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Ep 391: Édouard Miailhe - Dynamic leader of the Margaux AOC & 5th Generation Owner of Château Siran

Wine for Normal People

Release Date: 09/13/2021

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Château Siran is an historic and innovative estate in the Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux, in the commune of Margaux. In the mid-1800s Siran was purchased by ancestor of Édouard Miailhe’s family and today he is the 6th generation to run Siran.

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Château Siran is an historic and innovative estate on the Left Bank of Bordeaux, in the commune of Margaux. Once owned by the painter Toulouse-Lautrec’s great-grandmother, in the mid-1800s Siran was purchased by ancestor of Édouard Miailhe’s family and today he is the 6th generation to run Siran.

 

Miailhe, like many of the most interesting people in the wine industry, had an entire career doing something other than wine (in his case finance and real estate in the Philippines) until his mother and father retired about 15 years ago and he decided to move back to France to run the Château. He likes to stay busy (and take on challenges) because in addition to being the leader of Château Siran in 2018, he took the difficult job of running the winegrowers association of Margaux, a post that was held by his predecessor for decades!

Photo: Team at Château Siran, Marjolaine Defrance, oenologist on the left, Édourard Miailhe center, Jean-Luc Chevalier, vineyard manager, right.

In this show Édouard does double duty – telling us first about Margaux and then about the spectacular, very classic wines of Château Siran, which are an insane value and should be sitting in your cellar to age right now!

  • We discuss the Margaux AOC: the location, the climate, the (slight) elevation, the soil and the typical style of Margaux, plus how it differs from its close neighbors like Pauillac, St-Julien, Listrac, Moulis, and parts of the Haut-Médoc

  • Édouard shares a bit of the political landscape of the Margaux appellation, its long history (he is amazingly and refreshingly honest about this – Margaux hasn’t always been fancy, glitzy and glamorous!) and talks about how Bordeaux was a very different place 35 years ago.

  • We talk about the grapes in Margaux and what each brings to the blends in the appellation (with special attention given to Petit Verdot).


Then we discuss Château Siran

  • We learn the history of the château and how the property wound up in the Miailhe family’s hands in 1859.

  • Édouard tells us about the fine gravels and subsoils of the region, the proximity of Siran to the river and its unique place in the Labade commune.

 

  • The blend and the role of Petit Verdot is featured -- they use up to up to 11% of the grape in some years. We also discuss Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

  • We discuss the importance of sustainability – Édouard’s father never sprayed chemicals in the vineyard so it has been free of pesticides for more than 40 years. His vines are old, healthy and full of character.

  • We talk about the Grand Vin – Château Siran – the blending, vinification, and aging. Then we discuss the other wines:


  • We really get into the limitations of classifications and why Siran originally opted out of the 1855 Classification and why they recently decided to opt out of the Cru Bourgeois classification.


  • We close talking about how Château Siran is one of the few estates in the Médoc that people can visit. Let’s visit!!!

Photo credit: Château Siran

Other notes...

  • Chateaux mentioned: Château Giscours, Château Dauzac, Château Prieure-Lichine, Château Pichon-Lalande, Château Palmer, Château Margaux

  • Édouard also mentions Professor Denis Dubourdieu as wine consultant from St.-Émilion

  • Here’s a link to the video of Marjolaine Defrance, the enologist at Chateau Siran

 

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