envelope

France Pauillac

Year in, year out, France enjoys its prestigious reputation as the producer of the finest wines in the world. With a wine making history which spans several thousand years and owes its expertise to the Romans, it comes as little surprise that this most highly esteemed of the Old World wine countries continues to impress and enchant both novices and experts to this day. Despite the rise in quality of wines from neighboring European countries, not to mention the New World, the French wine industry continues to boom, with up to eight billion bottles being produced in recent years. However, France prides itself on always putting quality before quantity, and the wide range in fine produce is a testament to the dedication and knowledge of the wineries across the country. Indeed, from rich and complex reds to light and aromatic white wines, French wines are as varied and interesting as they are enjoyable to drink, making this country a firm favorite for wine lovers across the globe.

The commune consists of only 3000 acres of vineyards in the Haut-Medoc between the villages of Saint-Julien to the south and Saint-Estephe to the north, but is home to three of Bordeaux's five first growth wines: Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Latour, and Chateau Mouton Rothschild.

A classic Pauillac wine is rich, dense-coloured, full-bodied and profound with an elegant mix of black currants and cedary oak that is luxurious and distinguished when mature. There is a wide variation on this theme throughout Pauillac, in part due to the differing terrain across the region. This is shown within the 3 First growths where the Lafite is complex and elegant, the Mouton-Rothschild is voluptuous with power and the Latour is full yet refined. There are many other styles amongst Pauillac's Chateaux, ranging from elegant wines which are drinkable younger, such as Pichon Lalande to the more tannic, deep style of Lynch-Bages.

This commune, on the banks of the Gironde, has small hills which are unusual in the Medoc. The soil contains heavy gravel which is important to the wine growing as it reflects the sun and allows excellent drainage. It is differences in the subsoil that contribute towards each Chateau's style. Lafite has a limestone base which leads to a softer, aromatic flavour; Mouton-Rothschild has sand within its gravelly soil which produces its richness, and Latour enjoys a bed of predominantly gravel enabling it to be consistent even in wet years.

This region of Haut Medoc sets the standard for each Bordeaux vintage and is a wonderful and impressive representative. A great deal of pleasure awaits anyone exploring this wonderful appellation.