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Douglas Blyde goes on a mission to discover the Médoc

Published:  07 January, 2014

A bottle bigger than a very big man towers over revolving baggage at Bordeaux airport. Around it, sommeliers gather. Bacchanalian worship. They are set to explore the Médoc. Between the Atlantic and river Gironde, 12,000 acres of tropical sea then marsh drained by merchant Dutch in the seventeenth century support tenacious vines. The châteaux with the best hand of land gained lasting recognition from the 1855 classification ordered for Napoleon III's Universal Exposition. It emerged all reds bar one (Haut-Brion, Graves) were reaped from the Médoc. However, in addition to those hallowed bottles (the Grand Cru Classé accounts for 20% of production) this is a land of diversity.

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