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Bordeaux Wine

The wine of Bordeaux is a distinguished protagonist of world enology, symbol of elegance and prestige. The territory, with its strong winemaking traditions that have been lost in time, is known especially for the production of red wines based on Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes. Their combination has become a model of imitationthroughout the world known as the "Bordeaux blend". The expressions produced by the most famous and oldest Chateaus, included in the Official Classification established by Napoleon III in 1855 and still valid today, are among the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world. In this area dominated by the great reds, the sweet passito wines of Sauternes and Barsac also stand out, true examples of elegance and refinement. It is here that countless expressions of unrivalled level are born, which have become a point of reference for wine lovers all over the world.

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The wine of Bordeaux is a distinguished protagonist of world enology, symbol of elegance and prestige. The territory, with its strong winemaking traditions that have been lost in time, is known especially for the production of red wines based on Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes. Their combination has become a model of imitationthroughout the world known as the "Bordeaux blend". The expressions produced by the most famous and oldest Chateaus, included in the Official Classification established by Napoleon III in 1855 and still valid today, are among the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world. In this area dominated by the great reds, the sweet passito wines of Sauternes and Barsac also stand out, true examples of elegance and refinement. It is here that countless expressions of unrivalled level are born, which have become a point of reference for wine lovers all over the world.

Tradition and Classification of Bordeaux Wine

The territory in which Bordeaux wines are produced takes its name from the capital city of the Aquitaine region, which is still used today to identify the macro-area of production of French wines of exceptional quality. The city was founded by the Romans in the 3rd century B.C. under the name of Burdigala and over the centuries became one of the most flourishing centres in the whole of Gaul. It was a river port with a strategic commercial position, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and at the intersection of the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, which flow into the Gironde estuary. Its fame is in fact historically linked to the export of fine wines to England.

The origins of the red wine produced around this city date back to the 12th and 13th centuries, when the whole region of Aquitaine was governed by an English dukedom. At that time, it was customary to mix white and red grapes in the winemaking process, resulting in a clear, bright-coloured liquid called 'claret' by the English. In the 16th century, the vineyards and products began to take on a similar structure to those of today. During the 17th century, at the request of French King Henry IV, the Dutch reclaimed areas that would prove to be of great viticultural importance, such as the Médoc. In the same period the Pontac family inaugurated a production style of excellent quality based on ageing in new oak barrels. This contributed to the popularity of territorial excellences in England and encouraged many other local entrepreneurs and growers to do the same. In the following century, names such as Saint-Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsac were already established in courts around the world, paving the way for the success of legendary wines.

On the occasion of the Universal Exhibition in Paris, Emperor Napoleon III promoted what would go down in history as the Bordeaux wines of the Official Classification of 1855, still valid today with some modifications. The purpose of this classification was to present the exceptional nature of the area's enological products to the world, displaying, in order of importance, a list of the most prestigious producers based on the reputation of the Chateau, as the producers in the area are called, and the price of the labels, which at the time was closely linked to quality. The reds classified as Premiers Crus were those of Chateau Lafite, Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux, Haut-Brion and Mouton, to which Chateau Mouton-Rothshild was added in 1973. All of them are in the Mèdoc area except Haut Brion, which is in the Grave. The only white wine classified as Premier Cru Supérieur was the Sauternes of Château d'Yquem, while, immediately below, 9 Chateau were classified as Premier Cru.


Territory, Production Areas and AOCs

Bordeaux wine, in its different forms of interpretation, is defined by some important criteria, such as the Chateau, which is the wine-producing site, the cru, based on the official classification, and the terroir, which is closely linked to the territorial designation, namely the municipality of production. There are many prestigious AOC territorial denominations, such as Pauillac, Margaux, Pessac-Leognan, Pomerol, Saint Emilion and many others. However, even today, the names of the Chateaus continue to be more familiar to the general public.

The AOC and Supérieur AOC denominations are broader and include large territories within the region. Included within these denominations are great value for money wines such as Bordeaux Château de Reignac. A large central territory between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers is famous for producing fresh and pleasant whites, included in the Entre Deux Mers AOC appellation. To the south of this area, on the other bank of the Garonne, the area's most famous and world-renowned passito wine, Sauternes, is produced.

A broader subdivision of the territory can be made according to macro-areas: Médoc, Grave and Liboirnais. The first is the most famous; in the Official Classification of 1855, out of 61 Chateaus mentioned for red wines, 60 come from this area. The most widely grown grape is Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The most important crus, including Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac and Margaux, are all located in the south of this macro-area, in a sub-area called Haut-Médoc.

To the south of this macro-area is the Grave region, where elegant whites are produced alongside reds made mostly from Cabernet Sauvignon. The most famous denomination is that of Pessac-Léognan, with the famous Haut Brion, the only Premier Cru Classé outside of Médoc.

In the eastern part of the region, along the course of the Dordogne river, is the Libournais area, characterised by a predominantly hilly landscape dominated by Merlot grapes. It is here that the most valuable expressions are produced, including the soft and elegant reds of Saint Emilion and Pomerol.

On the Callmewine online store you can find a fine selection of wines from this very important region of France for sale. Discover the characteristics of Bordeaux wine for sale online on Callmewine at the best price on the web. Explore the detailed descriptions and technical sheets provided by our expert sommelier and buy one of the most prestigious wines in the world.