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.
Wine Enthusiast, 90 points: A full, firm, ripe wine that shows considerable style and richness. There are fine, dusty tannins, masking the full-bodied black fruits, licorice flavors, and a firm, smooth aftertaste.
Wine & Spirits, 100 points: How rare to confront a wine of this inner strength and perfect form. Grown at a 116-acre vineyard at the southern border of Pauillac, some of the vines now reaching 100 years of age on a gravel bar overlooking the...
Decanter, 99 points: Deep bright ruby, superconcentrated and extremely vertical, this Mouton is only starting to open up after which it will plateau for another fifty years or so of outstanding drinking. Cassis, cedar, graphite aromas and...
Wine Spectator, 90 points: Gorgeous aromas of crushed blackberry, Indian spices and cherry follow through to a full body, with firm, round tannins, sweet fruit and a pretty, caressing finish. Juicy and delicious. Best after 2011. 12,500 cases made.–JS
Wine Enthusiast, 93 points: Barrel sample. A big firm and hard wine with solid fruits layers of dry tannin and great power. There's an intensity to this wine with acidity adding to the complexity and structure. - R.V.
Showing 8 of 8 wines
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I was looking for a particular wine that isn’t widely available in the USA. Not only did JJ Buckley Fine Wines have it in stock, and at a very reasonable price, they were able to ship it to me. Many out of state suppliers won’t do that. Highly recommended.
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