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, 94 points: This estate is owned by the brilliant Michel Gracia, so it’s a shame so little of this wine was produced, but the vineyard itself is microscopic. Approximately three acres are planted on sandy and clay-like soils with a...
Wine Enthusiast, 95 points: Cellar Selection. This wine is rich, with generous black plum and berry fruits. It has a structure that is full, ripe and that will sustain the fruitiness of the wine over many years. The sensation is of velvet, with some...
Wine Spectator, 97 points: Top 100: 2016, Rank: 4. There's loads here, with apricot, nectarine and clementine flavors stitched with a racy orange zest note to give energy, while tropical papaya and mango flavors add a sublimely creamy edge. The...
jamessuckling.com, 92 points: Lots of gunpowder, dried apple and pear aromas and flavors. Full body, dried apple and peach. Searing acidity. Yet bright and delicious. A white with great contrast and panache. Drink or hold.
jamessuckling.com, 95 points: This is a vivid wine with terrific clarity and vibrance aromas and flavors. Full body, ultra fine tannins and a long, long finish. Class. Really superb for the vintage. Needs two or three years of bottle age to soften.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 95 points: Probably the wine of the vintage, once again. Only 9,000 bottles of the 2013 Ausone were produced, as crop size was 50% of normal. However, proprietor Alain Vauthier and his daughter certainly have proven a truly great...
Wine Enthusiast, 94 points: Cellar Selection. With ripe, spicy fruit, this is a concentrated, dense wine. It has young, firm tannins that are beginning to integrate with the juicy black fruits and fine, perfumed acidity. This is a serious wine...
Wine Enthusiast, 98 points: (WE96-98 points) The beautifully aromatic, honeyed scent leads into flavors of bitter orange and honey, along with extreme freshness. Notes of white peach and Rocha pear give richness to a wine that is not huge, but...
Wine Enthusiast, 94 points: Very well
balanced, this is already a beautiful wine
that could almost be drunk now. Smooth tannins
and oak are layered with red and black-currant
fruits that are perfumed and fresh. The structure
is all there, just...
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 94 points: (WA92-94 points) The wine is opaque purple, shows notes of blueberries, incense, camphor and black berry fruit, with licorice and charcoal notes. Complex aromatics are followed by a medium to full-bodied surprisingly...
Wine Enthusiast, 93 points: Dense, concentrated and firm, this wine has
a powerful, rich structure that promises well. Big
berry fruits and dark tannins are developing well
together. The wine is full of promise so drink from
Wine Enthusiast, 96 points: This is finely structured, a tense
wine with great fruits and an intense texture. It’s
tight while bursting with fruit. The structure is
complex, dense and very mineral in character. It is a
wine that will need many...
Wine Spectator, 95 points: This packs some power, with ginger, dried peach and matchstick
hints leading the way, but as this moves along, it slowly shows
creamier quince, mango and papaya notes, and an alluring chamomile
gilding. Still rather...
Wine Spectator, 95 points: This packs some power, with ginger, dried peach and matchstick hints leading the way, but as this moves along, it slowly shows creamier quince, mango and papaya notes, and an alluring chamomile gilding. Still rather...
Showing 15 of 40 wines
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