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 Enthusiast, 96 points: Right from the early days of tasting in spring 2001 this was going to be one of the stars of the vintage. And a star it remains. There is big ripe fruit with solid ageworthy tannins. It may not be as powerful as some of...
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, 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
jamessuckling.com, 96 points: Just starting to open, it shows beautiful spices and dark fruit on the nose and palate. It’s full-bodied with ultra-fine, integrated tannins and an extremely complex, refined finish. Drink or hold.
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, 94 points: Tasted from an ex-château bottle at BI Wine & Spirits Calon-Segur dinner in London. The 2000 Calon Segur is one of those wines that reminds you how great the millennial vintage could be. Now at fifteen years old, it has a...
Wine Enthusiast, 92 points: This is a big powerful firm wine with a top layer of ripe glamorous fruit flavors. Blackcurrant jelly fruits are shot through with ripe acidity and soft tannins...
Showing 15 of 29 wines
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Greatly appreciate the availability of 6 months free temperature controlled storage of wines I purchase. An important consideration in choosing to purchase from JJ Buckley. Also appreciate the availability of older vintages...
-Robert S., May 2018
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