Chateau Labegorce Margaux 2017
The 2017 Labégorce is powerful yet nuanced, and wonderfully complete. Cedar, tobacco, mint, dried herbs and licorice grace this wine of tremendous complexity. While it is towering in its size, richness and intensity, the 2017 is also surprisingly elegant. Creamy, ample and flavorful, this is a very good wine with rather pretty floral notes that grace the exquisite finish.
The origins of Labégorce lie in a large estate in the northern parts of the commune of Margaux which belonged to the Gorce (or Gorsse) family, perhaps as long ago as the 14th Century. The family were originally merchants, gradually climbing the social ladder in Bordeaux, assuming a more aristocratic standing in the community as they did so. They were still the proprietors here in the 18th Century, and documents from that time indicate that there was viticulture on the estate, the vineyards dotted between fields of wheat and pasture where cattle grazed. This was the situation at the time of the French Revolution, when like so many other estates in Bordeaux, Labégorce was divided and sold off, giving rise to three estates that still estate today. The first, that which concerns us here, is Chateau Labégorce and the second is Labégorce-Zédé, named for Pierre Zédé who acquired the estate in 1840. The third is the curiously named L’Abbé Gorsse de Gorsse, an estate long defunct as far as viticulture is concerned, but which is still clearly visible on the currently available maps of the commune. Following the break-up of the original estate the modern-day Labégorce first passed to a gentleman named Capelle, and subsequently changed hands a number of times, most recently coming into the ownership of Hubert Perrodo in 1989.
Perrodo was a wealthy industrialist who made his fortune in the petrochemical industry, having been the founder of Perenco, a company specialising in exploration and the exploitation of fossil fuels. His dream as far as Bordeaux was concerned seems to have been to reunite all three of the above vineyards to recreate the original Labégorce estate, and to this end he subsequently acquired both Labégorce-Zédé and L’Abbé Gorsse de Gorsse. No doubt this would have been a fascinating and very newsworthy project, but it is one that may never now be completed. Perrodo was killed in a skiing accident on holiday in late 2006, and although the estate will now pass to his heirs, its destiny is less certain.
$100 or more
Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot