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.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 95 points: This estate which has continued to impress me in recent years hit a home run in 2000. Showing slightly better than I rated it previously this wine is deep bluish/purple with some lightening at the edge and its floral nose...
Wine Spectator, 100 points: A young wine that electrifies every taste bud in your mouth. Compacted aromas of crushed currants and minerals, with roses and lilacs. Full-bodied, with masses of silky, refined tannins and a finish that lasts for...
Wine Spectator, 91 points: Gorgeous aromas of raspberry sauce, with hints of vanilla. Full-bodied, with a dense fruit and silky tannin structure. This is always a winner in top years. And it's overlooked. Best after 2008. – JS
Wine Enthusiast, 94 points: Huge, deep purple-black color, and aromas of rich, spicy fruit give a sense of great power to this superbly intense wine. Liquorice and rich tannins suggest complexity, while subtle acidity adds refinement.
Wine Spectator, 90 points: Wonderful chocolate, berry and vanilla aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, with velvety tannins and a luscious finish. A beauty. Cool little Pomerol here. Best after 2007. – JS
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 91 points: The proprietors are extremely happy with what they were able to produce in 2000. Even though this vintage has a poor reputation producers who only included the early-picked grapes in their final blends have often turned...
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 93 points: The 2000 Brane-Cantenac is a blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 55% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. It has a really wonderful bouquet that is coming into its own: potent with black truffle and gravel infusing the red berry...
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Excellent web site to select wine and get ratings overview. Love the option to send to storage too, so I can consolidate multiple orders over time and pick up (or keep in storage)...
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