You have no items in your shopping cart.
Jewels of the left bank of Bordeaux, in the wine region of Pauillac treats us with the quality of its wines. With three wines in the five Great Growths of 1855 ranking (Lafite Rothschild, Latour and Mouton Rothschild) and 18 classified growths the Pauillac appellation is part of Médoc pearls. Read more on Pauillac
Stendhal already praised the terroir of Pauillac
The vine growing began to develop in Pauillac in the 14th and 15th centuries, but it was in the 18th century that it really took off. During the industrial revolution, and thanks to its location on the banks of the Gironde River, Pauillac was the departure point for transatlantic liners bound for the Americas. Notably, in 1777, the Marquis de La Fayette set sail from Pauillac to rescue the American people during the War of Independence.
As in the whole of Bordeaux, the prosperity of the vineyards of Pauillac was halted in its momentum by the phylloxera crisis in 1879 and that caused by mildew in 1882. It took nearly a century to recover, and it was from the 1950s and 1960s that it finally experienced a real renaissance.
The appearance of the city and its quays still reflects the golden age of the 18th and 19th centuries. Stendhal, impressed by its beauty, described it as follows: "Suddenly we see, on the left side of the river, eight to ten beautiful three-story houses that look like opulent country houses: this is Pauillac. This is Pauillac." The 18 Grands Crus Classés appellation was validated by the decree of November 14, 1936, which defined its specifications.
In fact, 18 Pauillac chateaux were included in the 1855 classification of the grands crus classés, among which three were elected premiers grands crus classés, the Châteaux Lafite-Rothschild, Latour and Mouton-Rothschild.
The Pauillac appellation counts 18 crus classés
The AOC Pauillac, located on the left bank of the Gironde, and exposed to exceptional climatic and geological conditions, produces very great wines. The appellation area includes 1.200 hectares of vines and produces every year 54.000 hectolitres of red wine. Note that Mouton-Rothschild also produces a white wine.
The crus classés represent 85% of the production of the appellation. Located on a gravelly hilltop, its vineyards are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon associated with Merlot and, to a lesser extent, Petit Verdot and Malbec. The Pauillac appellation area extends on the left bank of the Gironde estuary, on a strip of land seven kilometers long and four kilometers wide. It is bounded to the north by the Jalle du Breuil and to the south by the Juillac stream. In the commune of Pauillac, it also includes a few plots of land located in the communes of Cissac-Médoc, Saint-Estèphe, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle and Saint-Sauveur, as defined by the appellation's specifications.
The vineyard is located on quaternary gravelly terraces, covered with graves garonnaises and distributed in crests with variable gradients, between 3 and 30 meters. Notably, the Château Lafite-Rothschild culminates at an altitude of 30 meters above the Jalle du Breuil and the Lafite marsh, and the Château Mouton-Rothschild also sits at 30 meters. The hilltops have optimal drainage and the water flows naturally towards the marshes and streams at the bottom of the slopes, which carry them towards the Gironde.
Château Latour, on the other hand, rests on a subsoil that is more clayey than limestone. And its gravels are of a remarkable quality. Dating from the Quaternary, they accumulate the heat of the sun during the day, which they restore during the night, thus playing the role of thermal regulator. They are very favorable to the grape varieties of cabernet franc and cabernet-sauvignon. Merlot, on the other hand, flourishes on clayey soils. The grape variety is about 70 to 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and to a lesser extent Cabernet Franc, Carmenère, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
Pauillac wines have an exceptional ageing potential
The robe of Pauillac red wines is very characteristic of Bordeaux, as it offers a ruby color with purplish tints.
The mouth is ample and supple and the attack is very powerful. The tanins are fine, but firm and full-bodied. The nose is complex, notes of red and black fruits, morello cherries and blackcurrant, gradually giving way to aromas of vanilla, leather, and finally to spices, liquorice, oak and toasted new wood. The final note is very long.
After a few years, the tannins open up, and losing their initial aggressiveness, they melt into the matter.
The ageing potential of these wines is absolutely exceptional, especially for great years. They go wonderfully with truffle and foie gras dishes, but also with game, red meat and cheese. They are intended to be consumed with typical and refined dishes. They should be decanted two hours before serving.