I could not find a free images that highlights the Bordeaux region so you are going to have to deal with the crappy circle that approximates the location…or just follow the links at the end of this post to get a more accurate picture.
Bordeaux wines are apparently one of the most sought after wines in the world. The region offers a good climate for grape growing, but maybe more importantly, has a major port city. Visitors…well more likely wealthy merchants, got to drink, trade and export these wines all over the world.
Bordeaux Reds are the best known. The most important components of the blends are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The ratio Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot is dictated by the location of the winery. The region is split down the middle by the Gironde estuary that created 2 regions: Left Bank and Right Bank. Left Bank wineries produce blends with a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon while Right Bank wineries will favor Merlot. In addition to Cabernet and Merlot, blends can also include Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot. There is a whole host of classification systems that also come into play that I’m not going to get into. I’m just not ready to digest all that. Maybe I’ll tackle it if I actually get into wine and know what I really want.
Bordeaux Blanc (white blends) are composed some combination of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. There are also some other grapes permitted but, as I said before, that is really beyond my scope at this point. The tricky thing about Bordeaux Blanc is it does not have Bordeaux on the label…for fuck sake. Instead names like Graves, Pessac-Léognan, or Entre-Deux-Mers will be on the label.
There are also dessert wines called Sauternes. These wines are composed of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. They originate from the Sauternais region of the Graves section of Bordeaux… again for fuck sake.
As you can probably tell, my frustration with the complexity of wine is starting to show. I’ll calm myself and go to my happy place.
My first Bordeaux wine purchase will be this weekend. I plan to start with reds but who knows what I will find. All I know is that I have a long road ahead of me.