Appellation Article

Haut-Médoc

Last edited on 12/8/2007 by nwinther
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Long-standing fame The legally created division into Médoc and Haut-Médoc dates from 1935. But as long ago as 1815 a Chartrons broker, whose word carried weight, spoke of great red wines in the Haut-Médoc, so recognizing the high quality successfully achieved by this region's growers in the eighteenth century. The same Bordeaux broker revealed that the business world of the Chartrons and the great Bordeaux proprietors had established a sort of league-table of the parishes in which the vine-growing communes of today's Haut-Médoc appellation showed up well.

The Haut-Médoc appellation stretches over some thirty seven miles from north to south, from Saint-Seurin de Cadourne to Blanquefort.
Within this area, certain zones produce wines exclusively with the Haut-Médoc appellation. It has terroirs of remarkable quality. And although we may note a certain predominance of layers of gravel (essentially Garonne gravel) from the Quaternary, all these sites are characterized by their wide diversity.
Today in the southernmost communes of the appellation, the suburbs of Bordeaux, numerous vineyards which existed at the beginning of the twentieth century have disappeared, victims of urban expansion. But the vines live on... because man has retained his devotion to them.

The astonishing variety of different terroirs, the result of the very extent of the area, explains the diversity of Haut-Médoc wines, a fact which is rare within one and the same appellation.
But, over and above the differences, linked to this mosaic of climatic and geological influence, all these wines have the same family traits of character.
Alert and lively, full-bodied without being too powerful, and harmoniously balanced, they acquire a rare bouquet over the years.

In order to have the right to the Haut-Médoc appellation of controlled origin, red wines must:
- come from the communes of Blanquefort, Le Taillan, Parempuyre, Le Pian, Ludon, Macau, Arsac, Labarde, Cantenac, Margaux, Avensan, Castelnau, Soussans, Arcins, Moulis, Listrac, Lamarque, Cussac, Saint-Laurent de Médoc, Saint-Julien, Pauillac, Saint-Sauveur, Cissac, Saint-Estèphe, Vertheuil, Saint-Seurin de Cadourne "excluding all the parcels situated on recent alluvium and sand on impermeable subsoils",
- satisfy precise production conditions : grape-varieties (Cabernet-Sauvignon, Cabernet-Franc, Carmenère, Merlot Noir, Petit Verdot, Cot or Malbec), minimum of sugar (178 grammes - 6.27 oz. - per litre of must) degree (an acquired 10°5) base yield (48 hectolitres per hectare).
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