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A beginner’s guide to the wines of Bordeaux

A beginner’s guide to the wines of Bordeaux

Consideredto be the finest of all wine regions, Bordeaux however can seem daunting for some. In order to help de-mystify the region, I have laid out a few simple tips below.

The first point of note is that all Bordeaux wines from entry-level right up to some most of the world’s most expensive wines are made from a blend of two or more varieties, primarilyCabernet Sauvignon, Merlot &Cabernet Franc.

Also the region is bisected by the Gironde River, and indeed you may have heard Bordeaux wines referred to as right or left bank.

On the left bank Cabernet Sauvignon is king.These wines have more structure and tannin, with dark blackcurrant and blackberry fruit and can possess tremendous ageing potential.

On the right bank, the Merlot-dominant blends are generally softer and more approachable in their youth with layers of chocolate, spice, plum and red berry fruit.

If you really learn more about Bordeaux though, in my opinion tasting is far more enjoyable than reading, so why not start out by trying one of the wines below, all of which have 20% this March & April.

From the Left Bank:

Château Blaignan 2012 (€18.35down from €22.95) a Cru Bourgeois, from the Northern Médoc, is full-bodied and bursting with flavours of blackcurrant, black cherries and a hint of spice.

Château Sénéjac 2012 (€20.80 down from €26.00) is another Cru Bourgeois, this time from the Southern Médoc, this is more delicate in style but hassome wonderful cigar box notes thanks to extensive oak ageing.

From the Right Bank:

Arpège de Château Marsau2012 (€15.95 down from €19.95) is made from the old vines at Château Marsau, While Marsau is dense, structured and generous, Arpège is a more delicate expression of Merlot.

Château Haut-Badon 2011 (€19.95down from €24.95) is a beautiful Saint-Émilion Grand Cru that immediately displays the charm that makes Saint-Émilion the easiest to love of all Bordeaux wine.

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