Médoc is the region that encompasses the smaller appellations of Pauillac, Margaux, St.-Estèphe & St.-Julien. As a larger appellation, it contains many chateaux that are the same style of the smaller appellations, but at a smaller price. There are two regions of the Médoc – the Bas Médoc (or lower-Médoc) and the Haut Médoc (or upper-Médoc) – so given the names as the Bas Médoc is lower elevation (yet northern) and the Haut Médoc is higher elevation (but south of Bas Médoc). Most quality wines come from the Haut Médoc, although many wines carry just the appellation Médoc.
Notable FactsSituated in the Haut-Médoc, west of the river are the communes Listrac & Moulis. Between these two appellations and the river lie many Médoc chateaux producing delicious, Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines, often at a good value. Wines of the Médoc and Haut-Médoc appellation are less expensive, yet delicious, ways to experience the left bank of Bordeaux. Most are not as complex or age-worthy as those wines from the smaller communes along the riverbank, but many are great everyday wines, particularly suited for enjoying with food.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.