Discovering the Best of Bordeaux
Bordeaux is the capital of the wine world and with good reason. Prestige runs through its rivers and the region’s First Growth bottles consistently top global charts, and let us not forget that Bordeaux, with its longstanding tradition of various classification systems, remains the yardstick by which wines worldwide are compared.
The region has a history of wine merchants travelling far and wide to its natural ports. The Gironde Estuary has two tributaries, the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, which divide the region into three distinct zones: the Left Bank, Entre-Deux-Mers, and the Right Bank, each offering up its own distinct but equally impressive wines. Bordeaux’s superb reputation, unique style of blending, and dedication to the marriage of southwestern food and wine make it the perfect starting point for finding the styles you love. From the Left Bank to the Right Bank, the various terroirs to the grape varietals, and the character carefully created by the estate, winemaking is an art in Bordeaux and something to be treasured.
Bordeaux’s Left Bank is composed of the Médoc, which produces more Cabernet-Sauvignon-based wines, often blended with the likes of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc, making for more tannic wines than their Right Bank counterparts, with an overall bigger structure. The Médoc is well-known for esteemed appellations such as Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac, Saint-Julien and Margaux. At SmoothRed, we will often include a variety of châteaux to blend the perfect experience for you. Favoured options often include Château Palmer in Margaux, Château Pontet-Canet and Pichon Baron in Pauillac, and Château Cos d’Estournel in Saint-Estèphe. Each château has something unique to offer.
However, in addition to the Médoc, you’ll also find Graves and Sauternes on the Left Bank, appellations famed for their dry white wine production and a very popular option for unearthing the kings of this style of sweet wine, blended from Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Some of the sought-after estates that we love working with include Château Haut-Bailly and Château Haut-Brion in Pessac, as well as the famed Château Guiraud estate and its illustrious neighbour Château d’Yquem in Sauternes.
Saint-Êmilion and Pomerol can be found on the Right Bank, which boasts Merlot as its dominant grape, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot playing a supporting role. As such, the region typically produces lighter, more floral red wines, rich in fruitiness. These appellations are in many ways different from the aristocratic estates of the Médoc. In Saint-Êmilion, châteaux are typically smaller, but the region offers a greater charm, with beautiful rolling hills and its namesake, the quaint UNESCO medieval town, one of France’s most picturesque villages. Here you might explore esteemed estates such as Château Canon-la-Gaffelière, Château Troplong-Mondot, or Château Angélus.
For a wine connoisseur, the experiences you’ll find in Bordeaux are once-in-a-lifetime and utterly unmatched. We combine unique savoir-faire with a blend of châteaux tailored exactly to your tastes to help you discover something new, perhaps surprising, along with glorious dining adventures for the famed southwestern pairing experience.
Sometimes, it can be complicated to purchase some of the most celebrated wines even whilst you’re out in Bordeaux and buying directly from the estates is not always possible. We at SmoothRed know how difficult it can be to unearth those hidden treasures that you might have tasted on one of our tours, so if you’re yearning to taste or seeking your fix of the usual wine-tasting experience, we recommend speaking with our friends at Berry Bros & Rudd, the oldest wine merchant in the UK. If you are unable to travel to your favourite wine destination at the moment, have a look at their wide selection of prestigious wines which can be delivered straight to your doorstep to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home.
All our Bordeaux wine tours can be arranged to suit your exact requirements. To book your bespoke private wine tour in Bordeaux, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 208 877 4940 for more information.