BORDEAUX RED WINES
Bordeaux are some of the most famous and appreciated French wines in the world. They are produced in Aquitaine near the city of Bordeaux, in the department of Gironde, in the lands located along the rivers Garonne and Dordogne. Bordeaux red wines are made mainly from the following grape varieties from the most planted to least planted: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet-Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Carmenere. The blend of these several grape varieties makes Bordeaux wines outstanding. Each grape variety has its characteristics, its soil and its climatic conditions: it is these combinations that make Bordeaux wines outstanding.
The vineyards seem to be present in Bordeaux since ancient times: the community leaders of Burdigala (Bordeaux) decided to create their own vineyards because of the high prices of Italian and Narbonese wines, imported by Roman traders.
During the Second French Empire, the great red wines of Saint-Émilion, Fronsac, and Pomerol became the first quality wines of Bordeaux production.
The vineyards of Bordeaux are wine-growing regions of France that extend to the west of France, in the region of Aquitaine. On average, today close to 68 million cases of red Bordeaux wine are produced each year, with a variety of qualities from ordinary table wines to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world. Most Bordeaux wines are red, but the sweet white wines have also contributed to the reputation of the region, and also produce dry white wine, rosé and sparkling (Crémant de Bordeaux).
The Bordeaux region is the second largest wine region in France, with 284,320 acres of vines. Only the Languedoc wine region with 617,750 acres of vines is larger. The main reason for the success of viticulture in the Bordeaux region is the excellent ecosystem for vine growth. The geological foundation of the region is limestone, which leads to a soil rich in calcium. The Gironde estuary dominates the regions along with its tributaries, the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, and together irrigate the land and provide an oceanic climate for the region
The Bordeaux wine region is divided into sub-regions, including Saint Émilion, Pomerol, Médoc, and Graves. There are 60 Bordeaux appellations and the wine styles they represent are usually categorized into families.
There are several sub-regions within the Bordeaux winemaking region of France. Depending on location, some red wines may be Cabernet Sauvignon dominant, while others may be more Merlot dominant. For better understanding; Bordeaux is split in two which are “Left Bank” Bordeaux red blend, as well as the “Right Bank” Bordeaux red blend, depending what side of the River Gironde the wine was produced. Left Bank Bordeaux’s, like the ones produced in Haut-Medoc, and on the rest of the left bank of the Gironde estuary, tend to be Cabernet Sauvignon dominant. Right Bank Bordeaux’s, such as those from Bourg or Blays, Saint Emilion, Pomerol, and the other appellations tend to be Merlot dominant.
The five first "crus" red wines (four from Médoc and one, Chateau Haut-Brion, from Graves), instituted by the official Bordeaux Wine Classification of 1855 are among the most sought-after and expensive in the world:
Chateau Lafite Rothschild, in the appellation Pauillac
Chateau Margaux, in the Margaux appellation
Chateau Latour, in the appellation Pauillac
Chateau Haut-Brion, in the Pessac-léognan appellation
Chateau Mouton Rothschild, in the appellation Pauillac.
Guess what! Vinatis offers you the varieties of the five first crus red wines and other varieties at affordable prices.
The taste of Bordeaux red wine
The taste of Bordeaux red wine is not simple to explain as there are thousands of Bordeaux red wines. But there are still some dominant primary flavours which include: Black Currant, Plum, Cassis, vanilla, Graphite, Cedar, Raspberries, fruit cake, Violet, smokiness from oak. Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wines are higher in acidity, often firm and more tannic than Merlot-dominated wines.
Food pairings with Bordeaux red wines
When it comes to food pairing with Bordeaux wines, think about meat or a meat-based dish so as to maximize the flavour. Generally, Bordeaux red wine goes well with steak & fries, vegetables, meat, cheese e.t.c. If your Bordeaux is from the Left Bank, it’s going to be Cabernet Sauvignon dominant. Thus, it will typically contain more rugged tannins and red fruit. Left Bank Bordeaux red blends pair nicely with heavy, fattier, saltier and spicier steaks & lamb. Right Bank Bordeaux’s which are usually Merlot dominant pair nicely with leaner or more savory meats, like pork or even duck.
Serving temperature: for guaranteed enjoyment; serve Red Bordeaux slightly below room temperature (around 65 °F / 18 °C).