The term Médoc is used to refer to the entire region of the left bank which stretches up from the city of Bordeaux to the Pointe de Grave at the tip of the peninsular, where the world’s oldest lighthouse, the Phare de Cordouan, dating back to the 16th century, stands guard to the entry to the Gironde estuary.
In wine terms, the appellation Médoc refers to the northern most vineyards of the peninsula that starts just above St. Estèphe and reaches up to Bégadan in the north, covering 16 communes in total. In the past, this area was called the Bas Médoc but the rather derogative name did not do justice to the quality of the estates found here, some of which rival those of the Haut-Médoc including Chateau Potensac and Chateau La Tour de By.
The Médoc appellation covers 5700 hectares, which represents just over one third of the total Médoc vineyards. The soils are clay and gravel and the grapes are, as for the rest of the Médoc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carmenère. As in the rest of the Médoc, almost exclusively red wine is produced (the rare bottles of white wine have to be labeled with the simple “Bordeaux” appellation.) The wines have a rich, full-bodied character but are wines that can be enjoyed relatively young when their fruit flavours predominate.
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