Ah, Bordeaux. Wonderfully juicy and vibrant in the summer months, dark and dense in the winter. A multi-talented region that not only produces world-beating reds, but incredible whites and some of the finest sweet wines known to mankind.
Considered by many to be the motherland of wine, Bordeaux has certainly been keeping the English in drink for the best part of 2,000 years. More recently, it has inspired rafts of wine from regions as diverse as Napa, Tuscany and New Zealand. The Fine Wine trade depends heavily on Bordeaux - between 60% and 80% of wine sales are the top echelon of Bordeaux - the cru classes (or 'classed growths').
This dominance of 'Brand Bordeaux' is down to its large size and the length of time it has been a wine-producing region. Its position on the Gironde river has made it an easily tradeable commodity, especially with the English and Dutch. Over the years, all sorts used to be allowed into the bottle, including Syrah from the Rhone! By the 20th century, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot had become dominant. Combined with the terroir (or unique combination of soil, grape and climate) Bordeaux was famed for its age worthy and complex wines.
This was encapsulated in 1855 with the classification of the Medoc, with wines placed into tiers based on their value - the top five tiers are referred to as the cru classes and represent some of the most famous wines in the world. Incredibly this classification remained untouched until 1973, when Chateau Mouton-Rothschild joined the ranks of the First growths. This was the one and only alteration to this amazing piece of legislation.
Bordeaux wines are proving themselves capable of changing with the times. The demand for more fruit driven styles has led many chateaux to adjust their blends, which means we don't have to wait around for long before we can start enjoying these exceptional wines!
View our full range of Bordeaux here