Wines bearing the simple Médoc designation are produced from vineyards located just north of the village of Saint-Estèphe, flanked by the Gironde River and the Atlantic Ocean. The red wines produced in the Médoc AOC are terrific Bordeaux values, produced for everyday consumption with no long cellaring necessary. These red Bordeaux of Médoc are typically light in style, with fine fruit flavors.
The Haut-Médoc encompasses the famed communes of Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac, Saint-Julien and Margaux, but also includes vineyards surrounding these appellations. The wines from these surrounding vineyards are labeled Haut-Médoc AOC. They share many of the traditions and qualities of their prestigious neighbors, but are generally produced in a lighter style with fragrant aromas.