Chateau La Tour de Mons Margaux 2014
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Amazingly enough, this humble, non-grand cru classe Bordeaux is one of the oldest continuous wine chateaux that I have ever heard of within the appellation of Margaux. In 1098, William IX “The Troubadour”, Duke of Aquitaine created the Lordship of Soussans. And of course, if you are going to ascend to your seigniory, you're gonna need some wine to celebrate, and thus you should plant a vineyard on one single parcel, enclose it in walls, and build a tower in the middle of it. Thus, you have the creation of Chateau La Tour, and that clos vineyard continues to this day.
Now, just to be clear, we should probably explain the rest of the name and gently nudge this chateau forward in history. After its founding Lord, one of this chateau’s most famous owners was one Pierre de Mons. Now I had no idea who this guy who likes to append his name to Bordeaux chateaux was until digging a little deeper. Apparently, de Mons was an explorer and colonizer of the New World, making several attempts to found colonies in what is now known as the Saint Lawrence Seaway, the most famous of those being the city of Quebec.
He was also given a monopoly on the French fur trade, and the exclusive right to colonize all territory in the New World from 40° to 60° latitude. That’s like drawing a line at the bottom of Chicago and another at the bottom of the main part of Alaska, and claiming everything in between as your own really big backyard. The colonies mostly got people killed, but the fur trade made him rich. Which is why he could buy seven lordships back in France (all with their own chateaux), and append his name to each of them. Quite a guy!
And of course, nobody wants to invite confusion with that other, slightly more famous chateau that also has “La Tour” in its name - so nowadays most people also add “Margaux” to Chateau La Tour de Mons to avoid that dubiety.
The chateau’s modern history starts when one Bernard Margeuz, famous Bordeaux entrepreneur, bought this chateau sometime within the last 30 years. With the purchase, a complete overhaul of the winery and its vineyard ensued, and the result is here, perfectly matured for us, in its prime drinking window and in our glass:
This wine opens with a beautiful expression of Margaux - a core of blackberry fruits, compote, and black cherries form the base expression across the nose and palate. This is layered with alluring notes of mocha, dark chocolate and baking spices of anise, clove, and nutmeg. The midpalate also features savory flavor notes of truffles and just a touch of earth. On the back of the palate, the wine is completely harmonious and developed. Its tannins, vibrancy and fruit characters are all in beautiful and perfect consonance.
Many and oft a time I have had customers tell me of looking at a wall full of beautiful, exceptionally young to the point of being undrinkable, Bordeaux wines. I always recommend they stop shopping at other places and come to Waterford, where we work hard to get you cellar-direct, fully mature Bordeaux, at exceptional prices.
For all my research, I can’t figure out why this guy didn’t make it into the cru classe system. However, I think this is to our advantage - Chateau Palmer ($300 a bottle, 3rd Growth), Chateau Margaux ($600 a bottle, 1st Growth) are both next door. And while this wine maybe doesn’t have the cherry-on-top of those two, it's got all the rest of the sundry to enjoy, and at a much more enjoyable price!
"93 points. In the village of Soussans, and in the north of the Margaux appellation, this estate has a fine reputation for its wines. This vintage, with its great balance between fruit and tannins, shows why. It is a ripe wine full of black fruit and with the bright acidity of the vintage. Drink the wine from 2021."