From Owner to Owner Now Striving Higher
France is well known for its wine making villages and there are a number of them in Aquitaine.
The Gironde department is home to many winemakers and beautiful chateaus that date back as early as the 11th century.
Château Malescot is located in Margaux and the soils in this village are well known as they have rich mineral content that is silted down from the Garonne River and the estuary, giving the soils a blend of gravel, chalk and clay with traces of iron, which makes a fantastic terroir for wine making.
The Garonne River flows through from Spain into France and then into the Atlantic Ocean, it is 600 kilometres long and most of the vineyards that are in the area have great quality soil that has led them to be one of the best known wine making regions in the world due to the high mineral content that is brought down from the mountains as well as from the river.
Château Malescot, like many of the other wine making homes has a long history that dates back to the 16th century, when it was owned by the Escousses family, who were notaries for the King.
The estate was then sold to a Bordeaux Member of Parliament and council to King Louis XIV, Simon Malescot Esquire with his descendants adding on Chartreuse -styled home and agricultural buildings which they maintained until the French revolution, where the property was divided between three different families.
The estate went through a number of hands being divided over and over again until 1825, when Louise Pierlot’s family sold it to Compte Saint Exupery as they had no interest in the wine business.
As it was traditionally in the Bordeaux to out your name to the chateau, he added his and the estate became known as Chateau Malescot Saint – Exupery.
With his wife’s dowry they added onto the estate by receiving two more estates, but after his death, Saint Exupery went into debt and was sold in 1853 to a banker, Mr Fourcade who brought the chateau into the 1855 classification class as a third growth status estate and the labels on his bottles were changed to what is on them today, “Semper Ad Altum,” or “Always striving higher”.
The Fourcade family also increased the vines by adding more from the neighbouring estates, therefore increasing the strength of his estate, but unfortunately in 1866 Mr Fourcade died and the process began again with the estate being sold yet again.
A group of owners purchased the estate and under the wing of a man named Bosaic, a beautiful and classic chateau was designed and built and is still standing today.
Under Bosaic’s direction in 1870, the chateau became the first Bordeaux winery to use gravity in their fermentation process.
The left bank of the estate was auctioned off and sold to a German family, but during World War 1 the French government confiscated the estate and it was then resold three times until it was bought by the Zuger family in 1955, when it was run down and only 7 hectares of the estate had vines planted.
Within a decade of their ownership the Zuger family replanted 80% of the vineyard and they are the proud owners of the estate today.
The vineyards of Château Malescot are perfectly located in the Margaux village where the soil has a naturally perfect drainage system that is good for producing superior vines and it encourages deep root growth with the gravel layer that stimulates fruit development and ripening through a warming effect at ground level.
The climate in this region is also perfect for grape growing as the humidity mixed with the gentle breezes from the Gironde Estuary and Atlantic Ocean create a natural temperature control for the vineyards.
Oenologist, Michel Rolland and cellar masters, Gilles Pouget and Jean Luc Zuger, check the grapes and analyse the crops to monitor their progress in order to harvest the grapes, which they hand pick and then place onto trays preventing them from getting crushed and oxidising.
The grapes are then sent up to the vat room where they are sorted again and have the stems and any other tiny bits removed with their new de- stemming process.
Vinification consists of concrete vats and stainless steel tanks with ageing done in 80% and 100% new French oak barrels for 16 months.
They also have a second wine, La Dame de Malescot which has an annual production of 13000 cases.
With three generations of their family, the Zuger’s have a passion for the vines and making great wines that are one of the best in the Margaux appellations is what they strive to do.
2013 Chateau Malescot St. Exupery has the aromas of liquorice, black cherry and espresso beans with a hint of dark cocoa and it is a soft, fruity dark berry wine
2010 La Dame de Malescot is a deep ruby red wine with aromas of black cherry, black currant and oak ending on a dark berry note.
Visit Château Malescot
They have many vintages of their wines on offer and you can also try the second wine but a visit to the chateau that keeps on striving is worth the trip as you could probably be inspired by the dedication, passion and ambition of the people that are responsible for building up and making Château Malescot what is today.
16 Rue Georges Mandel
33460 Margaux Bordeaux, France
Editor-in-Chief and Wine Writer
Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