A Heavenly Blend: Appreciating the Wines of Bordeaux

The wine region of Bordeaux needs little introduction. Home to some of the world’s most prestigious wines – not to mention magnificent chateaux, gourmet cuisine, and the UNESCO-listed city of Bordeaux and the charming village of  Saint-Émilion – this region is one of the most popular destinations for wine lovers worldwide.

The unique geography and terroir of Bordeaux led to the formation of the world’s most revered – and most imitated – wine blend. While red wines account for almost 90% of wines from the region, this doesn’t tell the whole story, with citrusy white blends and mouth-watering sweet wines playing an important role, too.

Perhaps the best way to experience the wines of this magical region is by embarking on a Bordeaux wine tour. Here’s a taster of what’s in store…

Bordeaux Tasting Notes

Originally famed for its sweet, white wines, Bordeaux is the birthplace of the world’s most famous red blend. Also known as claret, red Bordeaux is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, blended with Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. These wines are bold, powerful blends with notes of blackcurrant and plum, along with a rich earthiness.

Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle comprise white Bordeaux blends, which are fruity and citrusy, and a perfect complement to the region’s succulent seafood.

Finally, late ripening Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle varieties are blended to produce the sweet, honeyed notes of Sauternes, which ranks amongst the world’s finest dessert wines.

The Geography of Bordeaux

Centring on the city of Bordeaux, the wine region stretches along Europe’s largest estuary, where the Gironde River meets the Garrone and Dordogne. These rivers define the main sub-divisions of the region, with the conditions of each area favouring the growth of different grape varieties.

Known as the Left Bank, the Médoc and Graves areas sit to the left of the Garonne and Gironde rivers. In Médoc, Cabernet Sauvignon is king thanks to the gravelly soil, with these bold, powerful reds amongst the world’s finest. Further south the Graves area produces reds and whites, including the famous Sauternes sweet wines.

Route des Chateaux, Vineyard in Médoc, famous wine estate of Bordeaux wine

The Right Bank, or Libournais, features red clay soil which offers ideal terrain for Merlot. These plummy wines retain a little boldness, though have a tendency to softer tannins.

Translated as ‘between the two seas’, Entre-Deux-Mers straddles the Dordogne and Garrone. While some reds grow here, predominantly Merlot, this region is best known for its fresh, dry whites, which whisper of lazy summer days and seafood platters.

Bordeaux Wine Tours

With over 60 appellations and well over 7,000 wine producers, you could spend a lifetime sipping and swirling your way around the region – and still not see and sample everything. So knowing where to start can feel a little daunting.

Our Luxury VIP Bordeaux Wine Tour offers the perfect introduction, combining trips to Médoc on the Left Bank with Saint-Émilion and Pomerol on the Right Bank. You’ll also savour a three-course Michelin-star lunch and sample the delights of Sauternes.

For the opportunity to create your own blend, opt for our Saint-Émilion and Sauternes wine experience. This private trip combines tours around two of Bordeaux’s most notable regions, with a blending workshop and a visit to Bordeaux where you’ll explore the renowned Cité du Vin.

Finally, for an exclusive tasting and three-course lunch with wine pairings, the Bordeaux Private One-Day Tour for Fly-By-Gourmets is sure to live long in the memory.

All our Bordeaux wine tours can be arranged to suit your requirements. To book your bespoke private wine tour in Bordeaux, contact sales@smoothred.com or call +44 208 877 4940 for more information.

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