Bordeaux is a region in France where they grow and produce mostly red grapes: 

  • Cabernet Franc
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon

These grapes are then blended “ assambles” together. 

This forms the Bordeaux wines as we know it. 

Over 90% of Bordeaux wines are red wines made with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

There are some other varieties like:

  • Petit Verdot
  • Malbec
  • Carmenere

The Bordeaux is one of the most know red wines in the world. This because of the immense popularity and demand.

Quick facts about Bordeaux wines

Bordeaux sold 4.84 million hectolitres of wine in 2017, a 2% increase on 2016, and the equivalent of 645 million bottles, with a value of 3.93 billion euros.  

20 bottles are sold around the world every second.  

France comprises 56% of the total market in volume terms, while the export market accounts for the remaining 44%.

In Bordeaux, red wine accounts for 85% of total production, with white comprising 8% and rose 7%.  

In 2017 Bordeaux exported 290 million bottles of wine, a 7% increase on the previous year.  

The top importers of Bordeaux are:

  1. France. with a value of 397m euros up by 23%, 138 million bottles.
  2. China. with a value of 397m euros up by 23%, 138 million bottles.
  3. USA. with a value of 231m euros up by 18%, 27 million bottles.
  4. Belgium. with a value of 113m euros up by 13%, 27 million bottles.
  5. UK. with a value of 195m euros up by 29%, 24 million bottles.
  6. Germany. with a value of 104m euros up by 12%, 22 million bottles.

There are many great chateaux and names in the Bordeaux that produces amazing wines. 

But where to start if we are looking for a good or great Bordeaux and what are the good wine years?

These are some of the questions that pops into mind. 

We also struggled with this for a long time, where are here to help you answer these questions by giving you all the information we found from everywhere. The information we found is gathered by books, internet, own research and knowledge. 

Let us first start by explaining how a Bordeaux looks, smells, taste like and how you serve it. 


The color range of Bordeaux wines are: 


The taste of Bordeaux wine is very difficult to explain because keep in mind, close to 7,500 different producers make almost 10,000 different Bordeaux wines, so there is no simple explanation as to the taste of Bordeaux wine.

An easy way to look at wine is, the components consist of fruit, acids, tannins and sugar. When you think of a balanced wine, the term balance refers to the balance between those three elements, acid fruit, sweetness and tannins. Today, the trend is to pick riper fruit in Bordeaux because the chateaux are looking to create wines that feel soft, silky and elegant, when possible.

And Bordeaux wines can be described as medium- to full-bodied wines, medium acidity and mouth drying tannins. 

These high tannins are an indication that you can age that Bordeaux for several of year, some even decades. 

This depends on the appellation, quality, vintage.

Red Bordeaux wine from the Medoc is probably what most people think of, when talking about the taste of Bordeaux wine. All Bordeaux wine from the Medoc and Pessac Leognan are blends. Most of those blends utilize Cabernet Sauvignon for the majority of the blend, followed by Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec.

And the taste profile for the Left Bank are:

  • Black current
  • Plum
  • Dark cherry
  • Cedar
  • Violet
  • Vanilla
  • Coffee bean
  • Blackberry
  • Cassis
  • Spice

The taste profile for the Right Bank are:

  • Licorice
  • Chocolate
  • Black cherry
  • Plum
  • Blackberry
  • Spice
  • Vanilla
  • Smoke
  • Floral
  • Blueberry
  • Jam flavors

The taste of Bordeaux wine from The Right Bank is different, due to the Merlot grape. Merlot is the most important grape in the Right Bank, followed by Cabernet Franc. These wines are lower in acidity than Cabernet Sauvignon.

That means the wines are going to feel richer, softer, plusher and rounder. These wines can be incredibly silky. and in the best Bordeaux wines from the Right Bank, the textures and feelings in your mouth range from opulence to decadence.

The taste of Bordeaux wine from Pomerol and Saint Emilion changes with time, as does the texture. With maturity, the wines evolve in a positive fashion with additional levels of complexity coming into the tasting experience. The wines develop enhanced aromas of :

  • Truffle
  • Spice
  • Flowers
  • Fresh herbs

Some wines develop hints of :

  • Tobacco
  • Mint
  • Earthy
  • Nuts

The textures, even though they were soft in their youth, develop silky, velvety textures in your mouth. The wines from Pomerol and Saint Emilion are among the world’s most hedonistic wines because of their sensuous textures and mouth feeling.

Serving temperature:

Slightly below room temperature (around 65 °F / 18 °C). 

Decant red Bordeaux for at least:

30 minutes 

Store all your red wines below:

65 °F / 18 °

Food Paring examples: 


Black Pepper Steak, Roast Pork, Filet Mignon, Beef Brisket, Buffalo Burgers, Chicken Liver, Pot Roast, Venison, Duck, Goose, Dark Meat Turkey.


Ossau Iraty, Basque Cheeses, Manchego, Swiss Cheese, Comté, White Cheddar, Provolone, Pepper Jack


Black Pepper, White Pepper, Oregano, Rosemary, Mustard Seed, Cumin, Coriander Seed, Anise.


Roast Potatoes, Lentils, Mushrooms, Onion, Green Onion, Green Bean Casserole, Chestnut.

