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The Wines and Chateaux of Bordeaux France

01/12/2014

When you think of the widespread and ever growing wine industry, the French wine region of Bordeaux is well known as a brand in itself. Dating back to its exclusive historic past as a vital trading hub in the Middle Ages, Bordeaux has come a long way in creating its identity as the wine capital to the rest of the world.

 The Great Growth (“crus”) classification, established in 1855 at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, concerns red wines from 60 Médoc châteaux and 1 château from the Pessac-Léognan appellation, ranked within five categories:
• 5 Premiers Crus (First Growth)
• 15 Deuxièmes Crus (Second Growth)
• 14 Troisièmes Crus (Third Growth)
• 10 Quatrièmes Crus (Fourth Growth)
• 18 Cinquièmes Crus (Fifth Growth)

Each region in this list came to be categorized as first growth divisions, second growth divisions and so on with the only change to this classification occuring in 197, with the addition of Château Mouton Rothschild.
These particular Chateaux and wine with well over 150 years in this industry are   famous for their price and finesse in the global wine market.

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The Bordeaux region comprises 60 appellations and more than 3,000 Chateaux.
These Chateaux are distributed along the left bank and the right bank formed by Garonne and
Dordogne rivers, forming the Garonne estuary.
Bordeaux's  (East Bordeaux) Right bank with its limestone layers dominates the Merlot blend and here the best known appellations are Pomerol and Saint-Émilion. (Canon-Fronsac and the Fronsac are the less important appellations)

On the other hand, the Left bank ( North west Bordeaux)with its gravel and quartz layered soil features
good drainage and warmth due to Bordeaux's latitude, it is a sunny region overall.
The ideal varietal for this region is the Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Left bank also comprises Medoc, which features the generally more well known regions regions like Pauillac, Saint-Julien, Saint-Estèphe and Margaux.
Graves with the appellations like Sauternes, and Barsac along with Pessac-Léognan produces
red wines, dry white wines and the desert wines to name some.

The predominant varietals (grape varieties) include Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Also used depending on the area, are Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere
Although, red wine is the best known product of Bordeaux, other varitals/styles like Sauvignon Blanc,
Sémillon, and Muscadelle are used for making dry white wine and dessert wines in Bordeaux.

The places located between rivers like Sainte-Croix-du-Mont and the Deux-Mersare the dry white wine and dessert wine producing areas.

A lot of Bordeaux wine is sold as 'En primeur' ('wine futures')
This is a method of purchasing wines earlier, while a vintage is still in a barrel, offering customers the opportunity to invest in a particular wine (before it is bottled) at a better price.
Victoria Cellars has a wide range of amazing Wines from Bordeaux Chateaux and rare vintages.
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