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Bordeaux (“Bore-doe”) refers to a wine from Bordeaux, France. Over 90% of Bordeaux wines are red wines made with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This article will introduce you to Bordeaux wine including tasting notes, food pairing suggestions, and key details to know.
Red Bordeaux Primary Flavors: Black Currant, Plum, Graphite, Cedar, Violet
Bordeaux reds are medium- to full-bodied with bold aromas of black currant, plums and an earthiness like smelling wet soil or pencil lead. Depending on the quality, vintage and what region within Bordeaux the wine is from, fruit flavors range from more tart fruit to sweeter ripe fruit. When you taste the wines, they burst with mineral and fruit notes that lead into prickly, savory, mouth-drying tannins. The tannins are often high enough that wines will age for several decades.
Speaking of aging, one of the secrets to finding great Bordeaux has a lot to do with seeking out great vintages from the region (great vintages seem to come along 1–2 times every 5 years) and then stocking up. Even affordable wines are great on a good vintage in Bordeaux.
The Bordeaux Blend
One of the most important things to know about Bordeaux wines is that they are a blend of grape varieties. The red Bordeaux Blend is one of the most copied around the world and it includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (with tiny amount of Carménère). Of course, the proportion of the grapes in the blend will make a difference to the flavor (see the major blends below).
Chateau Portillon is Merlot dominant, but the Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc in the blend lend herb & earth notes. Ch. Portillon is well above the average Bordeaux table wine & will match with serious cuisine at a very affordable price.
An intense "Claret" style from Saint Macaire. Merlot is dominant with 70% in the blend along with Cabernet Sauvignon. Ample & rich with good body & classically balanced. Rounded, fruity flavours of kirsch, blackberry & vanilla with a lovely nose of rose petals & anise with a touch of blueberry. A lingering, long finish.
This great value Bordeaux is made by the Chateau Clinet Wine Team who select the grapes from some of the Right Bank's best vineyards, the wine is then vinified and blended at Chateau Clinet's state of the art winery in Pomerol. Already found on the tables of some Frances best restuarants, this wine is rapidly becoming a favourite of 5 Star Hotels all over the World. Produced from 100% Merlot, this wine shows a brilliant ruby colour, on the nose, there is cherry, raspberry, and blackcurrants with notes of sweet pepper. In the mouth the wine reveals a sweet fruitiness, with flavors of raspberry, fresh cherry and redcurrants, complemented with fine spices and light to medium tannins. The finish is long and fruity.
Petit Martin is from the Graves property of Chateau Saint Martin and is classified as a Bordeaux Superieur, produced from 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, this wine has a wonderful bouquet of red fruits and vanilla with hints of spice, in the mouth it has plenty of ripe red fruits with soft tannins and a roundness that comes from the soft aging in aok barrels.great to drink on its own or with a variety of meats or pasta.
Ch. Prieuré de Blaignan is the 'second' wine of Ch. Blaignan - part of a stable of prestigious Bordeaux chateaus. A clear, attractive red, with a fresh nose of forest berry characters & a freshness that's evocative of bilberry & red currant in. On the finish, it leaves supple tannins on the palate. 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 55% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc
This Superb Bordeaux Superieur of 12 ha is located between Château Siran, Château Dauzac (5th Growth) and the River Gironde. The family de Cazenove decided to replant this old estate that was frozen in 1956. They selected the best parcels of Alluvium soil where they planted Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc on rootstocks adapted to the soil. A deep understanding of local traditions, dedicated work and high quality requirements allowed reaching maturity and an excellent plant level. This vintage is characterized by fragrances of ripe raspberries and a gorgeously dense structure, ample and long in mouth
Located in the parish of Saint-Philippe d’Aiguilhe, on the highest point of the Bordeaux region. The vines are planted on the southern side of the clayey chalky continuation of the famous Saint Emilion plateau. Purchased by Mr Palatin in 1972, the property has been handed down to his daughter Nathalie and son-in-law Mr. Thomas Guibert who is also in charge of the Saint Emilion Classified Growth Chateau de Ferrand. The 12 Hectares are planted with 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5 % Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines are matured for up to 12 months in French Oak Barrels.
Located close to the communes of Saint Emilion & Pomerol, Chateau La Croix de Roche is a certified organic & Biodynamic wine, renowned for producing outstanding value wines and regarded by Robert Parker as one of his favourite lower priced wines.
Produced from 60% Merlot, 15% Carmenere, 15% Petit Verdot & 10% Malbec, the low yield crops are vinified separately per block in temperature controlled vats, before being selected for blending, aging takes place with 90% in tank and the other 10% in new oak barrels.
Soft fruity with lots of cherry and plumb fruits, in the mouth silky and soft with fine tannins and a very nice freshness. To be enjoyed now or over the next 3 years.
Few areas of Bordeaux arouse such interest & demand as Pomerol. Thats where the uber-expensive Ch Petrus comes from.
Ch. Gachet is right next door & although is a slightly less favoured terroir it nevertheless produces wines from Merlot & Cabernet Franc on clay soils, like Pomerol.
We first saw Vieux Château Gachet from the lush 2009 vintage. The 2013 turned out to be a good Bordeaux vintage - not exceptional but still very good
70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc & 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, harvested by hand, & aged in oak for 12 months (20% new). Dark colour, velvet purple, cherry aromas & soft sweetness of oak; the palate is dark fruits & cherry, hints of sweet spice, good balance of tannins & these are balanced beautifully by the fruit. Drinking well now.