The Haut-Médoc is a sub-appellation within the larger Médoc appellation on the left bank of Bordeaux. Situated between the Gironde estuary that runs down to the city of Bordeaux and the Atlantic coast, this is the home of some of Bordeaux’s famous chateaux. The six famous communes of the Médoc are contained within its boundaries: Margaux, Moulis, Listrac, St Julien, Pauillac and St Estèphe. The vineyard land that lies outside of these communes is classified as the Haut-Médoc; the result being that you can often find well-known Cru Bourgeois chateaux alongside the Cru Classé chateaux in the same appellation.
Rather confusingly, the Haut-Medoc is located in the south of the Médoc region and extends down to the city of Bordeaux; the southern most classified growths of the Haut-Médoc being Chateau La Lagune and Chateau Cantemerle. In the north of the Médoc peninsula, furthest away from Bordeaux, the vineyards are classified simply as Médoc.
Haut-Médoc wines offer reliability and consistency. Produced primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot can also be found in the blend. The wines tend to be quite rich and structured with classic Bordeaux flavours of blackcurrant, cigar, oak and plums. Usually good to drink quite young, these wines can age well for about ten years. They work well when paired with grilled meats and stews.