Appellation Contrôlée (AC) Saint-Estèphe wine is a classification of red wine produced in the Saint-Estèphe sub-region of the Bordeaux wine region in southwestern France. It is a regulated classification system that ensures that the wine meets specific standards and is made according to certain guidelines.
The AC Saint-Estèphe classification only includes red wines, which are typically made from a blend of grape varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The grapes used in AC Saint-Estèphe wines are grown in specific vineyard areas in the Saint-Estèphe sub-region, which are known for their unique soil and climatic conditions.
Once harvested, the grapes are carefully fermented and aged in oak barrels to enhance their flavor and texture. AC Saint-Estèphe wines must also meet strict regulations regarding alcohol content, residual sugar and other factors to ensure consistency and quality across all producers.
The resulting AC Saint-Estèphe wines are known for their full-bodied, complex and robust character. They typically have a deep, dark color and a rich, intense flavor profile with notes of dark fruit such as blackcurrant and blackberry, as well as hints of cedar, tobacco and earth. They are characterized by their firm tannins, good acidity and long finish.