Pauillac Bordeaux Wine Guide, with a history of the Pauillac appellation, look at the character and style of the wines, Producer and Chateaux Listings with links to pages on every important property in the Pauillac region with wine tasting notes, histories of the best Pauillac properties, images, technical information and Bordeaux wine buying tips for all the best wines and chateau in the Pauillac appellation.
Pauillac is possibly the most famous of all the Bordeaux wine producing appellations.
If you want to read about other Bordeaux wine producers in different Bordeaux appellations: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles If you are interested in learning more about Bordeaux wine, we offer numerous articles on everything about Bordeaux wine, from a history of the Bordeaux region and the famous 1855 Classification, the grapes used to produce Bordeaux wine and even vintage summaries, covering Bordeaux wine from 1900 to today: All About Bordeaux Wine Guide
The links located to the left of the page lead to the best Pauillac wines and their producers. You can read wine tasting notes, detailed profiles and histories of the estates, details on the wines, wine making, soils and other important information, as well as view images of the following top Bordeaux value wine producers:
Pauillac has 1,199 hectares under vine. A total of 115 different chateaux produce wine in Pauillac. The style of Pauillac wine is what many think of as text book Bordeaux wine. The wines of Pauillac are rich, full bodied and tannic, while gracefully combining elegance with power coupled with complexity. They have the ability to age and evolve for decades. It has been said the best Pauillac wines taste like “An iron fist in a velvet glove.” That is an apt description of Pauillac wine. The top Bordeaux wines from the Pauillac appellation of the Left Bank of Bordeaux can age for decades and even up to a century or more! Depending of course on the vintage and how the wine is stored. The wines share certain aromatic qualities as well. Cassis, cedar, tobacco, truffle, dark berries and lead pencil are common scents, found in many Pauillac wines.
Pauillac is perhaps the most famous Bordeaux wine producing commune in the Medoc. This is easy to explain. Pauillac is the home of 3 of the 5 First Growths, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Latour and Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Chateau Mouton Rothschild is the wine to have been promoted since the original classification took place in 1855. Aside from 3 First Growths, two Second Growths also call Pauillac their home. Only one 4th growth calls Pauillac home. But 12 chateaux, ranked as Fifth Growths are situated in Pauillac! Something else to consider, there was a time no that long ago when many Pauilac 5th growth estates were sold to consumers based on their previous reputations. That is not the case today. The vast majority of chateau in Pauillac are pushing the envelope trying to produce the best Bordeaux wine possible. And just the Fifth Growths, the two Pichons, Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron are locked in a struggle to make the best Pauillac they can!
The initial vineyards in Pauillac were planted in the second half of the 13th century. Once the Dutch helped drain the swamps, the cultivation on vineyards continued well into the 18th century. Aside from the exceptional terroir for grapes used in making Bordeaux wine, one of the main reasons Pauillac became popular was its proximity to the local ports in the Left Bank. The ease of shipping was a major consideration when wine barrels needed to be moved by men, horses and wagons.
Continued increasing demand for Bordeaux wine eventually built an entire area devoted to the trade. In fact, by the early 1800′s, a myriad of merchants, brokers, wine makers and other people associated with the Bordeaux wine trade began moving to Bordeaux, especially in the Pauillac area, near the water. Those reasons are how Pauillac became the largest city in the Medoc.
The other and more important reason Pauillac earned its reputation is for the wines. Of course those wines could never have developed without the unique terroir of the appellation. Located just north of St. Julien and south of St. Estephe, Pauillac is perfect for the grapes needed for Bordeaux wine. At the southern end, the soils feature gravel and sand with deposits of iron and clay. The further north you travel, there are also deposits of limestone and the level of clay increases. This type of soil found in Pauillac naturally force the vines to delve deep into the soil, seeking nourishment. The complex terroir is aided by ample water. On the north, there is the Gironde river. To the south, you have the Atlantic ocean. The chateaux with the finest terroir are located on properties with slopes and elevations, that are not far from the water. Most of those chateau are situated right off the main highway, the D2. Other estates, like Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste are located off the D1, slightly more inland.
Pauillac vineyards are planted with all 6 Bordeaux red grape varietals. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most prevalent, followed by Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and a few properties maintain a small amount of Carmenere. White wine is produced by some chateaux as well. The white wines are produced from primarily Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle. The white wine comes from vines located outside the Pauillac appellation.
Pauillac is an exciting appellation these days. Chateau Pontet Canet is on fire, producing wines that are equal to any of the Super Seconds, and possibly the First Growths as well. Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron are in competition to see which can make better wine and Lynch Bages is not far behind. It’s an exciting time to be a Pauillac lover!
According to the official decree of November 14, 1936, Bordeaux wine from the Pauillac AOC must: come from the commune of Pauillac, or one of the few, clearly marked parcels in the communes of Cissac, St. Julien, St. Estephe or St. Sauveur, to the exclusion of areas located in modern alluvial soils and sand over impermeable sub soil. The wine are required to meet specific production conditions with regards to allowable grape varieties, minimum sugar content, alcoholic strength (10.5° acquired alcohol) and limited yields (reviewed each year).