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.
View From The Cellar, 91 points: Who knew? The 1985 Carbonnieux is an absolutely superb example of the vintage and has to be one of the great, great sleepers out there in the world of mature claret. The outstanding nose jumps from the glass in a complex...
Wine Spectator, 94 points: A charming Yquem that's round, thick, dense and very honeyed. But it doesn't taste of botrytized, dried fruit flavors (the château tried to wait for noble rot and harvested late, into December). While creamy and opulent...
Wine Spectator, 93 points: Rich and ripe wine. Dark red color with an amber edge. Loads of meat berry and tobacco character on the nose. Very rich. Full-bodied with soft velvety tannins and a long ultraripe fruit finish. Still very fresh and...
Wine Spectator, 95 points: Young exuberant and exciting. Fabulously well integrated with raspberry mint and violet character. Full-bodied with loads of fine tannins. Try after 1998.--The Bordeaux 50. (JS)
Wine Spectator, 93 points: Rich and massive but elegant too. It's loaded with berry cassis and mint f lavors and a wallop of tannin and oak. But it's pretty and refined and thi s is just Margaux's second label. Give this one some cellar time.
Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages, 91 points: (17.5/20) Deep brick-rimmed garnet. Bright and healthy. Plenty of leather and old furniture and undergrowth but still has a fine floral note - a violet fragrance – as well as the headiness of dark fruit in alcohol. An...
Showing 15 of 43 wines
We are having problems processing your request.
Please contact our sales office between 9 AM and 5 PM (PST) for further assistance at 1.888.859.4637.
Hard to find artisan wines are available at very reasonable prices. The online ordering procedure is amazingly easy. Nice web site and weekly wine offers are sent to my email account. Friendly and very knowledgeable staff!
-Michael A., July 2018
Please, close this tab