Things You Should Know About Bordeaux Wine Region
When you think of wine, the first region that comes to mind might be Bordeaux, France. The Bordeaux wine region encompasses most of the Gironde department and its surrounding areas, stretching from the city of Bordeaux in the north to the town of Sauternes in the south and from La Teste-de-Buch on the Bay of Arcachon to Saint-Émilion and Pomerol in the east. The Bordeaux wine region in southwest France has played an essential role in the history of French wine, and it continues to be one of the top wine regions in the world today.
Among the oldest wine regions in France
The region has been producing wine since Roman times. Its winemaking heritage is so rich that more than 40 million bottles are produced yearly. While many consumers think only of claret and pinot noir when they think of Bordeaux, there are six main grape varieties used to make red wine in the region: Merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot, malbec and carmenere. The whites are the following: Sauvignon blanc, semillon, muscadelle and sauvignon gris.
We have already mentioned the different grape varieties available in this wine region. Now, we will be talking about the most used grape varieties in detail.
- Merlot: Merlot is the most generally established grape varietal in Bordeaux, representing 60% of all plantings. Grape ranchers love this because it is not difficult to develop and ages sooner than Cabernet Sauvignon. As a matter of fact, it is the most frequently established grape assortment on the planet. Merlot produces smoother and rounder wines, making them simpler to enjoy when they’re young. Controlling yields and concentration is crucial with this grape; otherwise, it creates a watery, unremarkable slop. Bordeaux has some great examples of Merlot that are 80-100 percent Merlot and have excellent quality and aging potential. Consider Petrus, the most costly Bordeaux wine, made entirely of Merlot and may be aged for up to 50 years.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabernet Sauvignon, known as the “Ruler of the Grapes,” is the second most established grape varietal in Bordeaux. It is very rarely utilized as a solitary varietal in wine in this nation; all things being equal, it is mixed all the time. Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc are the main mixing ingredients in Bordeaux. Blackcurrant, cassis, green ringer pepper, cedar, smokiness, and flavors from wood and tobacco provide exemplary fragrances. A fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon blend offers a great deal of maturing potential.
- Cabernet Franc: Cabernet Franc is a mixing accomplice for Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot in Bordeaux. It gives its blending accomplices more aroma and design. It smells like blackcurrant leaves, violet, raspberry, and plum. Château Ausone, for instance, utilizes 50% Cabernet France, while Château Cheval Blanc in St-Émilion utilizes as much as 40%.
- Sauvignon Blanc: At the point when we consider Sauvignon Blanc, we consider Sancerre, and Pouilly Fume. Bordeaux isn’t something we ponder frequently. This is the important grape in the light and fresh Bordeaux Blanc style. Winemakers can blend it in with Sémillon relying upon the wine they need to make, particularly to create a more full-bodied wine with some oak impact. Green apple, grapefruit, elderflower, citrus, and peach are all classic Bordeaux scents. As the popularity of Bordeaux Blanc waned, winemakers removed many white grape plants and replaced them with genuine Bordeaux red grapes.
- Semillon: As introduced previously, Semillon is the other major white varietal in Bordeaux. It is mainly used in the south of the region in Sauternes to produce the world renowned dessert wine. It is harvested on purpose when the grapes started rotting (botrytis) to give a very high natural sugar content that will be the base of dessert wine making. The sémillon is a very aromatic grape that provides a lot of tropical notes, flowers, honey and stone fruits.
Food pairing and aging
The options are limitless with regards to serving Bordeaux wines at the table. These wines are at their best when presented with similarly heavenly food varieties. In this manner, we generally advocate matching Bordeaux wines with food. Match solid reds, especially ones that have been matured, with red meats, lentil stews, and anything barbecued.
Bordeaux wines, prominently the exceptionally sought-after reds and pastry wines from the Left Bank, are famous for their remarkable capacity to mature. In light of their solid corrosiveness, articulated tannins (red wines), and organized spine, these wines have been known to mature for a long time in the basement.
On This Day
- March 5th, 1133: Henry Plantagenet was born. His marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine opened the market of this region to the rest of the world.
Want to read more? Try these books!