About the Bordeaux Region

The heartland of the wine world and arguably France’s most prestigious region. French wine is all about romance; from the time the wine is left to mature, right through to the pulling of the cork. Bordeaux is a tale of two halves – the left and right bank, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and a good or bad vintage.

Key Bordeaux Grape Varieties
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Petit Verdot
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Semillon

Five facts about Bordeaux Wines

Bordeaux red wine is a blend, with two grape varieties playing the leading roles – Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The Garonne River divides the region with Cabernet Sauvignon King of the Left bank and Merlot the Queen of the right.

Left bank stars – Médoc, Margaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan, Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac, Saint- Julien

Right bank stars – Saint-Emillion, Pomerol, Castillon, Côtes de Bordeaux

Vintage variation, we’re not the only ones with varying weather patterns! Look out for these particularly good years – 2015, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2000, 1990, 1989

Don’t forget the finish! The sweet wine, Sauternes is from the south of the Bordeaux region.

Classifications (the technical bit)

The 1855 classification ordered all the Cru Classé Châteaux into five growths. The First Growths are Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour, Château Margaux, Château Haut-Brion, Pessac, and Château Mouton Rothschild.

Following the Grand Cru Classé and considered the next best in subsequent levelling is Cru Bourgeois wines, then smaller appellations (AOC) such as many of the wines found in Entre-Deux- Mers, followed by Bordeaux Supérieur and finally regional Bordeaux.

Hennings Wine says

Bordeaux can certainly be a bit of a minefield, try not to get ruled by the rules! Great winemakers can make great wine in bad vintages, and sometimes the smaller producers can pull out some real gems. Remember that Cabernet based wines will be fuller, while Merlot is smoother –  and don’t be afraid to experiment!

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