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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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Château Lascombes 2009, Margaux
    £114.00

    Château Lascombes 2009, Margaux

    Château Lascombes

    Chateau Lascombes 2009 is a deep, brilliant purple colour, still showing some violet glints. Fresh, delicate and fruity on the nose, with subtle ar...

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    £114.00
  • 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 Calon Ségur 2009, Saint-Estèphe
    £125.70

    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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    £125.70
  • Ronan by Clinet - Bordeaux Rouge 2015 Magnum
    £27.90

    Ronan by Clinet - Bordeaux Rouge 2015 Magnum

    petits chateaux bordeaux

    Magnum is generally the best quantity to buy any wine in and this is no exception. What a superb little wine! This is 100% Merlot from a variety of...

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    £27.90
  • Pastourelle de Clerc Milon - Pauillac 2009
    £47.75

    Pastourelle de Clerc Milon - Pauillac 2009

    petits chateaux bordeaux

    Another wonderful wine from the Rothschild stable, this is the second wine of Chateau Clerc Milon and it benefits from the same care and attention ...

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    £47.75
  • 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
  • Chateau Canon la Gaffeliere - St Emilion Grand Cru Classe 2013
    £48.90

    Chateau Canon la Gaffeliere - St Emilion Grand Cru Classe 2013

    petits chateaux bordeaux

    Another excellent wine from the Von Niepperg stable.A blend of Merlot 75% Cabernet Franc 25% and Cabernet Sauvignon 5%, this is a very approachable...

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    £48.90
  • Château Sansonnet 2012, Saint-Émilion
    £39.00

    Château Sansonnet 2013 Saint-Émilion

    Château Sansonnet

    Chateau Sansonnet 2013 is a really dark mpurple colour with a nose of ripe black fruits.Due to the extreme low yields in 2013 it has quite a concen...

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    £39.00
  • Cos D'Estournel 2006, Saint-Estèphe Magnum
    £324.50

    Cos D'Estournel 2006, Saint-Estèphe Magnum

    Château Cos D'Estournel

    "The exceptional 2006 Cos D’Estournel is composed of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot, 55% of the production was utilised. R...

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    £324.50
  • Clos L'Église 2006, Pomerol
    £149.50

    Clos L'Église 2005, Pomerol

    Clos L'Église

    Clos L'Église 2005 gives the brilliant 2001, 2000, and1998 a run for their money. Time will tell if it eventually eclipses those three sensational ...

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    £149.50
  • £14.50

    Croix de Feret Lambert - Bordeaux Superieur 2016

    Chateau Feret Lambert

    This is one of the  second selections of the Chateau Feret Lambert. As a Bordeaux Superieur it is well flavoured with plenty of plum and blackcurra...

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    £14.50
  • Croix De Beaucaillou 2008, Saint-Julien
    £49.50

    Croix De Beaucaillou 2008, Saint-Julien

    Château Ducru-Beaucaillou

    Croix De Beaucaillou2008 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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    £49.50
  • Le Benjamin de Sansonnet Grand Cru St Emilion 2016
    £24.25

    Le Benjamin de Sansonnet Grand Cru St Emilion 2016

    Chateau Sansonnet

    The second wine of this exemplary Grand Cru Classe St Emilion is a terrific offering and often is more impressive than many first wines. Merlot dom...

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    £24.25
  • Le Benjamin de Sansonnet Grand Cru St Emilion 2015
    Save 10%
    Original price £24.25
    Current price £21.83

    Le Benjamin de Sansonnet Grand Cru St Emilion 2015

    Chateau Sansonnet

    The second wine of this exemplary Grand Cru Classe St Emilion is a terrific offering and often is more impressive than many first wines. Merlot dom...

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    Original price £24.25
    Current price £21.83
    Save 10%
  • Château Du Vieux Montpezat, Castillon Côtes De Bordeaux
    £13.85

    Château Du Vieux Montpezat, Castillon Côtes De Bordeaux 2015

    Château La Bourrée

    Chateau Du Vieux Montpezat has a lustrous red colour that is wonderfully enticing. There are very pleasant fruity, ripe plum and spice aromas on th...

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    £13.85
  • Chateau Gloria - St Julien 2016
    £62.00

    Chateau Gloria - St Julien 2016

    petits chateaux bordeaux

    Meticulous wine-making have given this wine great precision and depth of flavour. It is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon 30% Merlot  and small amo...

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    £62.00
  • Mousset de Bouard - Montagne St Emilion 2016
    £19.95

    Mousset de Bouard - Montagne St Emilion 2016

    petits chateaux bordeaux

    What an exceptional wine! They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover and so you shouldn't judge a wine by its appellation. Musset de Bouard i...

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    £19.95
  • Les Griffons de Pichon Baron - Pauillac 2012
    £49.00

    Les Griffons de Pichon Baron - Pauillac 2012

    petits chateaux bordeaux

    This soft, easy drinking red from the Pichon Baron stable is very easy on the palate and silky too. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlo...

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    £49.00
  • Clementin de Pape Clement - Pessac Leognan 2011
    £32.95

    Clementin de Pape Clement - Pessac Leognan 2011

    petits chateaux bordeaux

    Chateau Pape Clement is one of the best run estates in Bordeaux and the second wine, Clementin de Pape Clement benefits from the same care and atte...

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    £32.95
  • Quintessence de Pontac Lynch - Margaux 2014
    £61.00

    Quintessence de Pontac Lynch - Margaux 2014

    petits chateaux bordeaux

    Quintessence is the finest selection of Cabernet grapes that the estate harvests and these are then blended with 30% Merlot and 5 % Petit Verdot. T...

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    £61.00
  • Château Léoville Las Cases 2006, Saint-Julien Magnum
    £396.00

    Château Léoville Las Cases 2006, Saint-Julien Magnum

    Château Léoville Las Cases

    "Not surprisingly, Chateau Leoville Las Cases has produced another classic, potentially long lived wine in 2006. Among the Saint-Juliens, it, Ducru...

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    £396.00