The Wines Of Bordeaux

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Bordeaux: probably the most well-known and widely recognised wine region on this planet however not precisely at the height of fashion at present. Bordeaux itself is a port-town sitting on the river Garonne leading to the Gironde estuary on the west coast of France; a key to its huge commercial success. It's France’s largest produce of AOC quality wine, with over 112,000 hectares planted with vines and nearly 1 / 4 of all high quality wine in France is produced here. Not only that, however a lot of France’s most prolific wines and producers hail from this cool, wet part of the country with costs for the 1st progress wines stretching into the stratosphere, particularly for the reason that 2009 and 2010 vintages when Asia first ventured into the fine wine market in force. Nevertheless, all of the glamour and wealth from the highest estates paints a false picture; the highest Chateau make up a paltry 5% of total production. The remaining is shared between an increasingly impoverished and struggling group of producers, numbering over 7000 on the final count. In consequence, the market of Bordeaux is especially complicated with a youthful generation of wine drinkers unable to purchase the top wines and the majority of producers struggling to make ends meet in opposition to the new waves of more accessible, New World wines.

The part where Bordeaux gets sophisticated is its many classifications and trade structures; it is certainly the most heavily labeled wine area on the earth with only Pomerol exempt from a rating system of sorts. Probably the most famous of these was the 1855 classification of the Medoc which has largely defined probably the most famous Chateau in the whole region of Bordeaux. Sauternes and Barsac had been categorized at the same time separately for candy wine production. Not to be omitted, Graves determined to create their own classification for his or her Chateau in 1959 and St. Emilion has updated their own classifications as just lately as 2012, albeit with some very high profile legal battles in the process. Small wonder most customers discover Bordeaux to be a tricky area to navigate and this is before getting onto the subject of negociants, en primeur tastings, expanding territories, overseas investment and important opinion, with Bordeaux to be a big market for a number of the worlds most highly acclaimed wine writers and wine merchants. Nonetheless, there’s simply no higher technique to discover a region than by ingesting a number of glasses of its wine as we delve into it, and on that note, listed here are the wines we selected to assist us navigate our approach across the area:

Le Petit Haut-Lafitte Blanc 2013 — The second white wine of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Grand Cru Classe wine from Pessac-Leognan; a mix of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon. The white wines of Bordeaux, whilst only making up 10% of total production, are considered by many to be the finest white wines within the world. Typically the wines categorical a cooler climate expression of Sauvignon Blanc with lots of citrus, white stone fruit and gooseberry aromas with a softer, more floral aroma relying on the level of Semillon and/or Muscadelle. These wines are sometimes oaked and in the case of Le Petit Haut-Lafitte Blanc, for 10 months in 50% new oak with consistent lees stirring. There’s a wonderful balance of toasty oak, crisp acidity and recent fruit flavours with a wonderfully full texture. Delicious stuff!

Chateau Fourcas Dupre 2010 — Now we head to the Listrac-Medoc, one of the lesser appellations of the area and the highest in altitude. Typically on the left-bank of Bordeaux you’ll find a higher concentration of Cabernet Sauvignon, at the most northerly restrict of where it would ripen. The important thing right here is the well-drained gravel soils that assist retain and mirror heat back onto the grapes, giving them the extra increase they need in the last weeks of the ripening period. Chateau Fourcas Dupre is an effective high quality producer focusing mainly on red wines, with the Fourcas Dupre being their ‘Grand Vin’, with other atypical wines with a majority of Merlot within the blend. Still tightly knit together after almost 7 years of age, this is an impressive worth-for-cash buy and showcases how good wine from the ‘lesser’ appellations can often be. Contemporary, structured and filled with young fruit, slowly evolving into the everyday graphite and cedar of left bank Bordeaux.

Chateau Haut-Bergey 2010 — Back to Pessac Leognan now for a take a look at a wine with some pedigree; Chateau Haut-Bergey. Purchased in 1991 and renovated closely by Sylvain Garcin-Cathiard, Haut-Bergey now produces round 50,000 bottles of their prime wine every year. A mix of fifty four% Cabernet Sauvignon and 46% Merlot and aged in 30% new oak for sixteen–18 months, this is very much a modern expression of Pessac-Leognan. The 2010 we drank was only just beginning to show itself, tightly wound and full of graphite, darkish fruit, toast and licorice. Given time, this can be a real beauty and is really very consultant of a high quality classic, where wines will typically take a bit of longer to open up and specific themselves. The wait is normally worth it!

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