Bordeaux – France
Saint-Estèphe is an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) for red wine in the Bordeaux region, located in the Médoc subregion. It takes its name from the commune of Saint-Estèphe and is the northernmost of the six communal appellations in Médoc. Five classified growths of 1855 (Grands Crus Classés en 1855) are located within the appellation area. Saint-Estèphe has held AOC recognition since 1936.
The varieties recommended for this appellation are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carménère, Côt and Petit Verdot. The AOC regulations do not stipulate the exact proportions to be combined, but in practice most blends consist predominantly of Cabernet Sauvignon. The proportions according to which the six varieties are combined give the wines from each château or estate their own distinctive personality. While some châteaux increase the proportion of Merlot in order to make their young wines easier on the palate, others continue to grow a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon. The châteaux of Cos d’Estournel, Lilian Ladouys and Meyney, for example, use 60% or more of the latter variety.