A Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of southwest France. Bordeaux is centered on the Garonne River. To the north of the city the Dordogne River joins the Garonne forming the broad estuary called the Gironde and covering the whole area of the Gironde department,with a total vineyard area of over 120,000 hectares, making it the largest wine growing area in France. Average vintages produce over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wine, ranging from large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world; the vast majority of wine produced in Bordeaux is red, with sweet white wines, dry whites, rosé and sparkling wines collectively making up the remainder. Bordeaux wine is made by châteaux. There are 54 appellations of Bordeaux wine; the wine was introduced to the Bordeaux region by the Romans in the mid-1st century, to provide wine for local consumption, wine production has been continuous in the region since then. In the 12th century, the popularity of Bordeaux wines in England increased following the marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
The marriage made the province of Aquitaine part of the Angevin Empire, thenceforth the wine of Bordeaux was exported to England. At this time, Graves was the principal wine region of Bordeaux, the principal style was clairet; this accounts for the ubiquity of claret in England, though this is now used to refer to all red wine rather than the clairet style specifically. The export of Bordeaux was interrupted by the outbreak of the Hundred Years' War between France and England in 1337. By the end of the conflict in 1453 France had repossessed the province, thus taking control of wine production in the region; as part of the Auld Alliance, the French granted Scots merchants a privileged position in the trade of claret—a position that continued unchanged after the Treaty of Edinburgh ended the military alliance between France and Scotland. When the by Protestant kingdoms of England and Scotland, both ruled by the same Stuart king by this point, were trying to militarily aid the Huguenot rebels in their fight against Catholic France in La Rochelle, Scots trading vessels were not only permitted to enter the Gironde, but the French navy escorted them safely to the port of Bordeaux to protect them from Huguenot privateers.
In the seventeenth century, Dutch traders drained the swampy ground of the Médoc so it could be planted with vines, this surpassed Graves as the most prestigious region of Bordeaux. Malbec was the dominant grape here, until the early 19th century, when it was replaced by Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1855, the châteaux of Bordeaux were classified. From 1875 to 1892 all Bordeaux vineyards were ruined by phylloxera infestations; the region's wine industry was rescued by grafting native vines on to pest-resistant American rootstock. The major reason for the success of winemaking in the Bordeaux region is an excellent environment for growing vines; the geological foundation of the region is limestone, leading to a soil structure, heavy in calcium. The Gironde estuary dominates the regions along with its tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers, together irrigate the land and provide an Atlantic Climate known as an oceanic climate, for the region. Bordeaux lies at the center of the confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers, which flow into the Gironde.
These rivers define the main geographical subdivisions of the region: "The right bank", situated on the right bank of Dordogne, in the northern parts of the region, around the city of Libourne. Entre-Deux-Mers, French for "between two seas", the area between the rivers Dordogne and Garonne, both of which are tidal, in the centre of the region. "The left bank", situated on the left bank of Garonne, in the west and south of the region, around the city of Bordeaux itself. The left bank is further subdivided into: Graves, the area upstream of the city Bordeaux. Médoc, the area downstream of the city Bordeaux, situated on a peninsula between Gironde and the Atlantic at the Left Bank of the Gironde. In Bordeaux the concept of terroir plays a pivotal role in wine production with the top estates aiming to make terroir driven wines that reflect the place they are from from grapes collected from a single vineyard; the soil of Bordeaux is composed of gravel, sandy stone, clay. The region's best vineyards are located on the well-drained gravel soils that are found near the Gironde river.
