This third growth property is a substantial estate on the southern fringe of the Margaux appellation. Its history dates back to the 14th century, at which time the château had a keep to protect itself! The property's wine-growing tradition began at mid-16th century.
During the 19th century, a series of wealthy owners, like the Cruse and Pescatore families, invested greatly in the property. This included much of the renovations that gave the château its neoclassic palace appearance, as well as re-landscaping the grounds and planting rare tree species, but the two World Wars in the 20th century took their toll.
After the Second World War, Giscours was bought by the Tari family from Algeria, whose winemaking experience enabled them to revive the diminished property. It was making excellent wine in the difficult decade of the 1970s, when in the UK it was the exclusivity of drinks business IDV and its Peter Dominic chain. Subsequently it lost direction until in 1995, when it was bought, along with Château du Tertre, by Dutch businessman Eric Albada Jelgersma, who gave it much-needed investment.
The estate has 90 hectares of vines, spread out over several plots, planted on gentle slopes of deep Garonne gravel. This terroir is particularly suited to cabernet sauvignon, which makes up the majority of plantings, and is joined by merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot.
We have found vintages can be rather uneven, but at its best Giscours is robust, full of fruit and body, and ages well, even if it lacks some Margaux finesse. The blend is generally 60% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot, 5% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot, which ages for between 15 and 17 months in oak barrels, half of them new. We would recommend drinking it at between 10 to 20 years after the vintage.