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Best Producers

France: Bordeaux: The Medoc

What is the Medoc?
As the Gironde river flows out to the sea past the city of Bordeaux, it meets another river, the Dordogne, and forms a tidal estuary known as the Garonne. The strip of land between the estuary and the Atlantic is known as the Medoc. It’s not much to look at, but certain parts of it, given the right weather conditions, can produce some of the world’s greatest wines. Within the Medoc the most glamorous appellations include Margaux, St. Julien, Pauillac, and St. Estephe. Though there are minor differences between them, they can be broadly generalized as producing firm, intense, and flavorful reds, among them some of the world’s premier expressions of cabernet sauvignon. In recent times the producers on this list have come under greater and greater demand. The world has decided that it wants Bordeaux and there’s only so much to go around. This is an equation for spiraling prices, and the Bordelais have been more than happy to accommodate, particularly with successful vintages in 1995 and 1996 after four years of hardship in the early part of the decade. 1997 does not appear to have been as kind to the region, though pricing remains up in the air. In 1998 one thing remains certain, to get the very best of the Medoc you will have to pay more dearly for it than ever. The savvy consumer would be wise to look for the better vintages as they are coming into stores and see which producers, particularly in the second or third tier, seem to represent a modicum of value. With this approach Bordeaux need not be as painfully expensive as it otherwise might.

Premier Producers
Cos d’Estournel
Gruaud-Larose
Lafitte-Rothschild
Latour
Leoville-Las Cases
Lynch Bages
Margaux
Mouton-Rothschild
Pichon Lalande


Great Producers
Beychevelle
Branaire Ducru
Calon-Segur
Canon
Cantemerle
Clerc Milon
Cos Labory
d’Angludet
Ducru Beaucaillou
Duhart-Milon-Rothschild
Les Forts de Latour
Giscours
Grand-Puy-Ducasse
Grand-Puy-Lacoste
Haut-Bages-Liberal
Haut-Batailley
Haut Marbuzet
Kirwan
Labegorce
Langoa-Barton
Lascombes
Leoville-Barton
Leoville-Poyferre
Magdelaine
Monbrison
Montrose
Pavie
Phelan-Segur
Pichon Longueville Baron
Pontet-Canet
Prieure-Lichine
Rausan-Segla
Siran
Talbot


Dependable Producers
Batailley
Beaumont
Belgrave
Brane-Cantenac
Cordeillan-Bages
Coufran
d’Armailhac
d’Issan
Dauzac
Dufort-Vivens
Fourcas-Hosten
Lagrange
La Lagune
Larose Trintaudon
Malescasse
Malescot-St.-Exupery
Marbuzet
Les Ormes de Pez
La Tour de By
Pibran
Rauzan-Gassies

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