What is Bordeaux?

BordeauxBordeaux is a specific region within France and is often considered the capital of the wine region.  It arguably has the finest red wines and the finest sweet white wines in the world.  The region is naturally divided by the Gironde River.  The left bank includes the Medoc region and the subregions of St-Estephe, Paulliac, St-Julien, and Margaux while the right bank area includes the subregions of Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, Bourg, and Blaye.  Additional wine regions include the area of Graves which is south east of the Médoc (left bank) and includes the sub regions of Pessac-Leognan, Sauternes and Barsac.  Across from the Graves, on the right bank, is the Entre-Deux-Mers area between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers.  All of these regions have their own appellation and laws which dictate the composition of the vineyards, time of harvest and appropriate yields as well as various winemaking techniques.

The soils on the left bank are made up of gravel, pebbles, and sand.  Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant grape responsible for the structure, tannins, fruit and ageing potential of the wines.  Cabernet Franc is a secondary grape which gives elegance and finesse to the blends and smaller quantities of Merlot are used to bring roundness, soft fruits and body to the wine.  The soils on the right bank are composed of more clay and limestone; Merlot is the dominant grape and Cabernet Sauvignon would be a secondary grape if blended. 

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