The wines of Pauillac are out of this world!!!

This is another revised updated older post in my blog. Just saying been to Pauillac several times as one of my fav areas of France. However, this time was different as was invited to attend a tasting of the famous Mouton-Rothschild house!! Stay tune and hope you enjoy the tour of wonderful Pauillac!!

If you have follow my blog over the last years, you know that wines play an important part of my life. I have detail my experiences in previous blog posts so will skip it here. Bordeaux is a wonderful city ,and written on it too. However, when it comes to speak about the Médoc that wonderful peninsula we tend to usually call it by the broader name of Bordeaux is awesome.

Well I wrote on the beaches of Medoc, and Bordeaux, and wines in general but not on my favorite wine spot in the world. No need to explain just tell you the name, Pauillac.  Pauillac is located in the department 33 Gironde in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine on the river side. The town is about 50 km from Bordeaux. The best way to come here is by car, from the rocade or beltway of Bordeaux take exit 7 or 8 then take the road N2 via Blanquefort (the route of chateaux) or the D1215 via Castelnau de Médoc. Also, there is a bus 705 from Bordeaux passing thru several wine communities and of course Pauillac,see the left hand side column for schedules on webpage:

The interesting bit of history I like here is that even if the town is known since pre history it is only until the 18C wine commerce that it became known.  In 1777 , Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette arrived in Pauillac on the banks of the Gironde river to eventually reach USA to help the American people gain their independence. A stone is erected in the river front of Pauillac to commemorate this event showing the boat La Victoire. The words written on it says, D’ici, le 25 mars 1777, s’est embarqué Marie Joseph Paul Yves Gilbert Motier ,  Marquis de LAFAYETTE, avec l’espoir de rallier les Amériques,  A bord de la “VICTOIRE”. Simply saying that here on March 25 1777, set sail Marie Joseph Paul Yves Gilbert Motier , Marquis de La Fayette with the hope of reaching the Americas on board the Victoire.

And ,if I can tell you about Pauillac then we are talking about what wine is all about, and what the world for many years are trying to imitate without success in my opinion.  The peninsula of Médoc is what is surrounded by the Atlantic ocean, the Gironde river, the pointe de Grave, the forest of Landes and the marshes of Bruges. Simply put, you have one of the best beaches in France on the Atlantic ocean side and the best wines in the world on the Gironde river side. All divided into three areas, Bas-Médoc, Haut Médoc, and the Landes. When it comes to wines, it is these famous areas that makes it great, appellations such as Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Saint Estéphe, Pauillac, Saint Julilen, Listrac-Médoc, Moulis-en-Médoc, and Margaux.

All of these using different grapes in a mix by now just call the Bordeaux blend.  The main grapes representing  more than 90% of the grape varieties are:
The Cabernet Sauvignon  brings frame and structure to wine and guard capacity.
The Merlot  roundness, flexibility, complexity and ability to appreciate the younger wine.
Cabernet Franc  brings roundness, fruity, complexity to wine.

The complementary varietals meaning in addition to the above in the blend are :
Malbec or côt brings flexibility, roundness and structure, but demands that the yield be well controlled.
The Petit Verdot brings aroma, framing and structure, but requires good maturity.
Carménère is an almost absent relic grape but still available.

As said  the wine here is big, glorious simply the best in the world. The vineyards of Pauillac are Grand Cru with almost 1100 hectares and about 37 wineries of which 18 are Grands Crus class 1855. These are:

Premiers crus : Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, and my favorite Château Mouton-Rothschild

Seconds crus :  Château Pichon-Longueville, Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

Quatrième cru : Château Duhart-Milon (part of Mouton Rothschild)

Cinquièmes crus : Château Pontet-Canet, Château Batailley, Château Haut-Batailley, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Château Grand-Puy-Ducasse, Château Lynch-Bages, Château Lynch-Moussas, Château d’Armailhac (Mouton property), Château Haut-Bages LIbéral, Château Pédesclaux, Château Clerc Milon (Mouton property), and Château Croizet-Bages.