An old adage in Bordeaux is the best estates. The majority of land facing riverward is occupied by classified estates. Red Bordeaux is made from a blend of grapes. Permitted grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Carménère. Today Carménère is used, with Château Clerc Milon, a fifth growth Bordeaux, being one of the few to still retain Carménère vines; as a broad generalisation, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the blend in red wines produced in the Médoc and the rest of the left bank of the Gironde estuary. Typical top-quality Châteaux blends are 15 % Cabernet Franc and 15 % Merlot; this is referred to as the "Bordeaux Blend". Merlot tends to predominate in Saint-Émilion and the other right bank appellations; these Right Bank blends from top-quality Châteaux are 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. White Bordeaux is predominantly, in the case of the sweet Sauternes, made f
Château Montrose is a winery in the Saint-Estèphe appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. The wine produced here was classified as one of fourteen Deuxièmes Crus in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855; the vineyard is in the northernmost of the great Médoc communes. The soil in Montrose's 168 acres consists of black sand with a subsoil of clay and marl, they are planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Château Montrose produces two red wines: its eponymous grand vin, a second wine named La Dame de Montrose; the 1970 vintage placed third among the ten California and French red wines at the historic Judgment of Paris wine competition, won by the Americans. Montrose wines tend to be tannic and during excellent vintages can take up to 20 years to mature; the 1990, 2009, 2010 vintages were rated 100 points by Robert M. Parker, Jr. Château Montrose official site
Château Léoville Barton
Château Léoville Barton is a vineyard in the Saint-Julien appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. Château Léoville Barton is the name of the red wine produced by this property; the wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. Unlike many of its peers, Château Léoville Barton has no château building; the château depicted on Léoville Barton's label is that of Château Langoa Barton. Léoville Barton, along with Château Léoville-Las Cases and Château Léoville-Poyferré was once part of the vast Léoville estate; the estate was purchased by Hugh Barton in 1826, continues to be owned by the Barton family, of Irish descent. The current owner Anthony Barton began running the estate in 1983, along with its sister property Château Langoa Barton; the previous owner was Anthony's uncle Ronald, who died in 1986. The two St. Julien properties have the longest continuous duration of ownership by the same family of any of the other current proprietors in Bordeaux.
Léoville Barton's 116 acres of vineyard is located in the central part of the appellation along the Gironde river. The soil composition, is gravel with a subsoil of clay; the plantings are 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc with the vines averaging 30 years of age. Two red wines are produced from the vineyards of Château Léoville Barton, an eponymous grand-vin, a second wine called La Reserve de Léoville Barton, produced from lots consisting of younger vines or lots deemed lacking the quality of the grand-vin. After a hand picked harvest, fermentation takes place in temperature controlled wood vats for two to three weeks before being transferred into oak barrels for aging before bottling. In June 2015, the Chateau partnered with Irish Distillers' Midleton Distillery and Dublin based Wine and Whiskey Merchants Mitchell and Son to create a Bordeaux wine finished expression of the iconic Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. Château Léoville-Barton official site
Château Mouton Rothschild
Château Mouton Rothschild is a wine estate located in the village of Pauillac in the Médoc region, 50 km north-west of the city of Bordeaux, France. Known as Château Brane-Mouton, its red wine was renamed by Nathaniel de Rothschild in 1853 to Château Mouton Rothschild. In the 1920s it began the practice of bottling the harvest at the estate itself, rather than shipping the wine to merchants for bottling elsewhere; the branch of the Rothschild family owning Mouton Rothschild are members of the Primum Familiae Vini. The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 was based on recent market prices for a vineyard's wines, with one exception: Château Mouton Rothschild. Despite the market prices for their vineyard's wines equalling that of Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild was excluded from First Great Growth status, an act that Baron Philippe de Rothschild referred to as "the monstrous injustice", it is believed that the exception was made because the vineyard had been purchased by an Englishman and was no longer in French ownership.
