Bordeaux is the largest and most important wine growing region in Europe, if not the world. Its vineyards extend over 125,000 hectares and the average size of an estate is 17 hectares. Bordeaux has more appellations than any other European region with 60 different names. There are between 7,000 and 7,500 domains making 10,000 different wines. If all these figures are confusing, it is simpler to remember that Bordeaux is BIG: Big area, big wines, big business.
All wine that is not divided into smaller appellations (such as St. Emilion or Margaux) is sold as generic Bordeaux or Bordeaux Supérieur. This can include land owned by the famous chateaux such as Chateau Mouton Rothschild that is not within a higher appellation, styles of wine not allowed within a higher appellation (such as white wines made in the Médoc or St. Emilion) and vineyards of the Entre-deux-Mers.
Both red and white wines can be labeled with the Bordeaux appellation and primarily the wines bottled by Bordeaux negociants with a brand label use this. The grape varieties for both red and white Bordeaux are chiefly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for the reds and Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for the whites. Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc are the most widely planted red and white grape variety respectively.
Bordeaux Supérieur wines are higher quality wines than AOC Bordeaux. They are aged for one year at least in oak barrels, have lower yields and higher potential alcohol levels. They are also produced at the estate level rather than by growers selling to the Bordeaux wine merchants (or negociants). Bordeaux Supérieur covers a vast area of Bordeaux that is not specific to one geographical origin. These wines often represent outstanding value for money and include several well-known names.
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- MédocCru Bourgeois 0.375l Red€6.00 €4.96An attractive Cru Bourgeois made in the north of the Médoc by the talented grandsons of Marc Pages. Bright dark violet colour, fresh, sweet and fruity on the nose with good blackcurrant flavour, firmly structured palate and a fresh, lively finish. Great value.
- 2016 Château de CarlesFronsac0.375l Red€7.19 €5.94A lovely wine from Fronsac with good ambitions: Medium red colour; pleasant, fresh red fruit on the nose; attractive taste of spice, sweet, vanilla, liquorice, and ripe, plummy fruit. An attractive, round and generous wine with a good sweet long finish.
- 2016 Château PuygueraudFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.43 €6.14Purchased by Georges Thienpont in 1946 and home to his family of 13 children, Puygueraud is a testament to the Thienpont family who put the Côtes de Francs on the Bordeaux wine map. This is a really charming vintage with a dark crimson colour, fresh and spicy nose with wild herb aromas, blueberries and blackcurrants; lovely spice and freshness, on the palate with great persistence. Delicious with lots of life and verve. Super.
- 2011 Château La PradeFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.45 €6.16An appealling deep violet colour,very fragrant and spicy on the nose, opulent and round with sumptuous autumn fruit flavours on the palate-a mix of blackberries and boysenberries with a touch of wild herbs; nice spicy finish.
- 2012 Château PuygueraudFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.45 €6.16Very pretty vivid purple colour; appealling nose with crunchy red fruits; smooth on the palate showing good intensity of fruit, acidity and a touch of wild herbs, spicy and nicely oaked on the finish. Very pleasing. A great achievement.
- 2015 Château de CarlesFronsac0.375l Red€7.54 €6.23One of the best values of the vintage, we prefer the de Carles 2015 to the richer, more extracted Haut-Carles. This is a lovely wine with rather wild, autumn fruit flavours, lovely purity and freshness typical of an organic wine, good spiciness and lots of life. Delicious already, this should keep well for a decade.
- 2015 Château La PradeFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.54 €6.23One of our favourite wines made by cousin Nicolas Thienpont in the Côtes de Francs; A blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc grapes grown on limestone soils. The limestone character comes out clearly in the wine. Dark colour with a bright garnet rim; lovely open nose full of wild berry and bramble scents; smooth, fresh and pretty on the palate, this is a lovely wine, well-balanced and pure.
- 2014 Château PuygueraudFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.71 €6.37This Thienpont family wine, made by Nicolas Thienpont is a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec. It is intense and structured in the nose with spicy aromas of nutmeg and cloves. There are lovely black fruit flavours on the palate with good intensity and a good tannic structure leading to a rich finish.