For our second installment on Bordeaux week, I want to talk about the regions that are producing those “affordable” Bordeaux wines that we are so excited about.
Bordeaux AOC– Yep, this is an appellation itself (for red wines only) and if a wine is labeled under the appellation“Bordeaux,” the grapes can come from anywhere in the region and most likely are sourced from multiple areas. These wines are often Merlot-based and very approachable. In a good vintage the Bordeaux AOC wines are great values. You may also see the AOC Bordeaux Supérieur. One step up from the Bordeaux AOC, these red wines can be more complex and will last a few years in your cellar (if you choose to keep them!).
Médoc and Haut Médoc – another more general appellation, this area is on the left bank, which means the wines are going to be made from a blend based on Cabernet Sauvignon. Home to more prestigious appellations like Margaux and Pauillac, wines labeled Médoc or Haut-Medoc can be similar in quality, but lower in price. Depending on the producer, of course. Haut-Médoc is typically a higher quality level of wine than the Médoc, but not always. Since these wines are based on Cabernet Sauvignon, they can be tannic and structured, so are great accompaniments to appropriate food – like meat!
Côtes de Castillon – One of my favorites, this region is on the right bank of Bordeaux, so Merlot is the dominate grape. Created in 1989, it is an excellent example of wine to drink now. Fruit-forward, with ripe, supple tannins and great length. These are structured and expressive wines, but very approachable when young. This is a great wine to try if you are just introducing yourself to Bordeaux.
Please share some of your favorite regions and wines from Bordeaux.