If there is one appellation after Margaux that people recognize, it is Pauillac, the home of three of the Bordeaux First Growths (Latour, Lafite-Rothschild and Mouton-Rothschild) with classified growths making up a whopping 84 percent of the appellation’s production. Bordered to the south by St. Julien and to the north by St. Estèphe, this is resolutely Cabernet country where the deep levels of gravel and rolling hills provide the perfect drainage and nutrients for the vines. The famous walled vineyard of the L’Enclos at Chateau Latour is considered to be the heart of the appellation with its gravel hillsides and its view of the estuary.
The centre of the appellation is the town and port of Pauillac that hugs the Gironde estuary. It is surprisingly small and somewhat run down although the Cazes family of Lynch Bages has done a great deal to spur on local tourism with their restoration of the village of Bages and a top hotel. Visitors to Pauillac are not here to walk through the town; they are here to visit the top vineyards and the rota of top names from the two Pichons (Baron and Lalande) through the first growths, to the wonderful much loved estates of Lynch Bages, Grand Puy Lacoste and Pontet-Canet lying nearby.
There are approximately 1200 hectares of vineyards, divided amongst 115 different growers. The style of Pauillac is rich, tannic and fruity with classic flavours of cigar and blackcurrant. Many people believe that it is the quintessential taste of Bordeaux. The wines pair well with lamb (the famous milk fed version is called “agneau de Pauillac), duck, cep mushrooms and hard cheeses. They are also known to age extremely well (the legendary vintages being still wonderful to drink after 50-60 years)
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