Bordeaux is perhaps the best known wine region in the world. It certainly produces some of the greatest wines. There have traditionally been some differences between the wine produced North of or on the Right Bank of the River Gironde vs those produced South of it or on the Left Bank.
"Right bank Bordeaux" refers to wines from the vineyards on the North bank of the Gironde and Dordogne rivers. The wines are characterised by the dominance of Merlot in the blend of grapes used.
Left Bank Bordeaux wines, generally from much larger estates in the Médoc region with appellations such as Margaux, St Julien and Pauillac and in the Pessac-Léognan/ Graves region, contain more Cabernet Sauvignon.
This difference in the dominant grape means that the style of right bank and left bank Bordeaux can be quite different although producers are becoming more open to change.
- Cabernet Sauvignon is better suited to the well-drained gravel soils of the left bank and produces more tannic, full-bodied, deep coloured wines that can be austere in their youth but have great longevity.
- Merlot-dominant wines tend to be fragrant, lighter in colour with lower acidity and tannins. As a result they tend to be softer, medium-bodied and when well-made still rich and lush with ageing potential.
You can spend a lot of money on Bordeaux wines - the key is looking for value as in my Margaux from a smaller winery on the Left Bank and my Canon-Fronsac, a lesser-known appellation on the Right Bank.
Château Moya ~ Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux AOC 2011
£20.75 / bottleView Details
Château Caronne Ste Gemme ~ Haut Médoc AC 1998
£22.25 / bottleView Details
Château Violet ~ Sauternes AC 2007 (37.5cl)
£14.95 / bottleView Details
Domaine de Maucaillou ~ Margaux AC 2014
£24.75 / bottleView Details
Château de France Pessac-Léognan AC 2015 (Blanc)
£32.75 / bottleView Details
Château d'Arche ~ Grand Cru Classé Sauternes AC 2010 (37.5cl)
£18.50 / bottleView Details
Château de France Pessac-Léognan AC 2010 (Rouge)
£33.50 / bottleView Details
Château Tournefeuille ~ Lalande de Pomerol AOC 2015
£29.75 / bottleView Details
Château Gaby ~ Canon-Fronsac AC 2010
£36.00 / bottleView Details
Château Gaby ~ Princess Gaby Canon-Fronsac AC 2016
£22.50 / bottleView Details