In 1973, Mouton was elevated to "first growth" status after decades of intense lobbying by its powerful and influential owner, the only change in the original 1855 classification. This prompted a change of motto: the motto of the wine was Premier ne puis, second ne daigne, Mouton suis. and it was changed to Premier je suis, Second je fus, Mouton ne change. Château Mouton Rothschild has its vineyards on the slopes leading down to the Gironde Estuary, in the Bordeaux region producing grapes of the Cabernet Sauvignon variety. Today, Château Mouton Rothschild has 222 acres of grape vines made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, their wine is fermented in oak vats and matured in new oak casks. It is frequently confused with the distributed generic Bordeaux Mouton Cadet. Baron Philippe de Rothschild came up with the idea of having each year's label designed by a famous artist of the day. In 1946, after the success of the 1945 label, this became a permanent and significant aspect of the Mouton image with labels created by some of the world's great painters and sculptors.
Artists such as Salvador Dalí, Francis Bacon and Miró designed labels for bottles of Mouton Rothschild. Few exceptions are to point: To celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the acquisition of Château Mouton, the portrait of Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild appeared on the 1953 label; the 1973 label were dedicated to Pablo Picasso. In 1977, the Queen Mother Elizabeth visited the Château and a special label was designed to commemorate the visit. In 1978 when Montreal artist Jean-Paul Riopelle submitted two designs. Baron Philippe de Rothschild liked them so he split the production run and used both designs. In 1987 Baroness Philippine de Rothschild dedicated the label to her father Baron Philippe de Rothschild died on January 20, 1988; the 1993 Mouton label, a pencil drawing of a nude reclining nymphet by the French painter Balthus was rejected for use in the United States by the Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms. As such, for the U. S. market the label was made with a blank space where the image should have been and both versions are sought after by collectors.
An unusual gold enamel bottle was made for the 2000 vintage. The 2003 label marks the 150th anniversary of Mouton's entry into the family. Baron Nathaniel is depicted on the label in a period photograph; the background shows part of the deed of sale. The popularity of the label images results in auction prices for older and more collectible years being far out of sync with the other first growths, whose labels do not change year to year; the 2013 vintage has the work of Korean artist Lee Ufan. The grand vin, Château Mouton Rothschild, is one of the world's most expensive and rated wines, with the average price of a 750ml bottle reaching $604. In 1978, the company Baron Philippe de Rothschild announced their joint venture with Robert Mondavi to create Opus One Winery in Oakville, California; the 1990s saw large-scale expansion in the Americas under the leadership of President Cor Dubois, with the region contributing half of the company's turnover. In 1998, Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA teamed up with Concha y Toro of Chile to produce a quality premium red wine in a new winery/bodega built in Chile's Maipo Valley: Almaviva.
The same year saw the launch of a fine Chilean branded wine. In June 2003, the vineyard hosted La Fête de la Fleur at the end of Vinexpo to coincide with their 150th anniversary. 2013: new range of three Chilean varietal wines was launched in 2013 under the name Anderra. In the same time, in order to secure grape supplies and ensure the development of its Chilean branded wines business, Baron Philippe de Rothschild acquired 960 hectares from Viña Villavicencio; the 1970 vintage took second place, was the highest ranked French wine, at the historic 1976 Judgment of Paris wine competition. In John Updike's 1954 short story "Friends from Philadelphia", first published by The New Yorker, the protagonist, attempts to buy a bottle of wine for his parents's dinner party, but he is denied, being too young to purchase alcohol, his parents are college educated, though not very wealthy. He seeks the help of his friend's parents at a nearby house, his friend's parents are not college educated, though they have a good de
Château Lafon-Rochet is a winery in the Saint-Estèphe appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. The wine produced here was classified as one of ten Quatrièmes Crus in the historic Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855; the Chateau has 111 acres planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. A second wine is produced under the label Les Pelerins de Lafon-Rochet; the Chateau is owned by the Tesseron family who made their fortune in the Cognac trade and own Château Pontet-Canet. Purchased by Guy Tesseron in the 1960s, it was the first Médoc chateau to be rebuilt in the 20th century. Lafon-Rochet had a reputation for tough, tannic wines. In recent vintages, the increase usage of Merlot has soften the blend. Château Lafon-Rochet official site
Château Cos d'Estournel
Château Cos d'Estournel is a winery in the Saint-Estèphe appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. It is the name of the red wine produced by this property; the wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. Château Cos d'Estournel produces the eponymous grand vin, the second wine since the 1994 vintage, Les Pagodes de Cos from the estate's younger vines, as well as Château Marbuzet from fruit of nearby plots; the property is adjacent to Château Lafite-Rothschild in the neighboring commune of Pauillac. The name Cos refers to a "hill of pebbles" in Gascon dialect and the name Cos d'Estournel was given in 1810 by Louis-Gaspard d'Estournel; the estate has changed hands several times during its history, starting in 1852 when it was purchased by the English banker Charles Cecil Martyns. In 1869, it was sold to the Spanish Errazu family only to be sold again 20 years in 1889 to the Bordeaux-based Hostein family. Through his marriage to Marie-Thérèse Hostein, Louis-Victor Charmolue, who owned Château Montrose, gained control of Cos d'Estournel in 1894.
