With more than 7,000 chateaux, France’s Bordeaux region is the most important wine producing region in the world. As well as being the basis for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot-based wines everywhere, Bordeaux wines are acknowledged to be among the world’s best reds—according to experts and amateurs alike.
The wine region of Bordeaux is comprised of many smaller areas and encompasses both banks of the Gironde estuary in southwest France, as well as the land bordering the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers, which split off from the Gironde in the southern Medoc area. Generally, Bordeaux's best red wines are from seven major (and well-known) appellations: Pauillac, Saint-Estephe, Saint-Julien, and Margaux in the greater Medoc region, Graves to the south of the city of Bordeaux—in the region’s center, and Saint-Emilion and Pomerol toward the east. The large Graves region, as well as being the birthplace of claret, is home to many of the best dry whites. Premium sweet wines are made in Sauternes and Barsac, which are also within the Graves appellation but toward the south.
In understanding the multitude of Bordeaux wines, experts tend to talk about the right and left banks of the Gironde River. Generally, red wines from the river’s left bank, especially from Bordeaux’s Medoc region, are based on Cabernet Sauvignon, mixed with varying amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc and, occasionally, a spot of Petit Verdot and Malbec. These reds are known to be firm and dry, with a substantial tannic spine, and are frequently austere in their youth. They are also among the world’s longest-lived. The Graves’ gravel and sand soil content contribute to more texture early and roasted accents of hot stones, smoke and tobacco.
The softer Merlot grape is the foundation for right bank wines, mostly to the town of Libourne’s eastern side. These wines are fleshier in general than wines from the left bank and are more pliant. They are also accessible at an earlier age—though the best of them can improve in bottle for decades.
jamessuckling.com, 96 points: (JS95-96 points) A fresh white with sliced green apple, lemon rind and cream. Full body, bright acidity and a long and flavorful finish. Layered and very dense. Wonderful backbone.
jamessuckling.com, 93 points: (JS92-93 points) Excellent dry white with sliced apple and lemon character. Full body, stone and bright acidity. Look forward to seeing this develop in barrel.
Wine Enthusiast, 95 points: This wine has a wonderful citrus character, fresh lemons and limes going with the mineral texture. It is crisp while also structured, bright with acidity and zesty with lemon and orange. The aftertaste is herbal, crisp...
jamessuckling.com, 95 points: (JS94-95 points) A brilliant and intense white with oyster shell, lemon, pear and sea salt character. Full body, flavorful finish.
jamessuckling.com, 98 points: Very impressive pear and dried-peach fruits with very subtle mealy, savory notes. The palate delivers impressive weight, amazing power and depth here. Richness and great prowess. Tight now. Give it three or four years to...
Wine Spectator, 94 points: (WS91-94 points) Very tangy and fresh, with lots of thyme and gooseberry notes followed by lemon pith and quinine accents. A rapier finish glistens with fleur de sel details. Shows ample cut and purity. Pitch-perfect...
jebdunnuck.com, 98 points: If I had to pick the white of the vintage, it would be the 2015 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc from proprietor Olivier Bernard. Based largely on Sauvignon Blanc (there’s around 30% Sémillon) and from a 6-hectare parcel...
Antonio Galloni's Vinous, 92 points: The 2015 Grand Village Blanc is terrific. Citrus peel, white flowers, sage and tomato leaf notes abound. The 2015 is the first vintage in which the blend favors Sémillon over Sauvignon, but it is the Sauvignon character –...
jamessuckling.com, 98 points: (JS97-98 points) Very balanced and fresh with stone and dried peach aromas and flavors. Very aromatic. Full body, fine phenolics and licorice. Show power and richness.
jamessuckling.com, 93 points: (JS92-93 points) This has exotic fruit with mango, peach and citrus aromas and flavors. Full body, yet vibrant and lively. Drink or hold. Mostly semillon with sauvignon blanc.
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Best prices on Bordeaux wine in the U.S. Very friendly staff when we go to warehouse to pick up our wine.
-Bob P., January 2018