Last night I was one of a group who visited Château Marquis d’Alesme on the occasion of the opening of their new winery in Margaux.
The estate, which has 15 hectares of vines, was bought by Hubert Perrodo in 2006. Perrodo, a French national, built up a successful petrochemical company (Perenco), of which he was the sole owner. He bought his first wine estate, Château Labégorce (also in Margaux) in 1989. Sadly, he died in 2006, but his wife, Carrie, has continued to run his business interests. The two wine estates are being run by his daughter, Nathalie Perrodo, who is aged just 35. There’s an interesting feature on the Perrodo family here. They are properly wealthy.
With Marquis d’Alesme, they are putting their money to good use. The new winery, which has been a three-year project, is quite stunning. It combines classic Bordeaux style with a distinctly Chinese twist. This is because Carrie Perrodo is Singapore Chinese, and in a previous life was a model. She set up a successful modelling agency in Singapore called Carrie’s Models. The design theme for the winery was to include Chinese symbols inspired by the forbidden city in Beijing.
As well as the winery, there’s the delightful, slightly rustic visitor centre where we had dinner, and also a VIP reception building. This was originally at Labégorce, but was relocated – moved stone by stone – to Alesme.
We tasted the last four vintages of each of the Perrodo properties. Michel Rolland, who consults here, also joined us.
Château Marquis d’Alesme 2012 Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Fresh and expressive with some grip and a bit of savouriness. Hints of spice and earth. This is quite ripe, but it’s nicely balanced with lovely texture and some chalky tannins. 93/100
Château Marquis d’Alesme 2013 Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Vivid blackcurrant and spice notes, with spice and cedar. Fresh, vivid and woody with a spicy palate that has grippy structure. Still primary and quite cedary with a drying finish. 89/100
Château Marquis d’Alesme 2014 Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Nice density here. Youthful, gripped and vivid with structured red and black fruits. This has nice density and weight, and shows real promise. This is the final blend, but isn’t bottled yet. 92-94/100
Château Marquis d’Alesme 2015 Margaux, Bordeaux, France
This primeur sample is very flattering and pretty, so it’s hard to give a definitive verdict. It’s seductively aromatic with sweet blackcurrant fruit, and there’s a chocolatey edge to the concentrated fruit. Looks like a very good vintage. 92-94/100
Château Labégorce 2012 Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Supple with a hint of greenness. Fleshy but bright with nice precision and texture. A lovely wine with real drinkability. 92/100
Château Labégorce 2103 Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Fresh and a bit cedar with some bright berry fruits and drying, grippy tannins. A bit pinched, showing nice focus but a bit too much structure for the fruit. 88/100
Château Labégorce 2014 Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Fresh and vivid with bright, focused fruit. Midnight and attractive with red cherry and blackberry fruit. Nicely fresh. 91-93/100
Château Labégorce 2015 Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Seductive nose. Sweet and quite ripe with nice berry fruits and good balance. Has a fruit forward quality with some chocolatey notes and a bit of cedar. 92-93/100
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