Château Margaux Unveils A New Design For Its 2015 Vintage, Here’s What The Team Has To Say About It

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For the first time in its history, and for this year only, Château Margaux has created a special bottle for its Grand Vin 2015. This bottle serves as a tribute to an exceptional year (it benefited from optimum weather conditions), two centuries of architecture, and to Paul Pontallier, Château Margaux’s beloved General Manager from 1989 to 2016

Discrete, modern and elegant, this silk-screen printing faithfully mirrors the image embodied by Château Margaux with the Château and the cellars superimposed in grey and gold. Additionally, two lines of silk-screen printing at the bottom of the bottle honor Paul Pontallier and on the back, two centuries of architecture.

This is how CEO Corinne Mentzelopoulos wanted to celebrate this very great vintage, which was the last to have been supervised by Paul Pontallier, and the bicentenary of the architecture of Château Margaux. We were fortunate enough to celebrate the design of this special bottle at The Grill in New York City earlier this month and speak with Corinne and Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos, daughter of Corinne and Deputy General Manager who helmed this limited design.

Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos
Deputy General Manager Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos

What inspired the unique design of the 2015 bottle?

APM: We wanted to keep the essence of our classic label in showing the château built in 1815 but at the same time paying tribute to the 200 years of our architecture by including the new Norman Foster’s building built in 2015. We kept the chateau like it is, but apposed gold on it to show that it is the star. It still remains the centerpiece of the property. 

We then added as a kind of background frame for the Château consisting of the Norman Foster’s new cellar in grey to show that it was built to mingle easily with the rest of our domain.

We also wanted to pay homage to Paul Pontallier at the bottom of the bottle that we wished to be as discreet and understated as he was. Paul Pontallier had been the General Manager of Château Margaux for 26 years before passing away in 2016.

What was the initial reaction when you proposed a specially-designed bottle since that isn’t something the winery has done before?

APM: It was actually Paul’s idea at first! We were all very keen to bring to life this last amazing idea of his. 

How long did it take for you to create the perfect bottle? 

APMIt took over a year between design and realization. 

What was the process like to ensure the bottle was to Château Margaux standards?

APMAfter agreeing on the design, we researched for months the best technique to do it. This is why the whole design is in serigraphy, and the gold is apposed on top of it. It allows it to stick better. We also did many tests on it to make sure it was the right one. We mistreated the bottle of lot to make sure the design would remain perfect for decades.

Owner and CEO Corinne Mentzelopoulos
Owner and CEO Corinne Mentzelopoulos

You talked a little bit about handing the reins of the winery to the next generation. How have you prepared for that transition?

CMMy daughter Alexandra has been working with me for the last 5 years. She is now surrounded by a group of young and brilliant colleagues who know Château Margaux well and who share the same understanding of the constant search for excellence and the long term vision needed for this gem of ours.

What were the lessons you learned from your father that you are passing on to the next generation?

CM: Success is 99% work and 1% luck my father used to say, although in my case I consider I have been very lucky and privileged to find myself at the helm of such a unique wine estate thanks to him.

It is so early, but how would you rate this 2015 bottling design?

CM: Well I love it, obviously! The reactions of our clients and of the professionals have been extremely positive and highly favorable. It is very exciting!

What are three words you want people to associate with Château Margaux?

CM: Emotion, power and elegance.