The first known vineyards in Saint-Estèphe
date back to the Roman occupation, but the zone became famous for its wines when négociants from Bordeaux began maturing and selling the wines themselves. The prosperous 19th century saw the creation of the great châteaux that still stand today, and that movement now continues with the consolidation of smaller properties.
A land of great wines, Saint-Estèphe is located almost in the center of the Médoc, near the estuary of the Gironde, halfway between Bordeaux and Pointe de Grave. Covering 1,250 hectares (3,089 acres) of vineyards it is the largest of the six Médoc appellations, with an annual production that can reach 60,000 hectoliters. Every category is represented here: there are 5 Crus Classés, 45 Crus Bourgeois, 25 Crus Artisans, and other Crus. The land here is distinguished by a remarkable diversity in the composition of the layers, due to the undulating landscape, and excellent natural drainage. Quartz and gravel are scattered throughout, mixed with a light, sandy top layer that gives the wines a special finesse. The subsoil is the famous limestone of Saint-Estèphe, which surfaces at the western end of the village. The wines grown here are predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Thanks to ideal climatic and geological conditions, the wines of Saint-Estèphe are marked by their solidity and robust constitution, which allow for very long aging while also preserving their youth and freshness. Marked by a subsoil that is heavier in clay than that in the other appellations along the banks of the river, Saint-Estèphe gives distinctive wines with an impressively rich tannic structure, a lovely deep red color, and a strong backbone in unison with excellent aromatic finesse. The most prized terroirs of Saint-Estèphe include those of Château Cos d'Estournel, Château de Pez, Château Le Crock, and Château Bellevue; and there are many other, equally highly regarded properties, such as Château Calon Ségur, Château Montrose, Château Les Ormes de Pez, and Château Phélan Ségur.
More informations on the website of the wines of Saint-Estèphe