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, 99 points: (JS98-99 points) This has a focus and intensity that I haven’t seen before. I goes wide in the palate and then compresses with great precision and beauty. Full and excellent. So great. Best I ever had from here.
jamessuckling.com, 90 points: Love the nose of crushed berries and slice plums. Full and chewy, with velvety tannins and a long finish. Needs time to open and soften. This is an estate that is improving all the time.
jamessuckling.com, 97 points: (JS96-97 points) Here is a wine with great pedigree near Ausone. Full body, yet fast and agile. The finish lasts for minutes. You see the chalky soil in the wine.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 94 points: (WA92-94 points) The 2015 Beychevelle was picked between 22 September and 8 October, a blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot that will be matured in 50% new oak. It has quite a...
Antonio Galloni's Vinous, 94 points: (AG92-94 points) Understated and nuanced, the 2015 Beychevelle is a wine of lovely finesse. Graphite, smoke, plum, violet and lavender are some of the many notes that are found in this delicate, super-expressive...
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 96 points: Haut couture becomes a wine! This dense purple wine has the tell-tale notes of flowers and pencil shavings and its broad aromatics are intense and totally captivating. Powerful rich and full but less tannic than the 2005...
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 92 points: A sleeper of the vintage the dense ruby/purple-tinged 2008 Branon displays chocolatey earthy undertones intermixed with black currants and Asian plum sauce. Medium to full-bodied rich impressively endowed supple and...
Wine Enthusiast, 96 points: (WE94-96 points) With 82% of Cabernet Sauvignon (more than usual), this is a classic juicy, black currant-flavored Bordeaux. It has great style, its juicy, crisp character shining through. The tannins are right there...
jamessuckling.com, 94 points: (JS93-94 points) A 2015 with ripe and beautiful fruit and velvety tannins. Full body. Juicy fruit. Goes on for minutes. Extremely impressive.
Showing 15 of 1,143 wines
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