St Estèphe is the northernmost of the most important communes of the Médoc and borders
Pauillac on its
southernmost border, with only a gully and stream separates it from Ch. Lafite. To the north lies the Bas-Médoc.
St Estèphe is defined by the depth of its gravel, which is ubiquitous but of
varying depths and occasionally very shallow, when clay predominates. This
keeps the soil cooler and wetter than its counterparts so that the wines can
appear fresh in lighter vintages, but superbly successful in hot, dry
The best châteaux in the south of the commune have the deepest soil and the
thickest gravel. Cos d'Estournel has an
exceptional terroir with its vineyards being located on a south-facing ridge of
gravel with excellent drainage.
St Estèphe is the least gravelly of main Médoc communes and in the north of
the commune the vineyards are heavier and more clay-based leading to a rustic
style of wine being produced.
The wines can appear austere in youth with a discernable ferric note at some
châteaux, but the best typically display good depth of colour, pronounced
acidity an tannins in youth and are exceptionally long-lived. At their best,
they are the equal of almost any Bordeaux. The well-regarded St Estèphe
co-operative controls the production of about half the appellation.
Cos (Ch. Cos d'Estournel), Ch. Montrose, Ch. Calon-Ségur, Ch. Lafon-Rochet, Ch. Les Ormes de Pez, Ch. Beau-Site, Ch. Cos Labory, Ch. Phélan-Ségur