What Makes Bordeaux Wines So Special?

bordeaux wines

12 May What Makes Bordeaux Wines So Special?

Bordeaux is arguably the most highly-coveted and popular wine blend on the planet. Like a number of other wines with a very interesting and lengthy history, there is a lot to know about these wines. Here we will just be looking at the basics; it will help us understand what makes Bordeaux wines so special.

There are white as well as red Bordeaux; however, this name is largely associated with red blends. A Red Bordeaux is always a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery that produces the wine and the location the vines are grown in, have bearing on the proportion of the blend.

In France’s Bordeaux region where this wine is produced, there are two distinct banks – the left bank & the right bank, which are created by the Gironde estuary that cuts right through the center of this famed region. The location of the winery on either of these banks is the deciding factor when it comes to the blend of Merlot and Cabernet in each wine.

Bordeaux facts

If the wine is produced at a winery situated on the Left bank, it will have less of Merlot and more of Cabernet Sauvignon. Instead, if the winery is situated along the right bank, it will have less of Cabernet Sauvignon and more of Merlot. Here are some general rules of this wine:

  • Blends produced on the left bank are higher in tannins and acidity and they also have higher alcohol levels.
  • These are rich and robust wines that age slightly better when compared to wines produced on the Right Bank. In fact, it’s the Left bank that’s put the region on the global map.
  • The blends produced on the Right Bank are less tannic and have lower acidity and alcohol levels and a more subtle flavour. This is because Merlot grapes are juicy and these are the dominant grape in the wines made here.
  • These wines can also be drunk much earlier than Bordeaux produced on the Left Bank; the former are also far less expensive than the Left Bank Bordeaux.
  • Many winemakers also blend wines such as Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot with the Merlot and Cabernet. However classic Bordeaux is always a blend of the latter two grapes.

What makes Bordeaux wine so famous?

If we had to say this simply, the location is what makes the wine so successful. The climate and soil condition in the Bordeaux region are ideal for growing grape vines. Aside from this:

  • The region has also been a major port hub for centuries. Since the place had visitors from across the world, winemakers were able to access various global regions through the people that visit the port.
  • Since Bordeaux wasn’t landlocked like the famous Burgundy region, it was able to effectively capitalise on all the ships and affluent merchants that poured into its port every single day; these people were always sent off with bottles of wine.
  • It didn’t take long for the wine’s acclaim to spread and very soon the well-heeled trading classes from the Netherlands and Great Britain that had access to the merchants that sailed back and forth from Bordeaux started collecting these wines. This was the turning point in Bordeaux wine history and this wine forged its reputation as a premium wine for the upper classes

Today, you can find Bordeaux wines of varying price ranges and quality; some wines produced by smaller vineries can also be found for $15 to $25. The wines that are worth cellaring are typically priced at $40 and above.

For information about custom wine cellar design and installation, you can call Signature Cellars on 02 9340 7515 or use this contact form to get in touch with us. We’ll be pleased to assist you and provide custom solutions that match your requirements.

Thanks for reading,
Neil Smallman
Signature Cellars
1300 570 636

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