The Bordeaux region, wines: classification and description. The best brands of "Bordeaux"
The French have imposed a wine culture on the Romansin the VI century. BC. e. With fire and sword they forced the Gauls to plant a vine. After 500 years, the Romans destroyed all the vineyards of Gaul, since they became a threat to all imperial trade. Only the people's love for this noble drink was already impossible to eradicate, they began all over again. To date, the wines of France are a model, the specialists of all other countries are equal to it. In this article we will describe the Bordeaux wines, learn more about their history, consider the classification and other issues.
Next, let's talk about the most famous French wine regions.
Bordeaux is the oldest region. It is located in a temperate climate on the Atlantic coast. Red wine from Bordeaux is a world standard of high quality. For the production of wines, mainly 4 grape varieties are used: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The cost depends on how prestigious the manufacturer is, what year of harvesting and aging, because in this area favorable conditions for the maturation and growth of grapes do not always form.
The region is divided into several appellations,the most famous of them: Gravity, Medoc, Sauternes and Saint-Emilion. Historically, red wine from Bordeaux goes on sale mainly from small private farms, called Château. They follow the traditions of their ancestors and closely monitor the quality of their products.
- Chateau Briot;
- Chateau Bellevue la Mongie;
- Chateau Marjosse;
- Chateau Cavale Blanche;
- Chateau Memoire.
Burgundy is a wine-growing region ineastern part of France, the total length is about 200 km. It consists of almost a hundred appellations. Here, mainly Aligote and Chardonnay grapes are cultivated. Due to the changing climate and heterogeneous soil, white Burgundy wines are known for their huge range of flavors. The most prestigious wineries are: Ot-Cat, Cat and Chablis, Chalonna and Maconne.
Champagne is home to sparkling wines. This region is located in the southern part of France near the border with Luxembourg and Belgium. The inventor of the drink is Pierre Perignon (a Benedictine monk), who was first subjected to double fermentation.
Champagne produces pink and white sparkling wines. In this case, two red varieties of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir are used, as well as the white Chardonnay grapes.
Beaujolais is a small region near Lyon,located in a continental cold climate. Winemakers use only one variety of grapes called Gamaye. Due to natural conditions, Beaujolais wine can not be stored for long. It opens on the 3rd Thursday of November in the same year of harvest, after which it is drunk until spring. At the same time the French created, and then skillfully popularized "Beaujolais Nouveau" - a holiday of young wine. Now it is celebrated on the whole planet.
Surprisingly well situated in the southwestpart of France, or rather, on the edge of the Atlantic, Bordeaux occupies the territory of the entire department of the Gironde. The river flows through Bordeaux. Dordogne, Garonne and a variety of small rivulets. This naturally satisfies the needs of numerous regional vineyards in constant moisture.
Bordeaux climate is tempered by:
- the mouth of the Gironde and the presence of waterways;
- The influence of the warm ocean current of the Gulf Stream, regulating the weather and warming the air in the region;
- a forest of lakes, which serves as an excellent defense against winds from the West.
Diversity of soils
In the mouth of the Gironde and on the left bank of the GaronneThe soil, mainly, is the stony sand deposited by Garonne. Such stony soils (gravel, pebbles, sand) accumulate heat well and filter water, which helps the best ripening of the grapes. Between the Dordogne and the Garonne soil is mainly clayey-calcareous. At the same time on the right coast of the Dordogne you can find a very large palette of soils of different composition: calcareous, clayey, stony sand, sandy - they all have the properties to hold rainwater. Consequently, the vineyard constantly receives a lot of moisture.
Bordeaux: statistics in figures
In general, local vineyards occupy about 120 thousand hectares. Bordeaux is the largest wine region in the whole country. 11% of the vineyards are white grape varieties, 89% - red varieties.
Every year in Bordeaux about 6 millionhectoliters of wine. Dry, white red, rosy Bordeaux wines, sparkling, sweet white drink all over the world. In 2007, the sales of local wines amounted to 760 million bottles by 3.4 billion euros. At the same time, 67% of wines are consumed directly in France and the remaining 33% are exported.
The main wine regions of the region:
- Barsac and Sauternes (Barsac, Sauternes) - produced wine "Bordeaux" white dry, sweet.
- Grav and Medoc (Graves, Medoc). Vineyards are on the left bank of the river Garonne.
- Libourne (Libournais) - Pomrol, Saint Emilion, Fronsac, as well as their companions. Vineyards are on the right bank of the Dordogne River.
- Antre de Mer - vineyards are located between the rivers Dordogne and Garonne. Of these, white wine "Bordeaux" is obtained.
- Cote de Bordeaux. Vineyards are on the banks of the Garonne, Dordogne and the Gironde.
- Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superior (Bordeaux Superior, Bordeaux). These vineyards are located throughout the region.
