The Pauillac appellation and its great Châteaux

by Mélissa Dameron
Vignobles de l'AOC Pauillac

Pauillac, an authentic and unique terroir

Pauillac is one of the eight Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée of the Médoc. Located on the left bank of the Gironde, the appellation has more than 1,204 hectares of vines and alone includes three of the first five classified growths of 1855: Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild and Latour. A characteristic that says a lot about the quality of the appellation, especially since like the Saint Julien appellation, Pauillac has nearly 80% of the vineyards of Grands Crus Classés.

Pauillac has a unique terroir, soils sculpted by the waters of the Garonne. The soils are generally made up of gravel, large pebbles that allow the soil to drain. The gravel also keeps the soil cool during the day and restores the heat to the vines at night.

The Châteaux that produce their wine in the Pauillac appellation cultivate several grape varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon is the majority, supplemented by Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

These berries mark the wines with aromas of blackcurrant, morello cherries, often associated with vanilla and woodiness inherited from aging in barrels.

Pauillac appellation

The great Châteaux in the Pauillac appellation

Pauillac is undoubtedly the star appellation of the Médoc. It has 18 classified growths. Here are the greatest classified growths of the Pauillac appellation:

Our selection of Pauillac wines

Pichon Longueville Baron 1989

Château Pichon Longueville Baron 1989

Robert Parker Wine Advocate 95/100 – wine tasting february 1997

“Both the 1989 and 1990 vintages exhibit opaque, dense purple colors that suggest massive wines of considerable extraction and richness. The dense, full-bodied 1989 is brilliantly made with huge, smoky, chocolatey, cassis aromas intermingled with scents of toasty oak. Well-layered, with a sweet inner-core of fruit, this awesomely endowed, backward, tannic, prodigious 1989 needs another 5-6 years of cellaring; it should last for three decades or more. It is unquestionably a great Pichon-Longueville-Baron.”

Château Lynch Bages 1996

Château Lynch Bages 1996

Rober Parker Wine Advocate 91/100 – wine tasting july 2016

“The 1996 Lynch Bages has a delightful fresh, minty bouquet that does not quite deliver the complexity of recent vintages, nicely perfumed with hints of wilted rose petal developing with time. The palate is well balanced with a fine line of acidity, fresh from the start with blackcurrant pastilles, a touch of tobacco with a tightly coiled, minerally, slightly sharp finish that perhaps just needs a little more depth. I appreciate that lingering pencil lead note on the aftertaste, completing a solid if unspectacular Lynch Bages. It’s the kind of Pauillac I would grab from a restaurant list at the right price.”

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