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Château Margaux Director Paul Pontallier Dies

March 29, 2016

Paul Pontallier, who oversaw production at the famed Bordeaux first-growth Château Margaux for 33 years, helping lead it through a renaissance in quality, died March 28 after an extended battle with cancer. He was 59.

Pontallier was hired as technical director at Margaux in 1983 by owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos. He was just 27 at the time. He worked closely with Mentzelopoulos, and their partnership went on to become the longest-tenured relationship between a first-growth owner and director. The pair fueled a resurgence of the estate to the very top of Bordeaux’s qualitative hierarchy. Under his guidance, Château Margaux’s grand vin earned classic ratings of 95 points or higher in 15 vintages between 1983 and 2013 (the 2014 and 2015 vintages are not yet bottled).

Wine Spectator has more on Pontallier’s remarkable life in wine.

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