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Bordeaux Wine

Known for red wines that are medium to full-bodied with aromas of blackcurrants, plum and earthy notes. Tasting notes burst with fruity and mineral, savoury and mouth-drying tannins. Many Bordeaux wines are made of red grapes, mainly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

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Bordeaux Wine

The Bordeaux blend is much used worldwide; however, with its world-famous appellations, world-renown unique terroir and diverse soil landscape, a great Bordeaux still holds its own in any wine collection.



Left Bank vs Right Bank

The French wine region of Bordeaux is best known for some of the world's finest wine estates with a history that trace back thousands of years to decades of Roman rule. So diverse is the landscape that the region is best known for its Left Bank, on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Gironde estuary and Garonne river, and the Right Bank, which lies on the north of the Dordogne. The area between the rivers is known as Entre-Deux-Mers 'between two seas'.

Left Bank Bordeaux's
The Left Bank's best terroirs are gravel-based with a high proportion of round pebbles. Due to the Atlantic Ocean's proximity, the climate is cooler here, and the wines tend to be more tannic with firm structures and high acidities. Some well-known wines are from Medoc communes such as Margaux, Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe and Saint-Julien.
While all Left Bank wines tend to be blends, Cabernet Sauvignon is the grape of choice, with supporting roles coming from Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet France & Petit Verdot. The wines of the Left Bank are known for their magnificent personality, their typical aromatic profile characterised by stewed black fruits. Often seen as the choice of Bordeaux to lay down, Left Bank wines are designed to age with a tannic structure that softens beautifully over time. Som of the most sought-after vintages of these wines are 2005, 2009, 2010 & 2016 with 2018 & 2019 providing a consistent reputation in recent years. Browse the Corney & Barrow Vintage Chart for a deeper analysis.

Right Bank Bordeaux's
Right Bank vineyards are located on the sunny side of the Gironde estuary and benefit from the region's continental climate. The terroirs here are more clay-based, with a high proportion of limestone, with one of the only exceptions being Pomerol, where vines are planted in soils of clay, gravel and sandy soil. Due to the Right Bank soil nature, you'll find Merlot as the grape of choice as it loves the moisture retention characteristics of clay soil, especially with the region's extreme weather throughout the year. Right Bank Bordeaux wines are found to feature aromas of intense black fruit (the Merlot effect), plum and cherry to produce higher alcohol content and a full-bodied pour. This fruity character Right Bank style is often considered more approachable in their youth than those of the Left Bank and features some world-famous appellations such as Pomerol and Saint-Émilion.
While the Left Bank is home to some of the most famous names in Bordeaux wine, including Château Margaux, Château Latour and Château Mouton Rothschild, the Right Bank has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. The Right Bank's best-known wines include Pétrus, Le Pin and Château Cheval Blanc.

Bordeaux Whites & Entre-deux-mers

While synonymous with reds, the Bordeaux wine region also houses some fine white wines, including sparkling, dry and famous golden-coloured sweet wines from Sauternes & Barzac. The appellation of Entre-deux-mers, located between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, is the largest in the Bordeaux region. The wines from Entre-deux-mers are usually white, with a small percentage of reds and rosés. White Bordeaux wines are typically blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. The wines are generally medium-bodied with aromas of citrus fruits, gooseberry and tropical fruits.


Bordeaux Appellations

There are four main categories of Bordeaux appellations: AOC Bordeaux, AOC Bordeaux Supérieur, Crémant de Bordeaux and Vin de Pays.

AOC Bordeaux
AOC Bordeaux wines must be made from a minimum of 90% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, with the remaining 10% made up of any other permitted grape variety. The wines must also be aged for a minimum of 12 months in oak barrels before being released for sale.

AOC Bordeaux Supérieur
AOC Bordeaux Supérieur wines must be made from a minimum of 80% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, with the remaining 20% made up of any other permitted grape variety. The wines must also be aged for a minimum of 14 months in oak barrels before being released for sale.

