The northern third of the peninsula above the Haut-Médoc, once known as the Bas Médoc, is home to well over a hundred cru bourgeois, other chateau and several wine co-operatives. Around 4400 hectares of vines are planted here, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot followed by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In such a large area there are clearly a variety of soils from those with limestone, sandy and gravelly soils to those predominately clay based. There are no classed growths in this area although there are a number of excellent value reds to be had amongst the many hundreds of wines from this area. It is difficult to generalise as there are some extremely polished wines produced here but often there is a peaty, earthy quality to the fruit which is quite attractive. The wines are also generally earlier maturing than the wines of the Haut-Médoc.
Amongst the finest wines under the simple Médoc appellation, Château Potensac is the finest and capable of producing wine of classed growth quality. The second wine here, Chappelle de Potensac is also excellent value and provides a solid, uncomplicated glass of Médoc at a great price [10-12 euros] I have also regularly followed and rarely been disappointed with wines from Château La Tour de By and Château Tour St Bonnet. Château Loudenne has made big strides in quality in recent years as has Château Blaignan. I’ve also enjoyed Château Greysac, Château Castera, Château La Cardonne, Château Rollan de By and Château Les Ormes Sorbet over the years.
For the raw tasting notes on wines of the Médoc click here. For more detailed notes on the châteaux click on the individual links on the drop down menu. This page will be updated shortly with some missing tasting notes on the 2010 vintage tasted more recently [Vinexpo 2013] as well as some others.