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Intro to Bordeaux Wine

Bordeaux has a rich wine history with diverse styles, from legendary reds to sweet Sauternes. Discover tips for tasting and buying Bordeaux wines.

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What's In This Video?

Bordeaux is a crucial wine region, heavily influencing modern wine culture and producing some of the world's most expensive and collectible wines. Located in western France along the Garonne River, Bordeaux has a rich history dating back to Roman times, with significant development during the 1600s under Dutch control, who drained the marshlands for vineyards. The region saw the emergence of renowned châteaux and the popularization of Cabernet Sauvignon. By the 1800s, Bordeaux was a well-established wine producer. In 1855, Napoleon ordered a classification of Bordeaux wineries which remains today, highlighting the five most prestigious and expensive wineries.

Bordeaux is vast, offering a variety of wines, including affordable options. Four key styles to explore are:

  • Médoc (Left Bank) Red Wines: This area offers both expensive and affordable wines. Aged wines, like a 10-year-old bottle, can be found for around $30. These wines are medium ruby to garnet in color with aromas of black cherry, blackcurrant, wet gravel, pencil lead, dark chocolate, and tobacco. They have high body, tannin, good acidity, and are dry.

  • Libournais (Right Bank) Red Wines: Focusing on Merlot and Cabernet Franc, these wines are deep ruby, with scents of milk chocolate, blackberry, mint, baking spices, and burnt caramel. They are plush, with softer tannins and a hint of sweetness despite being dry. Bordeaux Supérieur wines offer good value here.

  • White Wines from Entre-Deux-Mers and Graves: Made from Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc, these medium straw-colored wines have notes of white peach, mango, honeydew melon, fresh-cut grass, and beeswax. They are acidic and pair well with Thai food.

  • Sauternes Sweet Wines: From the Sauternes area, these wines are deep gold with aromas of apricot, honey, beeswax, ginger, wet limestone, passion fruit, and caramel. They are rich, sweet, and creamy, suitable as a dessert replacement and capable of aging well.

Bordeaux's diverse offerings and historical significance make it a must-know region for wine enthusiasts.

Go to the full Bordeaux Guide:

Wines Mentioned

Château La Favière Rouge

Château La Favière

2016 Château La Favière Rouge

Bordeaux Supérieur | Gironde

A beautiful wine of an intense red color. An elegant nose of ripe fruits and delicate spices notes. Rich and generous, it develops into a complex mouth with roundness and character. A very structured wine with suave tannins and a long-lasting and pleasant finish with the potential of cellaring for a minimum 15 years.

Rich and generous, it develops into a complex mouth with roundness and character. A very structured wine with suave tannins and a long-lasting and pleasant finish.

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Château Lanessan, Haut-Médoc

Château Lanessan Haut-Médoc

2009 Château Lanessan, Haut-Médoc

Haut-Médoc | Gironde

Silky and fleshy on the palate with a chewy finish and hints of liquorice and red fruit compote. Beautiful opulence, silky tannins and a long finish.

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Lune d'Argent

Clos de Lunes

2019 Lune d'Argent

Bordeaux | Gironde

Lune d’Argent is the heart of Clos des Lunes’ production. We firmly believe in the future of this legendary terroir and its truly original style. With a touch of French oak, the Sémillon is dense and rich, the Sauvignon Blanc refined and precise. This cuvée of dry white wine promises to convey all the magic of Sauternes.

Rich fruity flavour palate, reminiscent of the nose and very unctuous. The acidity plays well its role by supporting this richness and by bringing a freshness of very suave taste. The tight finish is highlighted by very fresh flavours of candied citrus and a very mineral salinity.

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Château Doisy Daëne Barsac

Château Doisy-Daëne

2016 Château Doisy Daëne Barsac

Barsac | Gironde

The palate has loads of earthy/savory layers with great concentration and depth, finishing long and lively.

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