Bordeaux

Bordeaux Wines


With their elegant appearance and attractive labels, Bordeaux bottles offer a wide range of fruity flavors that range from more acidic mineral notes, to pungent or astringent tannins, to ripe fruit with a velvety texture. The red wines of Bordeaux are well-balanced, full or semi-bodied wines with aromas of plums, black currants, and damp earth. The white wines are also explosive with aromas whether they are dry, semi-dry, fat or sweet. The vintages and the terroir play an important role in the quality of these wines, which include a total of 57 appellations. In this guide, we will cover the great wines of Bordeaux and the main wineries of the region.

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Presentation of Bordeaux wines


The city of Bordeaux is often divided along its rivers. The left bank on the Garonne side is composed of large marshy plains. The wines are dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon. As for the right bank north of the Dordogne River, it produces well known appellations such as Saint-Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsac. The area between the rivers is called "Entre-Deux-Mers". This region produces red wines from Merlot and white wines from Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. The Bordeaux region is home to a plethora of world-famous wineries and chateaux. 80% of the Bordeaux vineyards produce red wines, the rest are devoted to dry white wines as well as rosés, claret and sparkling wines. Some of the 120,000 ha of vineyards in Bordeaux probably date back to the Roman Empire. Currently, there are about 60 appellations, some of which are the world's most renowned value wines, while others are smaller, lesser-known châteaux.

Overview of the most important Bordeaux wine appellations


The Bordeaux wine production is a reference for wine makers all over the world thanks to its famous 1855 classification, its numerous chateaux and the very high standard quality of its "grands crus". Indeed, it is in the middle of the 1800s that the red wines of Bordeaux acquired their letter of nobility thanks to the official decree called "classification 1855". This classification identified the best vineyards of the region by ranking them from 1 to 5. These great classified growths of Bordeaux display on the label of the bottle the mention "grand cru classé".
-Pauillac: with its 900 hectares of vineyards sandwiched between Saint-Julien to the south and Saint-Estèphe to the north, this jewel of the Médoc has managed to keep its unique style. This AOC (appellation d'origine contrôlée) red wine is distinguished by its full-bodied, unctuous character, with full-bodied tannins that require time to open up. The AOC Pauillac can boast of having three wines classified among the 5 grands crus of 1855 including Mouton Rotschild, Lafitte Rotschild and Latour. A sumptuous wine to discover absolutely!
-Margaux : this wine area which extends over 1100 ha offers a great variety of soils. It is the only AOC in the Médoc to bear the name of a Premier Grand Cru Classé. The wine is prized for its fine, aromatic, harmonious style and its interesting ageing potential. A unique product not to be missed by lovers of great wines.
-Saint-Julien : producer of the most homogeneous red wines of the Médoc, this commune devotes 80% of its 775 ha to classified growths. The soils range from gravel to clay, ideal for the production of exceptional, dense wines. With time, the wines of Saint-Julien express a fine and unequalled sweetness with a beautiful velvety, amber color. 11 Saint-Julien appellations have been awarded the title of Grand Cru Classé, including Château Leoville las Cases, Château Ducru Beaucaillou and Château Beychevelle, to name but a few.
-Saint-Emilion : this AOC red wine has a full, structured mouthfeel with firm tannins that become rounder with time and are enveloped in a suave nuance. Saint-Emilion is located in the Libournais region on the right bank of the Dordogne and produces the appellations Saint-Emilion and Saint-Emilion Grand Cru. Among the first great growths classified A, we find Château Ausone, Château Angélus, Château Cheval Blanc and Château Pavie.
-Saint-Estèphe : the appellation Saint-Estèphe counts 5 of the 62 classified growths of the Medoc. However, the variety of its styles at the same time robust and fine mixed with the fresh finish makes it a sure value. Among the second classified growths, we can mention Cos d'Estournel and Château Montrose.
-Pessac Léognan : the production area of this most famous appellation of Graves is located just south of Bordeaux. Château Haut Brion is the leading producer of the 68 other châteaux in this appellation which only appeared in 1987. This one is distinguished by its very ancestral terroir which combines quartz, jasper, flint, lydian etc. This gives birth to wines with aromas of fresh fruit, notes of breeding, leather, fleshy mouth. The whole accompanied by a supple attack and an exceptional length in mouth.
-Pomerol : the vineyards of the AOC Pomerol are located near Libourne. The appellation has no official classification. It is however famous for its famous Petrus, one of the rarest and most expensive wines in the world. These full-bodied wines with a supple, velvety texture and powerful tannins reveal a rare bouquet and great finesse with age.
-Sauternes : The wine regions of this appellation is located on the left bank of the Garonne River south of Bordeaux. The vineyard is home to titans such as the Château d'Yquem which includes 17 crus classified as first and second growths or Petrus. These are prestigious white wines with an opulent style, very aromatic and a mellow, fat and harmonious body.

Main chateaux in Bordeaux : our selection


-Petrus : Classified AOC and benefiting from a very famous appellation in the Pomerol region, this estate belongs to the Moueix family. Its 11.4 ha of vineyards produce one of the longest-lived wines in Bordeaux. The best vintages show their full potential and true essence after 3 decades of cellaring. The wines of this chateau are also known for their high price due to their mythical status as a wine appreciated by John Kennedy and their limited availability on the market. These wines are distinguished by their unique, aromatically complex style and rich flavors and viscosity.
-Lafite Rothschild : This estate covers 107 hectares. It is one of the 4 châteaux to hold the rare and prestigious distinction of premier cru in the 1855 classification. Its highly prized wines are also sold at exorbitant prices on the world market. The wines of this chateau are appreciated for the complexity of their aromas and their elegance.
-Mouton Rotschild : this chateau of the Rotschild family located in the heart of the Médoc obtained the status of second grand cru in the original 1855 classification. It is one of the few estates to have seen a change in classification by becoming a premier cru in 1973. Its 83 ha vineyard produces flamboyant wines with an exotic personality, opulent texture and excellent aging capacity. These are the best wines of Bordeaux that offer the best tasting conditions after 2 to 6 decades.
-Cheval Blanc : also a must-have estate that has been at the top of the Saint-Emilion appellation since it was classified as a premier grand cru classé A in 2012. The vineyard covers 39 ha. These produce wines that are accessible younger and at the same time have a long durability of up to 90 years. The secret of the wines of this chateau lies in their complex and powerful perfume that is not heavy and their texture both soft and velvety.
-Angelus : The wines of this château are also among the most prestigious. Classified as a Premier Grand Cru Classé A in the 1855 classification, this 27 hectare vineyard produces very expressive, well-structured wines that are refined, vibrant and have good aging potential. These wines can also be consumed in their youth while being renewed over time.
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  1. Baron de Brane 2003
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