Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classes representing 84 percent 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.Yet 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 into 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 south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Medoc.
Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristic: 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 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 wine. Latour, 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 five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.
The wines produced in Pauillac this year are truly exceptional. The tannins in these wines provide an outstanding balance of quality and precision, enclosing the dark and spicy fruit flavours and delivering a fresh and convincing bite. The average yield for this vintage is 35hl/ha.
Some standout wines from Pauillac include Lafite Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild, and Latour, with Pichon Baron not far behind. Lynch-Bages is also extraordinary, with a rich and muscular flavour. Other notable wines include Pichon Comtesse and D'Armailhac, Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pontet-Canet, Batailley, and Grand-Puy Ducasse. The tannins in these wines are brilliantly pure, thanks to the precise management of vineyard plots and subplots. Pauillac's Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its complexity, defined by its tannins, making it the perfect region for this vintage's purity and flamboyance to shine through.