Having the deepest gravel in the Medoc with some chalk and clay, Pauillac also has the highest proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon and so was a strong contender for the best commune in 2014 – especially as the autumn heatwave meant Medoc Cabernet ripened later, giving an advantage over Merlot.
There are many different Pauillacs, but they are all definitely ‘Pauillac’, and in a Bordeaux vintage like 2014 the showing was strong overall. Yet, along with some striking successes, there were still some wines that failed to capture the clarity and class of the vintage.
Perhaps this will show in time, but with a harvest so well suited to the commune I expected more regularity. 2014 was not a year to go for over-extraction and my preferred wines showed elegance over power. The two Pichons were, as usual, totally different in profile, while the second wines from the three first growths showed particularly well.
Here are Steven Spurrier’s 10 top scoring Pauillac reds: