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.