In Finally in 1917, it was sold to Fernand Ginestet. The château has remained in the Ginestet family since becoming in 1970 part of Domaines Prats, the combined holdings of the Ginestet and Prats families, controlled by Bruno Prats. In June 2008 it was announced that Michel Reybier, current owner of Cos d'Estournel, purchased Napa winery Chateau Montelena for an undisclosed sum. By November 2008, this agreement was cancelled, the termination of the transaction by Chateau Montelena stated to be due to that Reybier Investments had been "unable to meet its obligations". From a 100 hectare estate, the vineyard area extends 70 hectares, divided into 30 parcels composed of the grape varieties of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, with minor cultivation of Cabernet Franc and Petit verdot that appears to participate little in the modern production; the annual production is 32,000 cases. Cos wines tend to have a higher blend of Merlot than other classified Left Bank wines. Château Cos d'Estournel official site
Château Léoville-Las Cases
Château Léoville-Las Cases is a winery in the Saint-Julien appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. Château Léoville-Las Cases is the name of the red wine produced by this property; the wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. Léoville-Las Cases was one of the first estates in Bordeaux to introduce a second label, Clos du Marquis. However, Clos du Marquis is a separate wine. Since 2007, the Chateau has offered a Second Wine known as Le Petit Lion de Marquis de Las Cases. Léoville-Las Cases was once part of a much larger estate until the time of the French Revolution when a portion of this estate was separated into what is today Château Léoville-Barton. In 1840, the estate was again divided and land that would become Château Léoville-Poyferré was split off. Since the mid 20th century the Delon family have been owners of this estate owners of châteaux Potensac and Nénin. In 1976, the 1971 vintage ranked number six among the ten French and California red wines in the historic "Judgment of Paris" wine competition.
The largest plot of Léoville-Las Cases' vineyards, known as the Grand Clos, is located on the northern boundary of St-Julien, with only the Juillac tributary separating its vineyards from those of Château Latour in Pauillac. The vineyard area in total extends 97 hectares planted with a grape variety distribution of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot; the vineyard underwent major replanting during the 1950s, today the vines average 30 years of age. Léoville-Las Cases produces two wines, its grand vin, a second wine called Clos du Marquis, in production since 1902. Grapes are harvested by hand and may be fermented in temperature controlled wood, concrete, or stainless steel vats of varying size depending on the style of the vintage. Léoville-Las Cases employs a state of the art reverse osmosis machine to help extract excess water from the grape must in a rainy vintage. Use of this machine is considered legal, but controversial, while Léoville-Las Cases is not the only estate to employ this technique, few estates admit to their use.
After processing and fermentation, the wine is transferred into oak barrels for 18–20 months of aging before being fined with egg whites and bottled. The average annual production is 180,000 to 200,000 bottles for the Grand Vin, 250,000 to 270,000 bottles for the second wine, Clos du Marquis. Emmanuel, comte de Las Cases