Bordeaux

Bordeaux wine, refers to all wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. Bordeaux is the second largest wine region in the world with over 284,320 acres under vine, 57 appellations, 9,000 wine-producing châteaux, and 13,000 grape growers (The largest being the Languedoc wine region with 617,750 acres under vine.)

With an annual production of over 700 million bottles, Bordeaux produces large quantities of everyday wine as well as expensive wines. Although the reputation of Bordeaux is based on its few prestigious red wines and the sweet white wines from Sauternes, Bordeaux also produces large quantities of ordinary table wines, including white wines, rosé wines, and a sparkling wine, called Crémant de Bordeaux.

Red Bordeaux, which is traditionally known as claret in the United Kingdom, is generally made from a blend of grapes. Permitted grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Carmenere although the Malbec is very seldom used and Carmenere is now virtually absent in Bordeaux. White Bordeaux is made from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Muscadelle.

The Bordeaux region has an excellent environment for growing vines. The ecological foundation of the region is limestone, meaning that the soil is full of calcium, and the natural paths of the Garonne and the Dordogne irrigate the land. Combined with the oceanic climate, giving humidity to the atmosphere, this creates a desirable environment for grapes to flourish.

The Bordeaux wine region is divided into subregions including Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Médoc, and Graves. In 1855, a classification system, known as The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, ranked the wines into five categories according to price. The first growth red wines (four from Médoc and one, Château Haut-Brion, from Graves), are among the most expensive wines in the world, although in wine competitions they tend to be beaten by less expensive wines from various countries in blind taste tests. See, for example, the St. Catharines Wine Tasting of 2005, the Berlin Wine Tasting of 2004 and The Wine Rematch of the Century.

The first growths are:

* Château Lafite-Rothschild
* Château Margaux
* Château Latour
* Château Haut-Brion
* Château Mouton-Rothschild

In 1955, St. Émilion AOC were classified, adding an additional two Premier Crus (Class A):

* Château Ausone
* Château Cheval Blanc

Pomerol has never been officially classified, but its best estates, such Château Pétrus and Château Le Pin, fetch very high prices that often exceed even the prices of the first growths.

Sauternes is a subregion of Graves known for its intensely sweet, white, dessert wines such as Château d\\\'Yquem. The intense sweetness is the result of the grapes being affected by Botrytis cinerea, a fungus that is commonly known as noble rot.

Many critics, including Robert M. Parker, Jr., believe that the 1855 classification is out of date and that a reclassification would be in the interests of consumers. Apart from being out of date, the 1855 classification was based entirely on wine prices. Since 1855, châteaux have bought and sold vineyards; prestigious winemakers have died; and many other important changes have occurred. In 1961, the French government decided to review the classification and delete 17 châteaux. In the end, the proposed reclassification never happened because the government finally yielded to political pressure applied by owners of the affected châteaux, who feared that a demotion would mean that they would need to reduce their prices. Certainly, there are some wines that are not as good as their classification would lead the average consumer to believe, and there are many producers that make excellent wine despite little or no recognition according to the 1855 classification. Nevertheless, it is generally agreed that all the first growths are among the finest wines available.

This article is based entirely or in part on the Bordeaux wikipedia article and is licenced under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licence.


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In this category

Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion,Blanc Pessac 1995

A superb white Graves from a fine vintage which was fermented in cask to give an extra dimension to the flavour. The blend is 60% Sauvignon, 35% Semillon and 5% Muscat. 1996 vintage to follow. [read on...]


£17.50  

A B V: 12.5% Vintage: 1995 Color: white Country: France Region: Bordeaux Code: 45657

Château Croix Beausejour Montagne 2010

This vintage follows the excellent 2008 and has turned out to be a truly magnificent year and will continue to give great pleasure until 2020. [read on...]


£14.15  

A B V: 13% Vintage: 2010 Color: red Code: 79870

Château Lafleur du Roy 2009

[read on...]


£45.25  

A B V: 13.5% Vintage: 2009 Color: red Country: France Code: 83571

Chateau Les Faures Rouge 2005

The wine from this Château has become a very favourite with customers of ours. This is an excellent vintage producing a classic sincere claret style with fine balance and a very good complexity and flavour for such an inexpensively priced red Bordeaux [read on...]


£7.50  

A B V: 13.5% Vintage: 2005 Color: red Country: France Code: 67699

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