Many people consider the Bordeaux wine to be some kind of mysterious and almost mystical drink. Fear not. After reading this blog you will learn all the main points about this wine. Hopefully in the future you will not be lost when it comes to wines from this famous region.
Bordeaux is a famous wine region of France. And, probably, the most famous wine-growing region in the world. And the name of the region, as it so happens with wines and whiskeys, stuck with the stellar wines it produces.
What is Bordeaux Wine?
Bordeaux wines include any wine produced in the Bordeaux region, regardless of the grape variety. A Bordeaux can be white, and red, and pink. The most popular in the world is red Bordeaux, which is usually a mixture of red grapes Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
White Bordeaux is a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.
Why is Bordeaux wine so famous?
For several centuries, the most famous and most balanced wines in the world have been produced in Bordeaux. This is possible due to the unique climate and soil structure. These two components are a recipe for the fact that Bordeaux has been the ideal of wine making since the 17th century.
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The Soil, Water and Climate
Bordeaux province’s soil is saturated with limestone and calcium. In addition, its structure was formed in such a way that the fertile layer combines with clays, gravel and sandstone in a special and unique manner.
The soil is supplemented by ideal humidity in the air. The Garonne and Dordogne rivers, which run through the very center of the province, and the many tributaries of the Gironde River create a balanced system of underground currents that provide the best conditions for wine making.
The third component is the climate, which is significantly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and is characterized by high humidity, mild winters and arid summers. All perfect for grapes to grow and wines to be made from them.
Types of Bordeaux Wines
In Bordeaux, there are about 60 appellations, more than 8500 manufacturers and an endless number of grape varieties. The region’s products can be conditionally divided into 6 main groups, of which 4 classify as red wines and 2 as white wines.
- Red Bordeaux or Bordeaux Superieur – 4 appellations specialize exclusively in this type. These wines are distinguished by fruity and mineral notes in their bouquet, the highest quality and excellent taste. This is the most popular and common wine style of Bordeaux.
- Cote de Bordeaux – This group includes 8 appellations. It produces good quality and affordable wines.
- Red Libourne or Right Bank Wines – This category includes 10 appellations in the vicinity of Libourne. The main raw materials are Merlot with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines of these places have a rich fruity taste.
- Red Graves and Médoc or Left Bank Wines – Appellations in the south and north of the city of Bordeaux. Drinks are concentrated, tannic. Long-term storage in the wine cellar evens out and smoothes their taste, so they are not recommended to be drunk young.
- Dry white wines – these are made throughout the region from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
- Sweet white wines – Unlike dry white wines above, these are less common Production is concentrated in the Sauternes appellation, but is also found in other sub-regions.
Bordeaux Red wines
Almost 90% of Bordeaux grapes are red varieties. 98% of which come from the following 3 varieties:
- Merlot (65%)
- Cabernet Sauvignon (23%)
- Cabernet Franc (10%)
The remaining 2% is a combination with Malbec (980 ha), Petit Verdot (490 ha) and very little with Carmenere grapes (6 ha).
10% of Bordeaux wines are made from white varieties, the vast majority of which are:
- Semillon (49%)
- Sauvignon Blanc (43%)
- Muscadelle (6%)
The remaining 2% is Colombard, Merlot Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Folle Blanche, Mauzac Blanc, Ondenc, and Ugni Blanc (better known as Trebbiano), from which they produce mainly inexpensive and affordable white wines.
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How to drink Bordeaux wines
Bordeaux wines are served in tulip glasses with a volume of 300 ml or more. Of course, the vessel is not completely filled, the wine should fill about a third of the capacity – only this way its delicate aroma can unfold.
The serving temperature depends on the particular brand, but complex wines can not be especially cooled and served at 15–18 °C. Light floral wines will taste well at a temperature of 8–12 °C, whereas saturated white wines can be slightly cooled to 13–15 °C .
Famous Bordeaux Wine Brands
It’s hard to encounter a bad wine from Bordeaux. Consumer reviews about it are almost never negative. This is not surprising. The highest control of wines by origin and name ensures that the copies are genuine and of high quality.
Therefore, if the bottle is marked AOS, you will definitely not be disappointed in the taste of wine.
If the label indicates Grands vins de Bordeaux, GRAND CRU CLASSÉ EN 1855, Crus Bourgeois, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru AOC, then these are the highest quality wines with an excellent reputation.
The most famous brands include:
- Chateau Margaux
- Lafite Rothschild
- O-Brion (Haut-Brion)
- Mouton Rothschild