By far the largest, the most important, and one of the best French wine regions, both for high-end wines and for bargains, is Bordeaux. Great reds from the renowned chateaus are what make the headlines, but Bordeaux is so big, that there is plenty of choice. Our Bordeaux wine guide features hundreds of Bordeaux wine ratings.
Within the Bordeaux wine region are numerous appellations, including the famous Left-Bank Médoc communes of St-Estephe, Pauillac, St-Julien Reviews and Margaux, among others. The most famous Right-Bank regions are St-Emilion and Pomerol. The general level of quality has improved dramatically over the past two decades. The reds are fruity, but never overly alcoholic, always with a layer of tannin that makes them superb food wines. The whites are fresh, the best with wood flavors to give complexity. Check the individual Bordeaux wine reviews for specific details regarding style and quality.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc are the main red grapes; Malbec and Petit Verdot are also used, while Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon predominate among the whites. But most Bordeaux are not single-varietal wines — they are more often Bordeaux-style blends, which make these wines more than the sum of their individual parts.
A great wine, the summation of a great vintage in Bordeaux. The core of richness, the dense, bone-dry tannins, the black currants, red berries and black plum skins are the elements, but it’s the way they have been integrated that makes this such an impressive wine. There is great elegance as well, a fabulous counterpoint to such power. Cellar for at least 15 years…— R.V. (6/1/2008)
As so often, Pétrus has the ability to charm and impress, to seduce and overwhelm. This 2005, one of the greatest vintages from this great chateau, is massive and concentrated, with flavors of ripe black figs, chocolate and dark plums. Put that all together and the result is the utmost deliciousness, freshness and elegance. A major wine. Imported by Etablissements…— R.V. (6/1/2008)
This is the finest Cheval Blanc for many years. It is, quite simply, magnificent. The wine shows the greatness of Cabernet Franc in the vintage, with 57% of the variety in the blend. It is beautifully structured and perfumed, with velvety tannins, balanced acidity and swathes of black-currant and black-cherry fruits. It’s well on course to becoming a legendary wine.— R.V. (5/1/2013)
Almost black in color, this stunning wine is gorgeous, rich and dense. It’s grand and powerful, with a strong sense of its own importance. The beautiful tannins and the fragrant black currant fruits are palpable. It’s a great wine, with huge potential.— R.V. (5/1/2013)
A hugely powerful wine, full of dark, brooding tannins. It’s a wine for seriously long-term aging, a sculptural vision of classic Bordeaux structure with with classy, ripe blackberry fruits. It has fresh acidity and an immense full-bodied character, cut through with mineral acidity. A great wine, with great potential.— R.V. (5/1/2013)
This is a magnificently solid wine, initially even a bit severe. At this young stage, the tannins dominate, but it’s also full of black fruit notes. Very dense and concentrated, this is a wine that’s even better than the legendary 2005. The structure tells of its extraordinary aging potential: don’t even attempt to drink this for 10 years.— R.V. (2/1/2013)
98-100 Very concentrated wood and tannins. With 90 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, this is initially more tannic than many Château Margaux vintages. Then all the elegance and style of Margaux comes through, with acidity, spice and great ripeness. An outstanding wine.— R.V. (6/25/2011)
98-100 Barrel sample. A superb wine, with the purest fruit, great freshness and ripeness. It is certainly structured with dry tannins, but the blackcurrant freshness is all there. The wine has a great limpid, flowing feel, lbut also power.— R.V. (8/9/2010)