Bordeaux - French Wine
The Bordeaux region of France is the second largest
wine-growing area in the world with 57
appellations, 9,000 wine-producing châteaux, and 13,000 grape growers.
Only the Languedoc wine region is larger. Bordeaux produces everything from large quantities of everyday table
wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world.
Red Bordeaux, traditionally known as claret in the
UK, is generally made from a blend of grapes. Permitted
grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot,
Malbec, and Carmenère, although Malbec is very seldom used and
Carmenère is now virtually absent in Bordeaux.
White Bordeaux is made from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and
The Bordeaux wine region is divided into subregions including
Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Médoc, and Graves. In 1855, a classification
system, known as The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855,
ranked the wines into five categories according to price. The first
growth red wines (four from Médoc and one, Château Haut-Brion, from
Graves), are among the most expensive wines in the world.
The first growths are:
- Château Lafite-Rothschild
- Château Margaux
- Château Latour
- Château Haut-Brion
- Château Mouton Rothschild
In 1955, St. Émilion AOC were classified, adding an additional
two Premier Crus (Class A):
- Château Ausone
- Château Cheval Blanc
Pomerol has never been officially classified, but its best
estates, such as Château Pétrus and Château Le Pin, fetch very high
prices that often exceed even the prices of the first growths.
Sauternes is a subregion of Graves known for its intensely
sweet, white, dessert wines such as Château d'Yquem. The intense
sweetness is the result of the grapes being affected by Botrytis
cinerea, a fungus that is commonly known as noble rot.
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