Bordeaux, Pauillac is on the west bank of the Gironde, generally known as the "Left Bank". St-Julianis to the south. A stream calledRuisseau de Juillacmarks part of the boundary between the two communes; other parts are marked by a stone wall and a country lane. To the north, across theJalle du Breuil, lies St Estephe. Pauillac is bounded on the west by the parish of St Sauverand the Landes forest. All three communes lie within the Haut-Medoc. The town of Pauillac is the largest in the Médoc, with a population of over 5000. Pauillac is somewhat more elevated than the surrounding area, rising to a peak of nearly 30 metres above sea-level in the region of Chateau Pontent-Canet. The soil is gravelly, as with most of the Haut-Médoc. The forest to the west shelters the vines from the Atlantic winds. Pauillac contains around 1200 hectares of vineyards.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the predominant grape, but it is invariably blended with other grapes. As with all red Bordeaux, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carmenere may also be included in the blend (although wines will not necessarily include all six grapes). Prior to the 19th century, Malbec was predominant.
The style has been described as "stark". The predominant fruit flavour is usually blackcurrant, sometimes veering into plum. Pencil-shavings and cigar-box are also characteristic notes.
Wine from Pauillac may be labelled as Haut-Médoc (usually wine which the château considers inferior to its main offering and wishes to market under a different label). Similarly, second (or third) wines from the grandes châteaux may be labelled simply as Pauillac.