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The Bordeaux Wine Region

You have probably already determined that France is one of the best places to travel to for good wine. 

 

After all, it is one of the largest wine producers in the world, producing almost eight billion bottles per year of the delicious liquid.

It has to taste good if the demand is that high! 

 

However, what you might now know that different wine can be produced in different parts of the country due to its diverse climate and landscape.

So, which part of France should you travel to on your wine-drinking getaway? 

This article zones in on the Bordeaux wine regions and the product you can find there.

 

The Bordeaux Wine Regions

The Bordeaux region is located in the south-western part of France, right on the Atlantic coast. 

It covers the entire region of Gironde and has been cultivating wine for more than 2,000 years. 

The regions differ in size and sometimes overlap each other. 

Together, they center on the city of Bordeaux. 

Bordeaux is the largest AOC vineyard of France and is the undisputed king of red wine, although it produces some popular white wines too. 

It boasts a diverse range of produce, meaning that wine lovers of all tastes can find something suitable - both in taste and price. 

 

Overall, there are six main wine families in the region:

  • ●    Bordeaux and Bordeaux supérieur (blanc, red or rosé)
  • ●    Médoc (red) and Graves (red or white)
  • ●    Les côtes de Bordeaux (mostly red wines)
  • ●    Saint-Emilion, Pomerol et Fronsac (red wines only)
  • ●    Vins Blancs secs de Bordeaux (dry white wines)
  • ●    Vins Blancs d’Or (sweet white wines)

 

The Bordeaux wine region can also be split into two separate spaces: 

Left Bank and Right Bank.

It is the Left Bank that made the region famous. 

The wines produced here are higher in tannins, alcohol and acidity. 

Wine produced on the Right Bank are much softer and are lower in alcohol and acidity. 

Merlot is the grape used most often and because they are quite juicy, the wines produced here have a quicker turnaround time in terms of productivity and are less expensive. 

In contrast, wine from the Left Bank age better.

 

A Short History of the Bordeaux Wine Region

Although 90% of the wine produced nowadays is red, the Bordeaux wine region first became popular for its sweet white wines, which were more in taste back in the 1700s. 

One must skip forward to the middle of the 1800s to find a starting point for the popularity of red wine. 

The reign of the red wine can be pinpointed to the “1855 Classification”, which ranked the best producers in the region. 

Today, even though there are many, many new winemakers in the region, just one change has been made to the classification. 

 

What Defines a Bordeaux Wine?

Bordeaux is best known for its red wines, which account for over 90% of production in the region. 

These wines are made with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

 

The other varieties of red wine are as follows:

  • ●    Cabernet Franc
  • ●    Malbec
  • ●    Petit Verdot

 

The dominant flavours of Bordeaux red wine are:

  • ●    Blackcurrant
  • ●    Plum
  • ●    Graphite
  • ●    Cedar 
  • ●    Violet

 

The varieties of white Bordeaux wine are:

  • ●    Sauvignon Blanc
  • ●    Sémillon
  • ●    Muscadelle

 

The dominant flavours of white Bordeaux wine are:

  • ●    Grapefruit
  • ●    Lemon-Lime
  • ●    Gooseberry
  • ●    Lemon Curd
  • ●    Chamomile

 

Where in the Region Can Each Wine Be Found?

Médoc and Graves

Travel here for graphite-driven red wines with a dominance of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend:

  • ●    Cabernet Sauvignon
  • ●    Merlot
  • ●    Cabernet Franc
  • ●    Malbec
  • ●    Petit Verdot

Libournais

Plummy and bold wines are produced here, with the most well-known coming from the sub-regions of Pomerol and Saint-Emilion:

  • ●    Merlot
  • ●    Cabernet Franc
  • ●    Cabernet Sauvignon

Entre-Deux-Mers

Merlot is the most predominantly produced red wine here, but Entre-Deux-Mers is actually better known for its white wine, which is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and the rare Muscadelle.

Sauternais

Sauternais produces a sweet white wine considered the best in the region due to the Botrytis fungus, which grows on the grapes due to morning fog. 

White Bordeaux

This is the tiny part of the region which is dedicated to producing white wine. 

Very fresh and zippy, the wine produced here is made with Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. 

 

How to Serve Bordeaux Red Wine

When serving Bordeaux red wines, there are a few things you should consider:

 

  • ●    The best temperature serve Bordeaux red is slightly below room temperature, more specifically, around 65 °F / 18 °C.
  • ●    It is best to decant wine first, for about 30 minutes to over 3 hours depending on the variety and age of the wine. 
  • ●    Wine stored for future consumption should be kept below 65 °F/18 °C.
  • ●    Bordeaux red can be left to age for up to 15 years.

 

Food Pairings with Bordeaux Wines

Meat lovers can only exemplify a meal by adding a bottle of Bordeaux wine. In particular, lamb is the most delicious meat to pair with the wine. However, steaks of all kinds (especially marbled), confit duck, goose and roast chicken with a salty, garlicky sauce work as well. 

 

Cost of Bordeaux Wines

Many red Bordeaux wines can be purchased at a reasonable price. 

It is possible to buy a tasty bottle in the range of $18 to $30, which are perfect for drinking when they are between five to ten years old. 

It is also possible to buy a nice bottle of red Bordeaux wine at a lower price of about $8 to $18. 

These wines can be enjoyed at two years of age, or it is possible to keep them for up to six years. 

So, what do you think? 

Has Bordeaux skipped to the top of your French destination list? 

The wine sounds so wonderful there we bet it has!

 

Unable to travel to Bordeaux but would still like to taste its wine? 

 

—> Then make an instant purchase at our online store!

 

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