By Kori ~ April 5th, 2011.
This week’s Wine Word of the Week is Bordeaux.
Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Bordeaux is an important French port on the Garonne river leading to the Gironde estuary on the west coast. Bordeaux gives its name to a wine region which includes the vineyards of the Gironde département and, as such, the wine region which produces more top-quality wine than any other…. Bordeaux has a higher proportion of large estates than any other French wine region, and produces more of the world’s most expensive and sought-after wines than anywhere else. ….
Conventionally, in terms of the all-important fine red wines at least, the whole region is split into ‘left bank’ and ‘right bank’, or Medoc and Graves on the west side of the Gironde, and St-Émilion and Pomerol on the east side, leaving the vast Entre-Deux-Mers (‘between two seas’) district in the middle. ….
Bordeaux’s most famous, and best travelled, grape variety is that on which the Medoc and Graves depend for their red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon. Bordeaux’s most planted variety by far, however, is Merlot, which by the end of the 1980s occupied 40 percent of all vineyard land.
Layman’s terms from Kori:
Bordeaux is arguably the most famous wine region in France and in the world. Bordeaux produces wonderful white wines and sweet dessert wines, but it is known the world over, first and foremost, for its red wines. Almost 90 percent of Bordeaux vineyards are planted with red varieties. The red varieties most often used in Bordeaux blends are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Other varieties that play or have played a minor role in red Bordeaux are Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Carmenere. The First Growths of Bordeaux, designated in the 1855 classification, are some of the most expensive and sought-after wines in the world.
Filed under: French Wine, Wine Word of the Week