Bordeaux on the map

Picture by

As we can see Bordeaux is divided into 2 regions “appellations” this because of the natural dividing system called the river Garonne at the left bank and the Dordogne at the right bank. 

Left Bank: 


  • Mèdoc
  • Haut Mèdoc
  • Graves
  • Sauternes

Grape variations there are: 

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon
  2. Merlot
  3. Cabernet Franc
  4. Malbec
  5. Petit Verdot

Best Château in the left bank: 

Château Lafite-Rothschild (Pauillac)
Château Latour (Pauillac)
Château Margaux (Margaux)
Château Haut-Brion Pessac Leognan (Graves)
Château Mouton Rothschild (Pauillac)

Chateau d’Yquem (Sauternes)

Right Bank:


  • Saint Émillion
  • Libournais
  • Pomeral
  • Entre-Deux-Mers

Grape variaties there are: 

  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon

Best Château in the right bank: 

Château Pétrus (Pomerol)

Château Cheval-Blanc (Saint-Émilion)

Château Ausone (Saint-Émilion)

Château Angélus (Saint-Émilion)

Château Pavie (Saint-Émilion)

Wine years 

Good and bad vintages of Bordeaux 

Good Vintages for Bordeaux Bad Vintages for Bordeaux
2015, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2003, 2000, 1998, 1990, 1989 2012, 2007, 2002, 1997, 1994

What do these wine years tell us?

They tell us how good the quality of the grown grapes are from the vintage ”year”

So that means:

  • How many sun hours there was that year.
  • How many rain has fallen that year.
  • How cold was it that year
  • Did it hail that year.
  • Was there any water shortage that year.
  • What was the sugar rating.
  • Where there any fungages that negatively effect the grapes.
  • Where there deceases that effected the grapes.

Bordeaux classification class

The Bordeaux from the left bank are ranked in 5 different classification class in importance from first to fifth growths (crus). All of the red wines that made it on the list came from the Médoc region except for one: Château Haut-Brion from Graves.

This classification was established in 1855 when Emperor Napoleon III requested a classification system for France’s best Bordeaux wines that were to be on display for visitors from around the world.

First Growths (Premiers Crus) Commune
Château Lafite-Rothschild (Pauillac)
Château Latour (Pauillac)
Château Margaux (Margaux)
Château Haut-Brion Pessac Leognan (Graves)
Château Mouton Rothschild(Pauillac)

Second Growths (Deuxiemes Crus)

Château Rauzan-Segla (Margaux)
Château Rauzan-Gassies (Margaux)
Château Leoville Las Cases (Saint-Julien-Beychevelle)
Château Leoville Poyferre (Saint-Julien-Beychevelle)
Château Leoville Barton (Saint-Julien-Beychevelle)
Château Durfort Vivens (Margaux)
Château Gruaud Larose (Saint-Julien-Beychevelle)
Château Lascombes (Margaux)
Château Brane Cantenac (Cantenac)
Château Pichon Longueville Baron (Pauillac)
Château Pichon Comtesse de Lalande (Pauillac)
Château Ducru Beaucaillou (Saint-Julien-Beychevelle)
Château Cos d’Estournel (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Montrose (Saint-Estèphe)

Third Growths (Troisiemes Crus)

Château Kirwan (Cantenac)
Château d’Issan (Cantenac)
Château Lagrange (Saint-Julien-Beychevelle)
Château Langoa Barton (Saint-Julien-Beychevelle)
Château Giscours (Labarde)
Château Malescot St. Exupery (Margaux)
Château Boyd Cantenac (Cantenac)
Château Cantenac Brown (Cantenac)
Château Palmer (Cantenac)
Château La Lagune (Ludon)
Château Desmirail (Margaux)
Château Calon Segur (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Ferriere (Margaux)
Château Marquis d’Alesme Becker (Margaux)

Fourth Growths (Quatriemes Crus)

Château Saint-Pierre (Saint-Julien-Beychevelle)
Château Talbot (Saint-Julien-Beychevelle)
Château Duhart-Milon (Pauillac)
Château Branaire Ducru (Saint-Julien-Beychevelle)
Château Pouget (Cantenac)
Château La Tour Carnet (Saint-Laurent-en-Médoc)
Château Lafon Rochet (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Beychevelle (Saint-Julien-Beychevelle)
Château Prieure-Lichine (Cantenac)
Château Marquis de Terme (Margaux)

Fifth Growths  (Cinquiemes Crus)

Château Pontet Canet (Pauillac)
Château Batailley (Pauillac)
Château Haut Batailley (Pauillac)
Château Grand Puy Lacoste (Pauillac)
Château Grand Puy Ducasse (Pauillac)
Château Lynch Bages (Pauillac)
Château Lynch-Moussas (Pauillac)
Château Dauzac (Labarde)
Château d’Armailhac (Pauillac)
Château Du Tertre (Arsac)
Château Haut Bages Liberal (Pauillac)
Château Pedesclaux (Pauillac)
Château Belgrave (Saint-Laurent-Médoc)
Château Camensac (Saint-Laurent-Médoc)
Château Cos Labory (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Clerc Milon (Pauillac)
Château Croizet-Bages (Pauillac)
Château Cantemerle (Macau-en-Médoc)

2 thoughts on “Bordeaux

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