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Bordeaux

Bordeaux, in the south-west of France, needs little introduction to anyone with an interest in wine. One of the world's most prolific wine regions, it also manages to rank among the most famous and prestigious. The secrets of Bordeaux's wine success (other than magical Bordeaux Blend) are its three trump cards: diversity, quality and quantity.

The majority of Bordeaux wines are the dry, medium-bodied reds that made the region famous. The finest (and most expensive) of these come from the great châteaux of the Médoc, particularly those in Pauillac and Margaux, and from the "right bank" appellations Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. The legendary reds are complemented by high quality white wines, both the dry styles of Pessac-Léognan and the sweet, botrytised nectars of Sauternes.

The official Bordeaux viticultural region stretches for 80 miles (130km) inland from the Atlantic coast. It is home to more than 10,000 producers, who turn out a vast quantity of wine each vintage. These range from inexpensive everyday wines through to some of the world's most expensive and prestigious labels. Bottles of dry red wine produced under the region's generic Bordeaux appellation can be bought for just a few pounds. Those from the top châteaux are regularly traded for several thousand pounds.

Bordeaux's climate is well moderated by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the presence of the various rivers (the Dordogne, the Garonne and the Gironde Estuary into which they flow). The region takes its name (which translates roughly as "next to the waters") from the port city of Bordeaux, which serves as its logistical and administrative centre. Summer daytime temperatures hover around 77°F (25°C), and rarely rise above 86°F (30°C), while winter brings sub-zero temperatures only occasionally. Even the latitude here (45°N) is moderate: exactly halfway between the equator and the North Pole. The Médoc peninsula feels the maritime influence particularly strongly; local winemakers talk of the gentle breezes and light clouds that take the edge off even the hottest summer days.

The region's long, relatively warm summers are ideal for growing late-ripening grape varieties. That is not to say that cool, wet weather in spring and autumn is not a concern here. A fundamental reason that most Bordeaux red wines are made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon is that these two varieties bud, flower and ripen at different times and rates, which spreads the risk posed by poor weather conditions at flowering or harvest. In years when the autumn is wet, the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest suffers from rot and water-logging, but the earlier-ripening Merlot provides a back-up. When the spring is wet, the Merlot flowers poorly, leaving the Cabernet Sauvignon to take up the responsibility of providing a good harvest.

The vast expanse of pine forest to the south (La Forêt des Landes) protects Bordeaux from strong, salt-bearing winds coming off the Atlantic Ocean, although there is a risk of still winter air getting trapped and bringing frost to the Bordelais vineyards. The region's proximity to large masses of water, such as the Atlantic Ocean, the Gironde Estuary and the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, helps to moderate climatic extremes.

Merlot is the dominant red wine grape in the vineyards of Bordeaux, followed closely by Cabernet Sauvignon and then Cabernet Franc. Petit Verdot, Malbec and even Carmenère are also permitted. When used in combination, these varieties are variously referred to as a "Bordeaux Blend". Bordeaux's white wines are generally blends of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle.

While Bordeaux is well regarded for wines produced within specific areas, many of its wines fall under other, far less ambitious appellations. These include Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur and the sparkling-specific Crémant de Bordeaux. Bordeaux also has a distinct and historically significant classification system, which has remained largely unchanged since the middle of the 19th century.

Few regions can rival Bordeaux in terms of its impact on the wine world. The few contenders include Burgundy, Champagne, Rioja, Chianti and the Napa Valley.
  • Petits Châteaux Red Bordeaux Mixed Case
    from £105.50

    Petits Châteaux Red Bordeaux Mixed Case

    Mixed

    Although Bordeaux produces all three colours of wine, as well as sparkling and sweet wines, it is red wines that the region is probably best known ...

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    from £105.50
  • Château Du Barry Bordeaux Rouge
    £10.75

    Château Du Barry Bordeaux Rouge

    Château Du Barry

    Chateau Du Barry has a saturated garnet colour that borders on purple-blue. The nose is elegant and powerful, delivering gingerbread, vanilla, and ...

