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.
- Saint-Émilion Grand Cru1er Grand Cru Classé B 0.75l Red€52.50 €43.39Blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Absolutely delicious wine with very expressive dark fruit and blackcurrant. Powerful and rich but there is great balance here because of the freshness. Beautiful precision and length. Lovely wine.
- Saint-Émilion Grand Cru1er Grand Cru Classé B 0.75l RedPrimeur€69.45 €57.40Dark intense purple colour but not as rich in texture as Pavie Macquin. The nose is fresh with aromas of red fruit, summer flowers, mocha and minerals. There is a beautiful texture and the tannins are ripe and fresh if quite prominent showing that this will be a wine for long aging. It is a modern classic and very well made. I love the quality of the aromas here - wild berries, herbs and smoke. Smooth and sweet. I love it. What class! Bravo. Delivery from winter 2020-2021
- Saint-Émilion Grand Cru1er Grand Cru Classé B 0.75l RedNew€69.70 €57.60Made from a blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, the 2017 is very pure in the nose, fresh with aromas of small black and red currants, light and very pretty, with good spicey concentration mid palate. It is quite tender, soft and with intergrated oak. This is a lovely wine, silky and racy.
- Saint-Émilion Grand Cru1er Grand Cru Classé B 0.75l Red€69.85 €57.73A very compelling wine with beautiful intense aromas and lots of silky, fresh fruit. The flavours on the palate recall raspberry jam, pomegranate and blood orange zest. A blend of 87% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc aged in 50% new oak, the wine has great purity and harmony which belies that this will be a wine destined for quite long aging. The finish is both powerful and fresh. Very alluring.
- Saint-Émilion Grand Cru1er Grand Cru Classé B 0.75l Red€75.30 €62.23One of my favourite Nicolas Thienpont wines; Nicolas says that the quality of this first classified growth showed this year in the vines’ ability to balance the excesses of the climate. In this sun-drenched terroir, the dense, fresh, dynamic character of the wine really came into its own in 2016. There is lovely richness on the nose, with good red fruit character, round tannins and balance on the palate and a classy and elegant finish. Very good. Drink 2020-2040
- Saint-Émilion Grand Cru1er Grand Cru Classé B 1.5l Red€91.60 €75.70One of the best wines of the vintage, this wine comes from the portfolio of Nicolas Thienpont and Stéphane Derenoncourt and is produced from very low-yielding vines (17hl/ha). The nose is open and fresh with notes of spice and fruit (black olives, prunes, liquorice, incense). Lovely concentration on the palate with quite soft tannins and good acidity. Elegant and long on the finish. Well-done!
- Saint-Émilion Grand Cru1er Grand Cru Classé B 1.5l Red€105.00 €86.78Blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Absolutely delicious wine with very expressive dark fruit and blackcurrant. Powerful and rich but there is great balance here because of the freshness. Beautiful precision and length. Lovely wine.