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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- Pauillac5ième Grand Cru Classé 0.75l RedNew€39.70 €32.81Bright ruby red colour with a, fragrant, fruity nose with lovely fruit flavours of cherries and blackcurrant. Very well put together with charming, feminine and so drinkable. There are fresh Cabernet flavours in the supple, creamy finish. Claire Lurton has made a very pretty wine which should be good to drink quite young.
- Pauillac5ième Grand Cru Classé 0.75l RedPrimeur€41.97 €34.69Very dark intense purple colour, a bit woody and balsamic in nose and then the wine opens up to reveal very ripe plummy fruit with notes of liquorice, Bing cherries, cedar, Asian spices and white tobacco. There is a lot going on here if the complex palate of the flavours is anything to go by. The wine ends with a nice vein of freshness and a composed, pure, juicy finish. Made from a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Merlot this is a successful wine for mid-term drinking.
- Pauillac0.75l RedNewPrimeur€45.40 €37.52This is a lovely second wine made from a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc and it is the Merlot that plays such an important role here making the wine creamy, red-fruited and fresh. On the nose, there are aromas of redcurrants and cherries, some minerals and spice. The wine is pretty, open and ripe with lovely, soft, fine tannins and beautiful balance.
- Pauillac5ième Grand Cru Classé 0.75l Red€61.40 €50.74A perennial favourite and always reasonably priced, we love this 2014 for its gorgeous sweet blackcurrant fruit and its lovely freshness. Very fine, very Pauillac with an overriding impression of purity and elegance. Lovely.
- Pauillac5ième Grand Cru Classé 0.75l RedNew€76.00 €62.81We arrive quite late in the day at Grand Puy Lacoste and Francois Xavier Borie is always waiting for us with a welcoming smile. This year his smile was broad since he feels that the 2017 vintage has really banished the curse of the years with a seven in them. Dark purple colour, lovely nose of cabernet flavours – cassis, fresh pepper and cedar, very open and seductive. Pretty black fruit on the attack with spice and fine tannins. Everything is in balance here. Pure and persistent in the finish.
- 2018 Château Duhart-MilonPauillac4ième Grand Cru Classé 0.75l RedPrimeur€78.65 €65.00Eric Koehler, winemaker at Lafite, says that Duhart is so great because of the quality of the Merlot this year that matured perfectly in the late, clay soils. Made from a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot grapes this is a stunning wine for which we are delighted to have an allocation for the first time. It has a very intense black purple colour; a wonderful nose of cassis, summer flowers, herbs, coffee and minerals; on the palate it is firmly textured but fresh with lovely silky tannins and the power comes out in the finish which is spicy, rich and lingering. So classy.