Other than the wines things to see in Pauillac

The parish Church of Saint-Martin at the place Maréchal Foch; the museum inside the Château Mouton-Rothschild with wine objects from all civilizations. The Orangerie in the Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande with a private glass collection as well as those coming from Venice, Bohemia and French/English glasses from the 17C to 19C. It comprises about 700 pieces collected by owner May-Éliane de Lencquesaing.  The caves of Artigues, built in 1897 as a replica of those of Lourdes and with a statue of the Virgin. To allowed the pilgrims to drink water of Lourdes, they will exchange with the priest of Lourdes a barrel of wine of the Château de Haut-Bages with one full of water of Lourdes.

You have several important events here over the years we have participated some of my favorite are the open door event where many castles usually more reserved open their doors widely to the general public. Portes Ouvertes en Médoc next event are March 27 and 28 2021. webpage in French:

The Festival of the lamb, a very succulent dish here and grown locally to keep the race intact. Fête de l’Agneau de Pauillac; look up eventually in May 2021. webpage in French:

Another great event but have not participated but seen is the Le Marathon des Châteaux de Médoc; webpage in English:

And of course, let me tell you the main reason coming this time, Mouton-Rothschild!!!

The property of Château Mouton-Rothschild is a splendid place , beautiful gardens, great cellars and a wonderful museum all in one.  In 1954, Rothschild married his mistress, Pauline Fairfax Potter , an American, born in Paris, who was a fashion designer at Hattie Carnegie. After their marriage, she makes use of her aesthete talents to restore the old warehouse of the property and make it a superb mansion, which makes it famous in the world of fashion and interior decoration. She was born Pauline Potter at 10 rue Octave Feuillet in the Paris neighborhood of Passy in the 16éme district to wealthy expatriate American parents of Protestant background.Her mother was a great-grand-niece of Thomas Jefferson and a distant cousin of Britain’s Lord Falkland and Lord Cary.  Her father was a playboy who was a grandson of an Episcopal Bishop of Pennsylvania, and a nephew and great-nephew of successive Episcopal bishops of New York . Baron Philippe de Rothschild  belongs to one of the three branches of the Rothschild in France. He was a Grand prix pilot under the pseudonym of “Georges Philippe”, screenwriter, theatre producer, film producer, poet, and one of the world’s most famous winegrowers. Both are now deceased. The property was carried out by the daughter of first marriage, Philippine de Rothschild, under the stage name of Philippine Pascal, she was previously known as an actress, mainly at the Théâtre (Comédie-Française), but also, in a more marginal way to film and television. She was the daughter of Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Elisabeth Pelletier de Chambure, who died in deportation in Ravensbrück in 1945. Current principal of the company is Philippe Sereys de Rothschild , the son of Philippine de Rothschild.

Other properties of the company are  the  Domaine de Lambert, Baron Arques, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Mouton Cadet, Opus One in Californai and  Viña Almaviva in Chile amongst the best known. The company is part of a select group of winegrower owners call Primum Familiae Vini (often abbreviated PFV, Latin: “First Families of Wine”) is an association of family-owned wineries with a membership limited to twelve families. Their webpage is here:

Hope you enjoy it the general overview of this town and wine properties and especially my Mouton Rothschild, I am direct and received all their primeurs wines and lists!!!!

The official webpage for Mouton-Rothschild:

The official webpage for the controlled properties of Mouton-Rothschild:

The museum of Mouton Rothschild at the main château property in English:


Personal Pauillac pictures as a memoriam anecdote, my dear late wife Martine was not into wine when we married in 1990, however, over the years she became alongside a good taster and fine companion, will be missed forever.



Other webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Médoc tourist board on wine routes of castles:

Hoping this can be printed in your side of the world, a map of the Médoc wine region to carry along in pdf file:

The Gironde dept 33 tourist office on the wine routes:

The wines of the Médoc on wines of the Bordeaux area:

Enjoy it as I do every day is part of a state of mind or culture at its best. The Médoc is tops as in Bordeaux, France. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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