Bordeaux Wines: 10 things to know

Here are 10 key points to see a bit clearer in the Bordeaux jungle, this mythical wine region. Take a look at the map aside to understand better the following10 key facts for Bordeaux.


This month, the Wiine.Me selection is 100% from this region, that is why we wanted to introduce you a bit further with the myths and realities of the best bordeaux wines. Next article will be dedicated to help you finding the best value bordeaux wines. Cheers!

Here is a more detailed wine map of bordeaux for those who are the most advanced already

1. There are 9820 wine makers in the Bordeaux area! Therefore the choice may be tough. Don't worry, sommeliers are here to help you with the wine selection.

2. A bottle labeled as "Bordeaux supérieur" is definitely not one of the best
wines in this region. That is only a generic regional appelation for the entire Bordeaux wine area. However there is only one diference with simple "Bordeaux AOC" appelation (not "Superieur"): "Bordeaux Superieur" wines are to have been aged in oak barrels for at least 12 months.

3. Saint-Emilion is neither the name of a wine, nor a grape varietal, but simply the name of a village, and a mythical appellation.

4. Juste besides Saint Emilion, there is another village, called Pomerol, another mythical appellation with some of the best Bordeaux wines, like Petrus.

5. There is a ranking for wines from Saint Emilion (right bank of the Dordogne - the Bordeaux river), updated every 10 years, with precise criterias. Most prestigious wines from this ranking are "Premiers Grands Crus Classés A" (Chateaux Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie).

6. There is also a ranking for wines from Medoc (left bank of the Dordogne). This one has been established under Napaleon in 1855 and it has never been modified, except in 1973, by french president Pompidou, when Chateau Mouton Rothschild was upgraded from  "Second Grand Cru Classé" to "Premier Grand Cru Classé".

7. Petrus is not a "Grand Cru Classé", neither from Saint Emilion nor the Medoc. Indeed the village of Pomerol (where Petrus is located) is actually out from all ranked areas.

8. The major difference between wines from Saint Emilion/Pomerol and wines from Medoc is the grapes. The wines from Saint Emilion/Pomerol are essentially made of Merlot, while the others (Medoc, part of the ranking from 1855) are esentially made of Cabernet. This is the difference between the left bank and the right bank in Bordeaux.

9.The main 5 grape varietals in Bordeaux are: Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. 

10. There are 3 legendary vintages for Bordeaux wines in the 20th century: 1947, 1961, 1982. Each of these vintages has an iconic wine: 1947 = Chateau Cheval Blanc, 1961 = Chateau Latour, 1982 = Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

After the year 2000, best vintage years are: 2005, 2009, 2010. Wines from those years can virtually be cellard till the end of time...

The vintages with the best quality/price ratio in Bordeaux wines are 2001 and 2008.

This month's wine selection

Ultimate wines for summer evenings on the terrace

Loire Adventure

  • Domaine JF Merieau, L'Arpent des Vaudons, 2016
  • Domaine JF Merieau, Le Bois Jacou, 2016
  • Domaine Fabrice Gasnier, Chinon Pierres Chaudes, 2017

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