The Wines of Bordeaux, France, simply the best!!!

BordeauxWell here I go again with Bordeaux and its wines. I am a wine aficionado but seldom write about them. This is another try at it. For a starter, I am certified diploma from ICEX the Commercial office of Spain abroad and SOPEXA, Food and Wines from France; as well as working for a large wines store chain in charge of the ordering and inventory of the store as ABC chain in Florida. I have my own cellar now numbering about 50 bottles as said before I enjoy drinking them not storing them!

And why Bordeaux well after tasting wines from Chile to California, South Africa to Germany, and all of France and Spain, I come to the conclusion that the best are from Bordeaux; I am not alone, it’s the world most recognizable quality wines ever. You want to know officially more of  Bordeaux wines here:

I do not want to get into something technical or winelogy talk but rather a primer to tell you about this wonderful region, which by the way has one of the best beaches in France where my family vacationed many summers.

The Bordeaux wine world is divided into sections based on quality, historical trends and efforts by the winegrowers to showcase their particular area. These designation tells pretty much the price and quality of the bottles in a general sense. These are:

Crus Artisans  Small artisan producers of the Médoc; Crus Bourgeois  For producers in the Médoc based on quality assessment of regional character ; Crus Classés de Graves  A classification of producers in Graves from 1953 (amended in 1959); Crus Classés de Saint-Émilion  A classification of top quality producers in Saint-Émilion that is revisited every 10 years. Crus Classés de 1855  A 5-tier classification of producers in Médoc and Graves (and sweet wines from Sauternes and Barsac) from 1855. One producer moved up a tier in 1973 (Mouton-Rothschild).

The Gironde estuary cuts through the center of the region creating two banks: a left bank and a right bank. It is a winery’s location on either bank that determines the proportion of Merlot to Cabernet inside each wine. If the winery is located on the Left Bank, (rive gauche)  (rive droite) the blend created will have more Cabernet Sauvignon than Merlot. If the winery is instead located on the Right Bank of the river, the wine will have more Merlot in the blend than Cabernet Sauvignon. Left Bank blends tend to be higher in tannins, alcohol and acidity. They are powerful, rich wines that are said to age a bit better than wines from the Right Bank. This is also the bank that made the region famous. Right bank blends tend to be softer, less tannic and lower in alcohol and acidity. Because Merlot is the dominant grape, they are much more juicy and usually ready to be drunk much earlier than Left Bank Bordeaux, and they’re often less expensive.

Some have it more simple designation base on general geography and subzones such as Bordeaux & Bordeaux Supérieur ; Le Médoc ; Blaye & Sauternais ; Le Libournais ; and L’Entre-deux-mer.

The varierities of grapes use are many and are as follows  for the Red : Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Carménére. For the whites they are  Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Muscadelle, Ugni Blanc, Colombard , and Sauvignon gris.

The red wines come from these designations Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc, Margaux, Médoc, Moulis, Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe, Saint-Julien, Graves , Pessac-Léognan , Bordeaux Supérieur, Blaye, Blaye – Côtes de Bordeaux, Bourg & Côtes de Bourg , Côtes de Bordeaux, Côtes de Bourg , Canon Fronsac, Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux, Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux Fronsac, Lalande-De-Pomerol, Lussac-Saint-Émilion, Montagne Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Puisseguin Saint-Émilion, Saint-Émilion, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, Saint Georges Saint-Émilion, Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux, Graves de Vayres , and Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux .

The whites coming from these designations Bordeaux , Blaye – Côtes de Bordeaux , Bourg & Côtes de Bourg , Côtes de Blaye , Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux , Bordeaux Haut-Benauge,  Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire , Entre-Deux-Mers, Entre-Deux-Mers Haut-Bénauge, Graves de Vayres, Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux. As well as the sweet designations that are not my cup of tea but Sauternes, comes to mind.

Lately, the Le Figaro vins section of the newspaper came with an article on the new Bordeaux giving some great properties as suggestions to be the best. I read the section religiously and abide by Le Figaro always. The link for their wine section in French is here:

The rest of the post is from that article and some of my input in English.

It has been a bit over 5 years that Le Figaro created a webpage dedicated to the world of wines or oenology ,and today it has 455 000 visitors per month and many more in Facebook and Twitter.  It has become quickly the French site of reference for the lovers of the vineyards. In the previous centuries Bordeaux has become a symbol of living and knowing about the wine French style.