Crémant de Bordeaux
Crémant de Bordeaux is a sparkling wine made using the traditional method of second fermentation in the bottle. The wines must be made from a minimum of 60% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, with the remaining 40% made up of any other permitted grape variety.

Vin de Pays
Vin de Pays wines are made from any grape variety and do not have to be aged before release.





Bordeaux Classification of Quality Control

Bordeaux wines are classified into two categories: Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and Vins Délimités de Qualité Supérieure (VDQS). The AOC classification is the highest level of quality control, and VDQS wines are of a slightly lower quality.
AOC Bordeaux wines must be made from grapes grown in a specified area and must meet strict quality control standards. The AOC system was established in 1936, and there are currently 57 AOCs in Bordeaux.

VDQS wines must also meet strict quality control standards, but the specified area of the region is larger, and the requirements are not as stringent as for AOC wines. The VDQS system was established in 1947, and there are currently 17 VDQSs in Bordeaux.



Our take on Bordeaux Wines

Today's Bordeaux wines retain a certain stoical classicism whilst meeting more modern expectations of accessibility. Bordeaux is a region that was a true source of inspiration for many of the world's most popular wines. For anyone who prefers a red wine blend, we encourage you to sample both a Left and Right Bank Bordeaux. The Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot dominant grapes provide unique characteristics that only subjectively one can genuinely decide their preference.

 

Bordeaux Whites & Entre-deux-mers

While synonymous with reds, the Bordeaux wine region also houses some fine white wines, including sparkling, dry and famous golden-coloured sweet wines from Sauternes & Barzac. The appellation of Entre-deux-mers, located between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, is the largest in the Bordeaux region. The wines from Entre-deux-mers are usually white, with a small percentage of reds and rosés. White Bordeaux wines are typically blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. The wines are generally medium-bodied with aromas of citrus fruits, gooseberry and tropical fruits.

 

 

Bordeaux Appellations

There are four main categories of Bordeaux appellations: AOC Bordeaux, AOC Bordeaux Supérieur, Crémant de Bordeaux and Vin de Pays.

AOC Bordeaux
AOC Bordeaux wines must be made from a minimum of 90% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, with the remaining 10% made up of any other permitted grape variety. The wines must also be aged for a minimum of 12 months in oak barrels before being released for sale.

AOC Bordeaux Supérieur
AOC Bordeaux Supérieur wines must be made from a minimum of 80% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, with the remaining 20% made up of any other permitted grape variety. The wines must also be aged for a minimum of 14 months in oak barrels before being released for sale.

Crémant de Bordeaux
Crémant de Bordeaux is a sparkling wine made using the traditional method of second fermentation in the bottle. The wines must be made from a minimum of 60% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, with the remaining 40% made up of any other permitted grape variety.

Vin de Pays
Vin de Pays wines are made from any grape variety and do not have to be aged before release.

 

 

Bordeaux Classification of Quality Control

Bordeaux wines are classified into two categories: Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and Vins Délimités de Qualité Supérieure (VDQS). The AOC classification is the highest level of quality control, and VDQS wines are of a slightly lower quality.
AOC Bordeaux wines must be made from grapes grown in a specified area and must meet strict quality control standards. The AOC system was established in 1936, and there are currently 57 AOCs in Bordeaux.

VDQS wines must also meet strict quality control standards, but the specified area of the region is larger, and the requirements are not as stringent as for AOC wines. The VDQS system was established in 1947, and there are currently 17 VDQSs in Bordeaux.

 

 

Our take on Bordeaux Wines

Today's Bordeaux wines retain a certain stoical classicism whilst meeting more modern expectations of accessibility. Bordeaux is a region that was a true source of inspiration for many of the world's most popular wines. For anyone who prefers a red wine blend, we encourage you to sample both a Left and Right Bank Bordeaux. The Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot dominant grapes provide unique characteristics that only subjectively one can genuinely decide their preference.

 

 

 

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