American publication Wine Enthusiast recently revealed its Top 100 bottle of 2021, after the panel tasted no less than 22,000 different cuvées. Whilst the list features many names from outside France, especially big Italian signatures, it’s a French estate that takes the top spot. Château Siran is an unmissable Margaux name and one of our partner domains.
At the southern side of Bordeaux’s Margaux appellation, Château Siran is an historic, family-owned property with a longstanding mission to produce top-shelf wine. This year, its 2018 vintage features at the very top of a highly anticipated ranking, confirming the estate’s reputation for excellent quality.
The name ‘Siran’ can be traced all the way back to the 15th century, but the story of the château itself began towards the end of the 1600s. We can fast-forward a bit, to 1859, when the Miailhe family bought the estate, taking over from the grandparents of painter Toulouse-Lautrec. The estate has since remained under the same name, making it one of the last Bordeaux vineyards to be held by the same family for over five generations. Siran’s savoir-faire clearly has roots that go deep, bringing with them all the richness and passion of a lineage of wine growers.
Relatively small, covering 25 hectares in all, the vineyards of Siran extends across soil rich in gravel and pebbles, with Merlot, Cabernet sauvignon, Petit verdot, and Cabernet franc all cultivated on the land. There is a particularly high proportion of Petit verdot on this estate compared to the typical varieties found in Margaux. The vines are ageing nicely, with the oldest parcel planted in 1920! No chemical herbicides are used, and the grapes are harvested by hand. Then it’s off to the winery, which is where the rest of the magic happens…
As for the winning 2018 vintage itself, we can take a closer look at its production:
Uncertain conditions became optimal
Things weren’t looking fantastic initially for the 2018 vintage because the winter and spring of that year were especially rainy, and then July brought a mightily unwelcome hail storm…Conditions got much better though, with a long summer of hot and sunny weather that allowed the grapes to really concentrate their aromas. They were harvested at the perfect ripeness.
The bunches were fermented in stainless steel vats, separated by individual parcel, before being macerated at a temperature of 28-30°. Placed in vats for 18 to 24 days, the grapes then underwent partial malolactic fermentation. The juice matured for 12 months in casks, 35% of which were new. This has conferred powerful tannins to the wine, making it apt for cellaring.
The balancing act of blending
The final blend of this vintage is 45% Cabernet sauvignon, 44% Merlo, and 11% Petit verdot. It is powerful, intense, and lengthy on the palate thanks to the inclusion of the Petit verdot variety. There’s no doubt that the beautifully fruit-forward notes of the 2018 vintage managed to seduce the critics at Wine Enthusiast.
But the American magazine isn’t the only one to have picked up on the exceptional quality of this cru. With a 16.5/20 from tough cookie Jancis Robinson and 17.5/20 from the Revue du vin de France, the 2018 is getting harder and harder to find on the market…but we’ve still got a few in stock 😉
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