 2005-2016, £5,325. This makes the 2017 immediately appealing. Margaux displays an interesting divide between the price leading vintages and average price. For example, the average cost of a 95> points scoring vintages £3,676, 97< £7,520, or £6,150, removing the uber performing 2015. Based on a 97-point score, Margaux 2017 offers superb value and is a strong buy.
Margaux 2017 has released with an attractive discount to the expected Market Price. Observing the current trading prices of past vintages and their respective Wine Advocate scores would indicate the 2017 vintage’s median score of 97 can expect a future trading price of around £5,600 in today’s market. This suggests that today’s release price of £4,320 has allowed those who buy on release to see returns upwards of £1,200. If Margaux 2017 realises the upper bounds of its banded score, it can be expected these returns will be elevated further. A market price similar to the 98-point 2005 and 2016, which currently average £5,700, would currently add a further £100 to the expected market price, although the 2017 vintage would be expected to exceed this price, yielding further returns, as it ages in bottle and supply dwindles. One noteworthy observation from the graph below is how the 2015 vintage has considerably exceeded the trend. This therefore must be considered an outlier with the appreciation attributed to the 99 point score, coupled with the special edition bottle Margaux released in that year.
Chateau Margaux is probably the most beautiful wine chateau in the world, certainly the most iconic. The town itself is found upon a gravel island (peaking at 10-15m, 35-50ft) and Margaux and its neighbour Chateau Palmer boast the communes best soil. The gravel here is shallow by comparison to Pauillac with limestone directly underneath. The vines slope down to the estuary and it is this poor, shallow soil and good drainage that give these great wines the elegant scent that defines them. It is the most fragrant, graceful of the Bordeaux wines, often described as feminine.
In the late 1970s, Margaux was purchased by the Greek-French entrepreneur Andre Mentzelopoulos. It was ranked number two behind Lafite in the 1855 Classification which has given rise to the saying: ‘If Lafite is the king of clarets Margaux is surely the queen.’ Margaux has a reputation for a perfume of violets, rose petals, cedar and dry ripe fruit.
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