Bordeaux / Pauillac

Think of a ‘classical’ Bordeaux wine, and think of a Pauillac. On the Left Bank of the Gironde, well connected to nearby ports, this appellation has enjoyed renown as the birthplace of fine wines since the 1700s.

Pauillac itself is crammed with estates of the highest quality and pedigree. Home to First Growths Latour, Lafite and Mouton-Rothschild, competition is rife between producers as Super-Seconds Pichon-Baron and Pichon-Lalande jostle for attention, and Flying Fifths such Chateau Pontet-Canet frequently belie their classification.

Mineral deposits of iron and marl are found in localized pockets and the land itself is settled along gentle ridges fed by streams, meaning a great variety of expressions of the same landscape are possible. For the most part, Pauillac producers have in common loose gravelly soil, allowing for grapes with concentrated tannins, which impart longevity to the finished wines here.

The velvety clarets from the region, based heavily on Cabernet Sauvignon, are known for their ability to age for decades, many continuing to reveal nuances a half-century after bottling.

Different Bordeaux regions have enjoyed great vogue and cachet at different times; yet Pauillac is reassuring in its consistently high profile. Centuries ago Europe and America were introduced to Bordeaux wine via Pauillac, as the wine trade grew up in its ports. Today, the region has had a key part developing newer markets with the fever for its production in Asian territories in the last years a case in point.