Napoleon III’s Exposition Universelle in Paris brought about the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux and established the region as one of the most famous wine regions in the world. However, the classification is relatively antiquated. That’s why we’re turning our attention to the communes of Bordeaux, areas where early competition and industry momentum paved the way for amazing wines to flourish.
On the Left Bank, there are four famous communes: Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac, Saint-Julien, and Margaux. All four are nestled up against the Gironde estuary where the land is abound with croupes, or large outcroppings of gravel with clay and limestone underneath. Given the excellent water drainage made possible by these croupes, these communes are known for producing some of the most austere and beautiful Cabernet Sauvignons in France.
Saint-Estèphe is the biggest of the four main communes, but the most sought-after wines come out of Pauillac where the croupes are the tallest. Pauillac reds are widely acclaimed for their complexity, as many dish up unexpected savory notes of tobacco, truffle, smoke, and currants. In Saint-Julien, the wines start shifting from austere to more soft and perfumed while the wines of Margaux tend to be even lighter and take on a ruby-tinted color.
Today on “Wine 101,” Keith dives into each of the four famous Left Bank communes and explains what conditions are present to produce such phenomenal wines. Tune in for more.
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“Wine 101” was produced, recorded, and edited by yours truly, Keith Beavers, at the VinePair headquarters in New York City. I want to give a big old shout-out to co-founders Adam Teeter and Josh Malin for creating VinePair. Big shout-out to Danielle Grinberg, the art director of VinePair, for creating the most awesome logo for this podcast. Also, Darby Cicci for the theme song. And I want to thank the entire VinePair staff for helping me learn something new every day. See you next week.
*Image retrieved from JackF via stock.adobe.com