At the Union des Maisons de Bordeaux, today are 300  négociants members that distribute 2/3 of the Wines of Bordeaux so, therefore  80%  of the territory shipping to 170 countries of our world . More here:

In 1855, on orders of emperor Napoléon III on the occasion of the Universal Exposition of Paris that he ask for a classification of the crus of Médoc. 61 properties divided in 5 levels were created; a club one of the world’s closed and private company that has never has been put to doubts, except in 1973 when Mouton-Rothschild moves up from 2nd to Premier cru classé. The classification provides an excellent tool for promotion that rarely if ever is challenge. Even thus, Bordeaux stay a land ready for recherché and advice.  There are many many vineyards that took the example of Bordeaux to improve their quality, including hiring consultants from Bordeaux such as Michel Rolland, Stéphane Derenoncourt, Hubert de Boüard or Eric Boissenot.  They have gone to the USA, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Greece, Lebanon, even India and China to export the know how of the Bordelais wines.  Bordeaux, is this incredible machine capable thanks to its  120.000 hectares of vineyards propose the whole of the wine markets a quality wine in all the brands levels of price. As long as the actors of the Bordeaux wine scene keep producing crus capable of attract consumers to it, Bordeaux will remain the reference in the World.

Starting from a large data base, the journalists could determine designation by designation (appellations) which are the chateaux the most attractive, and most desire of the public. This precious information has enable Le Figaro to create the Top 100 Bordelais properties.  Especially the Top 100 that takes us to like them for their influence in the Bordeaux market and their great properties in the wine world of 2017,whether real or numeric; which Le Figaro brings along all experts in internet communication including winemakers and other professionals.  They came up with these 3 points;

  1. Bordeaux is very well into the digital revolution.
  2. The image of the vineyard and properties on the web is conforming to what the professionals had in the middle of the 19C.
  3. The young generation of property owners mix well with centuries of tradition and an excellent e-reputation.

The Bordelais  is the most hierarchical vineyard in the world; the dynamic of its price, the critics notes, and the judgment of the professionals help to build solidify or weaken their status. The external problems and emerging values could allows us to understand what can happen even in Bordeaux; the price is only and indicator of the status of the property but with only a commercial look.

The notes of consumers on all platforms with a large following could be an element of instability in the reputation of the crus.  The amateur of wines 2.0 improvise the critiques on the social media via a blog or on applications web. We have gone from an horizontal dialogue (between consumers) to a culture of participation where the public is the co creator of content and choice. The reputation can be issue from the place of production made more accessable, welcoming, open, hospible and beautiful and not just by architectural spectacles. Bordeaux in the last years has had its revolution bringing to the market a huge quantiy of affordable wines , many times under 10€.  However, there still a job to do in selling the brands of a  Côtes de Castillon,  Côtes de Bourg, or Bordeaux supérieurs; a new model is needed on distribution and marketing.

Here are some of the finding TOP 10 on many designations or appellations of Bordeaux

From Saint Emilion, we have in order ;Cheval Blanc, Angelus, Fombrauge, la Gaffeliére, Figéac Ausone, Dassault, Pavie , Grand Pontet ,and La Dominique.

From Pomerol, Petrus, Clos Réné, Tailleffer, Beauregard, La Conseillante,  La Pointe , Gazin , Le Pin, Nenin, and Clinet.

From Pauillac, Mouton Rothschild, Latour, Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Lynch-Moussas, Pontet-Canet, Lynch-Bages, Croizet-Bages, Grand Puy Ducasse, Batailley, and Pedésclaux.

From St Estèphe,  Haut-Marbuzet, Beau- Site, Cos d’Estournel, Phélan Segur, Lafon-Rochet, Montrose, Calon Segur, Meyney, Ormes de Pez, and Lillian Ladouys.

From St Julian, Talbot, Lagrange, Ducru Beaucaillou, Gloria, Gruaud Larose, Branaire Ducru, Beychevelle, Leoville Las Cases , Leoville Poyferré, and Glana.

The whole article in French in Le Figaro is here:

Enjoy the wines in moderation but always drink them, not only good for your health but culturally enriching, and chic, with cachet ::) Salut!!!

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5 Comments to “The Wines of Bordeaux, France, simply the best!!!”

  1. We stopped at Combe Longue vineyard, one of the France Passion sites last year in Cars, near Blaye, last summer and I think we are heading that way son again. Happy drinking!

    Liked by 1 person

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