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    £10.75
  • Château Caronne Sainte Gemme, Haut-Médoc
    £21.85

    Château Caronne Sainte Gemme, Haut-Médoc 2012

    Château Caronne Sainte Gemme

    Chateau Caronne Ste Gemme 2012 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, grown on deep gravelly soil close to Saint-Jul...

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    £21.85
  • Château Bernadotte 2009, Haut-Médoc
    £27.50

    Château Bernadotte 2009, Haut-Médoc

    Château Bernadotte

    "The finest Château Bernadotte made to date, this 2009 is an undeniable sleeper of the vintage. Composed of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, and...

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    £27.50
  • La Rose De Labégorce 2012, Margaux
    Save 17%
    Original price £27.25
    Current price £22.50

    La Rose De Labégorce 2012, Margaux

    Château Labégorce

    La Rose De Labegorce is ageworthy and elegant in style, not at all overly exuberant. Although full of rich and dark fruit, freshness and precision ...

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    Original price £27.25
    Current price £22.50
    Save 17%
  • Château Pontac Lynch 2010, Margaux
    £44.75

    Château Pontac Lynch 2014, Margaux

    Château Pontac Lynch

    "Chateau Pontac Lynch 2014 has a strict, linear bouquet with dark cherries, blackberry and a touch of soy. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp t...

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    £44.75
  • Château Pontet Plaisance 2012, Saint-Émilion
    £18.50

    Château Pontet Plaisance Grand Cru Saint-Émilion 2012

    Château Pontet Plaisance

    Chateau Pontet Plaisance 2012 is deep crimson in colour. It is a ripe and full St-Emilion, with blackberry and cassis fruit and a delicious note of...

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    £18.50
  • Réserve De La Comtesse 2009, Pauillac
    Sold out
    Original price £58.00
    Current price £47.28

    Réserve De La Comtesse 2009, Pauillac

    Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse De Lalande

    Offering aromas of forest floor and black fruits, the Reserve De La Comtesse 2009 is flavoursome and full-bodied with plenty of texture and opulenc...

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    Original price £58.00
    Current price £47.28
    Sold out
  • Croix De Beaucaillou 2014, Saint-Julien
    £55.50

    Croix De Beaucaillou 2014, Saint-Julien

    Château Ducru-Beaucaillou

    Croix De Beaucaillou2014 is an outstanding wine which exhibits a dense purple colour along with a sweet kiss of cassis, liquorice, incense and grap...

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    £55.50
  • Lions De Suduiraut 2011
    £13.95

    Lions De Suduiraut 2014 Half Bottle

    Château Suduiraut

    Lions De Suduiraut 2014 has a youthful, exhuberant nose and enjoys aromas of candied and honeyed dried fruits. A juicy, direct style on the palate,...

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    £13.95
  • Château Sansonnet 2012, Saint-Émilion
    £47.00

    Château Sansonnet 2014 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classe

    Château Sansonnet

    Chateau Sansonnet 2014 is a really complex, well fruited and brooding St Emilion with excellent structure and plenty of finesse. The classic pencil...

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    £47.00
  • Duluc De Branaire-Ducru 2010, Saint-Julien
    Sold out
    Original price £35.90
    Current price £29.65

    Duluc De Branaire-Ducru 2012, Saint-Julien

    Château Branaire-Ducru

    Duluc De Branaire-Ducru 2012 has an appealing nose, aromatic with hints of pepper and blackberry fruit. Generous fruit, superb concentration, beaut...

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    Original price £35.90
    Current price £29.65
    Sold out
  • Château Haut-Peyrous Graves Rouge Retour De Palombières
    £17.50

    Château Haut-Peyrous Graves Rouge Retour De Palombières

    Château Haut-Peyrous

    Chateau Haut-Peyrous Graves Rouge Retour De Palombieres is immediately complex on the nose with red fruits, chocolate, violets and pencil shavings....