French wine "Bordeaux" has enoughan interesting story. The history of winemaking here is about 2 millennia. The tribe Bituringi, which lived in Aquitaine, in the south-western part of Gaul, cultivated here a moisture-resistant grape variety called Biturika. It is considered the ancestor of the famous Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon. The main city of the bitaligues was Burdigala - today's Bordeaux. In the future, the Romans conquered the biturigues brought new knowledge in winemaking, and Gallic wine very soon began to compete with the best products of the Italian vineyards.
In 1152, the Duchess of Aquitaine and Henry IIPlantagenet married, and this territory for the next three hundred years became the English province, which predetermined its fate as the main supplier of wines for the whole of England. Because of the Hundred Years War, prosperous trade relations were interrupted, and in 1453, after the battle of Castillon, Aquitaine returned to France.
The XIX century is famous for its active economic developmentBordeaux. Wines of the region began to be evaluated according to new quality standards. They were in great demand that they had tangible material advantages to their producers. The famous classification of wines was adopted in 1855 in Bordeaux. Wines are still being judged on it today.
In Bordeaux, wines were classified intobased on a multi-year evaluation, and only a stable quality guaranteed the drink its place in the overall hierarchy. So, the only criterion for the economy to enter this list was the high quality of its products, as well as its constant ability to produce a high-quality product, confirmed by many years of experience.
Bordeaux wines: classification
The first official classification was published inApril 1855 by decree of Napoleon III. This was done to present the wines at the World Exhibition held in Paris. In Bordeaux, the Chamber of Commerce commissioned the Classification for the "Syndicate of Commercial Mediators", which was under the Bordeaux Exchange. Then there was the task of creating a classification of wines, which would be based on many years of experience. It reflected the quality of the terroir, as well as well-deserved fame. The classification includes 60 types of red wines.
It has become very popular. At the same time, the hierarchy established by it, including the five Grand Cru classes, was recognized far beyond the limits of exclusively professional circles. For more than 150 years of its existence, this classification has undergone only one change: among the best Grand Cru in 1973 was Chateau Mouton Rothschild.
Wine "Bordeaux" red dry, included in the firstclassification, got only from the left coast of the Garonne, because it was then dominated the market. In addition, on the right coast of the Dordogne, in Libourne, the Regional Chamber of Commerce was absent - it was established only in 1910.
First and second wines
The first include prestigious drinks,produced from the oldest vines. They have a great potential for aging and a powerful tannin structure. They produce wine in Bordeaux and the second - they are made from grapes from young vineyards, while they have a lighter and fruity character. They can be consumed at a young age.
Varieties of grapes
Wines "Bordeaux" are born because of the assembly of several types of grapes. White varieties: 11% of the total area of the vineyards. Red varieties: 89% of the total area of vineyards.
Occupies the largest area that makes up62% of the entire territory that occupy the red vineyards of the region. This early ripening variety loves moist soils with a lot of clay and it feels good in Pomorle and Saint-Emilion. In wine brings fullness, refinement and color. Wines from this variety are soft, they achieve fullness of taste faster than Cabernet wines, and also acquire woody and "wild" tastes.
It is a later variety thatis best adapted to warm and dry soils, common in Grave and Medoc containing sand. The wines born from it are marked with the aromas of pepper and red fruits, softened after long storage and have a tart, powerful taste.
Mainly, it is cultivated in Saint-Emilion. The inhabitants of the region call it Bush. It produces wines with the finest scent of blackberry, denser, stronger.
Other varieties of red grapes: Cote (or Malbec), Carmen and Petit Verdot.
It is mainly found in regions thatproduce white sweet wines: Barsac, Sauternes, Saint Croix du Mont, where there are conditions for the life of noble mold (or botrytis cinerere fungi). These sweet wines have a golden hue, sweet, juicy and exquisite taste.
This variety has tremendous aromatic potential. Dry white wines from it are sharp on taste and fresh, are noted by tremendous aroma of kidneys of a black currant and a box.
This grape variety chooses clay soils,which it is resistant to decay. White wines made from this variety are characterized by floral aroma, roundness of taste and low acidity.
Other common white grapes are Uni Blanc, Merlot Blanc and Colombar.
Vintage in Bordeaux
Favorable geographical position of the regiondetermines the high variability of the climate in different periods, if we compare it with other wine-producing regions of the planet. These manufacturers are the best incentive to carefully consider the impact of factors that can affect the quality of the crop, and also work properly in the winery and in the vineyards to minimize the possible consequences of a difficult year.
The winemaker needs to monitor the situation,taking the right decision at the right time. Each vintage is by definition unique. Consequently, annually the wines have the potential for aging and various characteristics.
Wine "Bordeaux": reviews
Of course, one can not find negative reviews about wine fromthe Bordeaux region. Is that they can touch the high cost of the product. But, as we found out, there are reasons for this. Fans of quality wines note the exquisite, tart taste of local drinks, their rich aromas and chic bouquets. Someone already fell in love with the celebration of the young wine that is going on everywhere, and also enjoys the stunning tastes of a fresh, only fermented drink from quality varieties of the best grapes.