Friday, June 3, 2022

Château du Tertre Grand Cru Classe Margaux 2011

Château du Tertre Grand Cru Classe Margaux 2011

With left over grilled ribeye beefsteak from the other night, I opened this classic Left Bank Bordeaux for dinner food and wine pairing. 

Château du Tertre is a Fifth Growth property in Margaux, one of the oldest properties not just in Margaux, but in the entire Left Bank dating back to 1143. The name, “Tertre,” refers to its geography, the word tertre means, “hill,” or, “rising ground," referring to the location, a couple km inland from the Gironde River estuary, the Margaux terroirs there are the highest, with one of the most elevated gravel outcrops of the Médoc.

The estate sits in the hamlet of Arsac, where it has historically been called “beautiful Tertre d’Arsac”, just 4 km south of the Chambres de Margaux in the Margaux village centre where we stayed during our Margaux Bordeaux region tour in 2019,  just a 1/2 km south of the village perimeter. 

The footprint of the 52 hectares, 125 acres of vineyards, has not changed much since the 1855 Classification when it was designated Margaux Grand Cru Classe. The graveled, sloping soils are planted to customary Bordeaux varietals - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, with the majority of the vines planted near an ambient forest, which yields cooler temperatures and preserves the freshness of the wines.

The estate began to rise to prominence in the 1700's, when it was owned Pierre Mitchell of Bordeaux, known as a famous glassblower. Mitchell was known to have created the first jeroboam (a five liter bottle), and given his expertise in crafting glass bottles, it is likely that the first wines in Bordeaux were bottled at Château du Tertre.  

The Château du Tertre estate was very popular with the Dutch wine market and was acquired by Henri de Koenigswarter from the Netherlands before being taken over by the Cruse family, a famous négociant, in the 1900s.  

During the turbulent disruption of World War II, the estate fell into disrepair and its sterling reputation declined as a result. 

In 1961, the property was acquired by Philippe Gasqueton, the well-known owner of Château Calon Ségur in Saint Estèphe, who embarked on the long, intensive process of turning the estate around.  

1n 1997, Dutch businessman, Eric Albada Jelgersma bought the estate and invested in the large-scale overall restructuring, returning its former noble personality to the Chateau du Tertre. Since March 2021 the Helfrich family has taken over the property with the intent to continuing the tradition and pursuit of excellence.

The viticultural team is headed by Alexander Van Beek, who made some critical changes such as eliminating machine harvesting.  Frédéric Ardouin from Château Latour was hired as Technical Director and winemaker in 2008, and the property has been on the rise ever since with biodynamic transformation of the viticulture and rebuilding of the production facilities with new technology. Château du Tertre wines are known to be versatile, able to be enjoyed younger with one to two hours decanting and show improvement with 10 years of bottle age. 
Château du Tertre Grand Cru Classe Margaux 2011

This release was awarded 92 points by Wine Enthusiast and Jane Anson of, 91 points by James Suckling, 90 points by Wine Spectator, and 88 points by Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate.
Dense dark garnet purple colored, medium bodied, floral notes with black berry fruits with notes of anise, black tea, earth and leather with supple tannins and well behaved acidity on the finish. 

RM 90 points.