Learn everything about Chateau Desmirail Margaux Third Growth, Bordeaux producer with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, a history of the property, information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau Desmirail History, Overview
Chateau Desmirail is not well known today. In fact, it’s one of the more obscure, 1855 classified growths in the entire Medoc. But it was not always that way. In the 17th century, the wines of Chateau Dauzac were quite popular. This Margaux estate was officially founded in 1661 by Jean Desmirail, who obtained the Bordeaux vineyard like many people did in that day, as a dowry through marriage to one of the daughters from the Rauzan family.
Jean Desmirail renamed the chateau, taking his own name and using it for the moniker. At the time, Chateau Desmirail was still a part of the massive array of Rauzan owned Bordeaux wine properties. These were owned by Pierre de Mesures de Rauzan. Skipping ahead to the next century, when it became time to organize the 1855 Classification, the massive Rauzan estate was broken into three completely unique Bordeaux vineyards.
The new properties were Chateau Rauzan Segla, Chateau Rauzan Gassies and Chateau Desmirail. And don’t forget Chateau Marquis de Terme was also a part of the Rauzan Segla estate as well! In 1891, a large parcel of vines was sold to form Chateau Tayac, which is in the commune of Soussans.
At one point in time, Chateau Desmirail was owned by the Zuger family, that own Chateau Malescot Saint Exupery. The Zuger family purchased the chateau, while the vines and brand name were sold to the owners of Chateau Palmer. In fact, in 1963, Chateau Palmer declassified their entire harvest and placed the entire crop into Chateau Desmirail, which explains why no bottles of 1963 Palmer exist. Today, Chateau Desmirail is owned and managed by the well-known Lurton family, who own a myriad of other Bordeaux properties that are placed in almost every Bordeaux appellation. In 1997 Chateau Desmirail was modernized, when they added stainless steel tanks. In 2010, they added new oak tanks. These improves in the cellars, along with increased efforts in the vineyards really started paying off with the 2015 vintage, which is probably the finest wine, ever produced at Desmirail.
Chateau Desmirail Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The 30 hectare, Left Bank Bordeaux vineyard of Chateau Desmirail is planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. This represents an increase in their Cabernet Sauvignon vines. On average, the vines are 20 years of age. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 6,666 vines per hectare. The terroir consists of deep gravel, sand and clay soils.
The vineyard of Chateau Desmirail is much larger today than it was at the time of the 1855 Classification. In those days, they had parcels in communes of Cantenac and Soussans. Today, they also have vines in the commune of Arsac, not too far from Chateau du Tertre.
To produce the wine of Chateau Desmirail, fermentation takes place in a combination of large wood tanks and stainless steel vats in one of three different vat rooms. The older vines are vinified in the large, oak tanks. The remaining grapes are vinified in the stainless steel tanks. Unique to Chateau Desmirail, they have three vat rooms especially designed to recall various time periods in the history of Desmirail, making them interesting to visit. Malolactic fermentation takes place in vat. The wine of Chateau Desmirail is aged in 40% new, French oak barrels for between 12 to 18 months.
There is a second wine, which is sold under two different names. When sold in France, the second wine is sold as Chateau Fontarney, while export markets are offered the same wine under the name of Initial de Desmirail. The estate also owns vines in the Haut Medoc appellation which are used to produce Desmirail Haut-Medoc de Desmirail.
When to Drink Chateau Desmirail, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Desmirail can be enjoyed on the young side with decanting. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 1-2 hours, give or take. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Desmirail is usually better with at least 7-9 years of bottle age. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Pibran offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 10-20 years of age after the vintage.
Serving Chateau Desmirail, with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Chateau Desmirail is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Desmirail is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Desmirail is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta as well as cheese.
Château Desmirail Wine Tasting Notes
8 Vintages 19679 Views Sort Vintage Rating
Medium-bodied and fresh with a plummy quality, this wine is focused on red fruits and sweet-smelling earth. Bright and a little strict, give this a few years to come around and soften.
Apr 29, 2017points - Tasted 958 Views
Finesse in style with freshness in the finish, earth, caramel and black cherries create the nose of this soft, medium-bodied wine. 88 - 90 Pts
Apr 21, 2016points - Tasted 1096 Views
Medium bodied, forward and serving up a simple, red cherry and earthy note, the finish is bright with its cranberry and cherry blend of fruits.
Feb 4, 2017points - Tasted 1504 Views
With a focus on just-picked red berries, this medium-bodied wine is bright and fresh and will drink well in its youth. 87-89 Pts
Apr 22, 2015points - Tasted 1383 Views
Opening with light, bright strawberries, this wine has a fresh palate presence and a quick cherry finish. There is not much wine in this bottle. 82-84 Pts
Apr 20, 2014points - Tasted 1627 Views
Dry, peppery red fruits and a tart red berry finish are found in this medium bodied wine.
Feb 17, 2014points - Tasted 2437 Views
Cedar wood, cassis, red plum and coffee, tannic, medium bodied and a gentle, bright, red berry finish. 87-88 Pts
Apr 19, 2012points - Tasted 3198 Views
Medium bodied, soft, subtle and silky, with freshness in the sweet, ripe, dark red fruits and a hint of floral characteristics on the nose. Nice now, but this will be better with just a few more years of bottle age.
Sep 3, 2017points - Tasted 1008 Views
With an earthy, coffee, licorice, red and black fruit nose, this medium bodied wine, produced from a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot felt light on the palate. The wine ends with a bright, red and black plum finish.
Jan 29, 2012points - Tasted 4885 Views
Bordering on dead, in the respirator, hanging on to its last few breaths of life, the bricky color and secondary notes were all about earth, tobacco and forest scents. There was little fruit to be found. On the other hand, at close to 85 years old, there is something to be said for that. We should all still be walking around.
Aug 14, 2013points - Tasted 1583 Views