Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting 75%
of the Médoc's first growths and with grand cru classés representing 84%
of Pauillac's production
For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac
imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or
restaurants, with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by
Jean-Michel Cazes, there is a small port and yacht harbour and a
dominant petrochemical plant.
But outside the town, there is arguably the greatest concentration of
fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First
Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the
north and St
Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important
iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly rolling landscape, cut by a series
of small streams running to the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two
gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the
other to the southest, with the vines reaching a greater depth than found
anywhere else in the Médoc.
Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite
Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St
Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and
subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton
Rothschild's vineyards lie on a on a well-drained gravel ridge and
with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon can
produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic
arguably Bordeaux's most consistent first growth, is located in southern
Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel rich with superb drainage and
Latour's vines penetrate as far as 5 metres into the soil. It produces arguably
the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.
Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch.
Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch.
Forts de Latour, Ch.