Facts about districts and their wines

 

MARGAUX

First famous commune on Route des Chateaux when you come from Bordeaux town. Wines here are gracious, refined and sophisticated, very aromatic and silky.

Margaux is housing no less than 21 classified chateaux, more than Pauillac, St. Julien and St. Estephe. Chateau Margaux is the only 1.Growth in this commune. There are 1413 ha of vines and Margaux includes villages of Arsac, Cantenac, Labarde, Margaux and Soussans in the appelation. Cabernet Sauvignon is the mostly used grape variety here, followed by Merlot and Petit Verdot. Soil here is mostly fine gravel with little clay underneath.

Margaux wines are generally lighter than ones from f.i. Pauillac and St.Estephe and will therefore go well with veal, lamb, chicken and birds.

Places to eat - Le Savoie, 1 place Temoille 33460 Margaux, on the left side of the road just when you leave the village of Margaux, close to City Hall. Then Brasserie du Lac, 5 route de l'ile Vincent, Margaux, bistro of Relais de Margaux and intimate La Gare Gourmande, 3, Routes des Chateaux, Labarde.

SAINT-JULIEN

Wines from Saint-Julien are generally lighter than ones from Saint Estephe and Pauillac, but tend to have more body than ones from Margaux. They can be elegant, gracious and also powerful and tannic.

This commune is the smallest one of all four mentioned here, only 900 ha vineyards. It's home for 11 classified Growths, none of them 1. Growths, but there are five 2. Growths. Among these 3 Leovilles - Leoville Las Cases, Leoville Barton and Leoville Poyferre. Soil here is gravel on the surface and clay, sometimes blended with fine gravel in the subsoil. Also here Cabernet Sauvignon rules with the great help of Merlot and Petit Verdot.

Saint Julien wines suit very well dishes made from lamb, veal, beef and venison.

Places to eat - Le Saint Julien, 11 rue du Saint Julien, 33250 Saint-Julien-Beychevelle. I have eaten there in October 2018 and it was great experience. Highly recommended. Another place in Saint Julien to eat delicious food for small money is Chez Mémé,30 Rue de Saint-Julien. Quick service and very popular among locals.

PAUILLAC 

Like in Saint Estephe, wines are very concentrated, powerful and with strong backbone. Cabernet Savignon is the king here and gives wines scent of tobacco/tobacco leaves, mint, bacon, cigar box and graphite.

Very famous commune, mainly because it's home of three 1.Crus, Lafite, Lator and Mouton Rothschild, out of Bordeaux' 5 1.Growths. Soil here has the deepest layer of gravel in whole Bordeaux - up to app. 40 meters deep! There are 1200 ha of planted vines.

Wines from Pauillac need strong dishes, so anything made from beef, venison and pork, suits wines very well.

Places to eat - Cafe Lavinal in the Bages village, just close to Chateau Lynch Bages. Reasonable prices, tasty food and impressive wine list. If you wish more sophisticated cousine and luxurious surroundings, then check out Cordeillan Bages (situated close to vineyard of Lynch Bages), which is both hotel and restaurant. High class French cuisine.

SAINT-ESTEPHE

Home of deeply coloured wines, tannic, strong and powerful. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot rules here and Petit Verdot provides a great addition of backbone and depth to wines when it's ripe. The best estates are situated close to 7 km long banks of Gironde river, which secure great micro-climate.

The best estates are situated close to 7 km long banks of Gironde river, which secure great micro-climate. Saint Estephe covers 1370 ha of vineyards and soil here is mostly gravel in different sizes on the surface with clay and limestones as subsoil.There are 5 classified Growths (none 1.Growth). Cos d'Estournel, Montrose, Calon Segur, Lafon Rochet and Cos Labory, and whole 37 Cru Bourgeois (largest number of CB place in one commune everywhere in Bordeaux). Among the latter, Capbern, Haut Marbuzet, Meyney and Phelan Segur are the great value for money.

St.Estephe wines go very well with dishes made from especially lamb, beef, venison and pork.

Place to eat - I recommend Le Peyrat, 19 Littoral, 33180 Saint-Estephe, overlooking Gironde river, close to the vineyard of Montrose. Small restaurant, mostly frequented by local people, lorry drivers and workers from neighboring chateaux. Very few tourists know this place. Tasty food, cheap and very kind hosts. When I'm