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    £17.50
  • Chateau la Croix de Roche - Bordeaux Superieur 2014
    £12.50

    Chateau la Croix de Roche - Bordeaux Superieur 2014

    petits chateaux bordeaux

    This organic wine is a blend of Merlot, Carmenere, Petit Verdot and Malbec is a favourite for our Bordeaux lovers. Complex, well rounded and now dr...

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    £12.50
  • Lions De Suduiraut 2010
    £27.75

    Lions De Suduiraut 2013

    Château Suduiraut

    Lions De Suduiraut 2013 is described as a lighter, "contemporary" take on classic Sauternes; it certainly feels fresh with plenty of racy, orange c...

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    £27.75
  • Château Mazeyres 2011, Pomerol
    £32.50

    Château Mazeyres 2012, Pomerol

    Château Mazeyres

    Chateau Mazeyres 2012 is ruby coloured with purple glints. A touch of vanilla first on the nose, then a savoury note of toasted hazelnuts that evol...

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    £32.50
  • Chateau Nenin - Pomerol 2009
    Save 9%
    Original price £68.50
    Current price £62.00

    Chateau Nenin - Pomerol 2009

    petits chateaux bordeaux

    A classic Pomerol from a top vintage. The 2009 Nenin has a sweet fruit nose with blackcurrant aromas dominant. It is medium bodied with a good core...

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    Original price £68.50
    Current price £62.00
    Save 9%
  • Les Pagodes De Cos 2009, Saint-Estèphe
    £54.80

    Les Pagodes De Cos 2014, Saint-Estèphe

    Château Cos D'Estournel

    An open and full wine with plenty of black fruit aromas and flavours with hints of menthol and lead pencil and a faint trace of bitter chocolate be...

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    £54.80
  • Château Caronne Sainte Gemme, Haut-Médoc
    £24.00

    Château Caronne Sainte Gemme, Haut-Médoc 2015

    Château Caronne Sainte Gemme

    Chateau Caronne Ste Gemme 2015 is a blend of largely Cabernet Sauvignon with a healthy dollop of Merlot and a dash of  Petit Verdot, grown on deep ...

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    £24.00
  • Château Haut-Colombier 2012, Premières Côtes De Blaye
    £14.45

    Château Haut-Colombier 2014, Premières Côtes De Blaye

    Château Haut-Colombier

    Chateau Haut-Colombier is a blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Ripe and juicy, this is a ready-to-drink wine. It has berry ...

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    £14.45
  • Chateau d'Armailhac- 5ieme cru Pauillac
    £42.50

    Chateau d'Armailhac- 5ieme cru Pauillac

    Chateau d'Armailhac

    Belonging to the Baron Philippe de Rothschild stable, this is a wonderful 5th growth that offers a classic nose of black fruits and cherries togeth...

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    £42.50
  • Lacoste Borie - Pauillac 2014
    £32.50

    Lacoste Borie - Pauillac 2014

    petits chateaux bordeaux

    This second wine of the 5th Growth Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste has a great reputation. And rightly so as the Borie family take great care in the prod...

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    £32.50
  • Château Mazeyres 2009, Pomerol
    £31.25

    Château Mazeyres 2014, Pomerol

    Château Mazeyres

    Chateau Mazeyres 2014 is a very deep red hue and develops a powerful nose as soon as it is open, with aromas of red fruit leading towards a predomi...

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    £31.25
  • Château Calon Ségur 2009, Saint-Estèphe
    Save 16%
    Original price £125.70
    Current price £106.00

    Château Calon Ségur 2009, Saint-Estèphe

    Château Calon Ségur

    Chateau Calon Segur 2009 is made in a very different style for this estate, being composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdo...

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    Original price £125.70
    Current price £106.00
    Save 16%