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Bordeaux: the largest region producing of fine wines in the world


History of wine in Bordeaux

The production of wine in the Bordeaux region started in the first century of our era.
But it is at the beginning of the 14th century that the Bordeaux vineyards takes off in response to market demand in Northern Europe. The "French Claret, very popular with the English, is a feature wine that you drink in the year.
In the 17th century, English and Dutch traders settled in Bordeaux and wanting to meet the demand of their markets, improve the methods of winemaking to increase the stability of wine so that it can resist the transport. Major owners from Médoc have followed and developed new techniques of winemaking. On the English markets, competition is strong. Traders and large landowners began to identify the best wines and best terroirs to produce the best wines.
The famous 1855 classification of the commercial success of various fields ranking in five categories, according to the prices at which were sold the barrels of wine in London.
It was at Bordeaux that were developed concepts of "Castle" or "bottling at the property." These concepts are now attributes of wine, ranging from itself and through which we now believe and understand wine.

For more information:
Enjalbert, H. and B. Enjalbert, 1987: L'histoire de la vigne et de vin, Paris: Bordas.
Unwin, T., 1991: Wine and the Vine, An Historical Geography of Viticulture and the Wine Trade, London and New York: Routledge.

Varietals of Bordeaux

Red wines

The red wines of Bordeaux are produced from the assembly of three main varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon: Mainly in the Medoc.
Cabernet-Franc: It is found associated with Merlot in Saint-Emilion.
Merlot: Main varietal in Pomerol and several wines of Saint-Emilion.
There are also secondary varietals:
Malbec: Once widespread in the Medoc, is today a marginal grape.
Petit Verdot: Varietal uded to give acidity to the wine.


White wines

Two main varieties make up the white wines of Bordeaux, to which is sometimes added  a third variety:
Semillon: Varietal basic Sauternes.
Sauvignon: Associated with Semillon for producing dry white wines.
Muscadelle: aromatic grape variety which is sometimes assembled with the two previous varieties.

Characteristics of Bordeaux wines

Bordeaux is a vast region where different styles of wine are produced. The river Garonne and the estuary of the Gironde region is divided in two, with on the left bank, the Medoc, Graves and Sauternes, and on the right bank, Saint-Emilion, Pomerol and different "Cotes."
The Cabernet-Sauvignon predominates on the left bank, while the Merlot is more present on the right bank.

The wines of the Left Bank are dominated by the characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon: austere, purple color, with aromas of cassis, cedar, smoked and green peppers.
The wines of the right bank are dominated by the characteristics of Merlot and Cabernet Franc in Saint-Emilion (soft and fruity) and Merlot in Pomerol: power and elegance, with shades of orange and red fruit aromas but also leather, sous-bois and truffles.


Evaluations - Bordeaux

Château Cambon La Pelouse 2009, $27.70
Château Petit Bidou Côtes-de-Bourg 2014, $17.15
Château Cailleteau Bergeron 2012, $20.00
Château Lousteauneuf 2010, $26.00
© 2018 Sommelier Virtuel, Montréal, Québec