Chateau Giscours Margaux 2020 Grand Cru Classe En 1855


Giscours produced some brilliant wines in the past, with a string of notable successes in the 1970s and early 1980s, but then it fell victim to neglect. The predominance of Cabernet Sauvignon in those old vintages, sometimes representing more than 80% of the blend, gradually ceded ground to more productive and facile Merlot; and the estate’s reputation declined. When the Albada family acquired Giscours in 1995, all that began to change. Fully 140,000 missing vines were replaced, cultivating the soils was resumed, and the winery was renovated. A young Alexander van Beek arrived for harvest in 1995 and ended up staying to oversee the work. And the results today are very exciting indeed. Giscours itself occupies three large gravel domes: one opposite the château itself, the other on the other side of the road and a third inland that hits fully 21 meters above sea level. There’s a large park with a river at the heart of the estate, and the team are creating wildlife corridors and hedges to bring life back into the vineyards. Seeded cover crops now protect the soils, and canopies are a touch lower to limit excess sugar accumulation. At harvest itself, vines of different age have been marked out to be harvested separately, an immense task, considering that Giscours has 100 hectares under vine in the Margaux appellation alone.

This estate is now enjoying its finest run since its glory days in the 1970s, and the 2020 Giscours is excellent. Unwinding in the glass with deep aromas of blackberries, cassis, pencil shavings, rose petals and sweet, loamy soil, it’s medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with a layered and seamless mid-palate, excellent concentration and powdery structuring tannins.


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