In terms of volume and value, what is the largest appellation in France?
What kind of climate does Bordeaux have?
What effect does the Gulf Stream have on the growing season in Bordeaux?
It extends it
How late can grape-ripening continue in Bordeaux?
What potential weather hazard is rarely a problem in Bordeaux? Why?
The warming effect of the Gulf Stream
What effect does proximity to the Atlantic have on Bordeaux?
High levels of rainfall and humidity
What protects vineyards from the worst of the Atlantic storms?
The Landes forest and coastal sand dunes
What effects on wine can the common rainfall promote in Bordeaux?
Disruption of flowering and fruit set Promote rot Dilute flavours at harvest
Which climatic phenomenon makes vintage variation relevant in Bordeaux?
The potential negative effects of rain
How do top producers reduce vintage variation in Bordeaux?
By rejecting unhealthy and unripe grapes
Besides grape selection, what else has contributed to healthier, riper grapes on average in Bordeaux?
Changes in canopy management techniques A decline in the use of sprays
Almost all red Bordeaux wines and most white Bordeaux are ...
Why in general are Bordeaux wines blended?
Variability in weather makes it too risky to rely on one grape variety
Why is it a good solution to be reliant on several grape varieties in Bordeaux?
The different varieties permitted in Bordeaux flower and ripen at different times, meaning that one bad episode of weather is unlikely to ruin an entire crop
How many grapes are technically permitted in Bordeaux?
How many grapes predominate in Bordeaux?
Three black Two white (Five)
Which are the five main grapes of Bordeaux?
Where in Bordeaux does Cabernet Sauvignon dominate?
In which two areas of Bordeaux is Cabernet Sauvignon also very important?
The Bas-Médoc The Graves
Why are Cabernet's main regions of Bordeaux the only areas in which it can reliably ripen?
Their high stone/gravel content raises vineyard temperature
What percentage of the blend can Cabernet account for in its main areas of Bordeaux?
Where in Bordeaux is Cabernet Franc most widely grown?
To a lesser extent, in the Médoc and the Graves
What kind of wines does Cab Franc produce in Bordeaux?
Wines with less body and tannin than Cabernet Sauvignon
Herbaceous and stalky flavours when unripe
Vibrant fruit and floral notes when ripe
What kind of soils does Cabernet Franc prefer?
Well drained, warm soils
What is the most widely planted grape in Bordeaux?
In which Bordeaux wines is Merlot most important?
The premium wines of Saint-Émilion and Pomerol
Why are Saint-Émilion and Pomerol good for growing Merlot as opposed to Cabernet Sauvignon?
Merlot can successfully grow on the cooler, clay based soils here where Cabernet would struggle
Which Bordeaux grape is predominant in the cheaper high volume wines? Why?
Merlot It is the softest in flavour
Which Bordeaux grape ripens fully in only the very hot years?
What kind of wines does Petit Verdot give in Bordeaux?
Very deep-coloured, tannic wine that ages slowly
What is Petit-Verdot used for in Bordeaux?
To add tannin, colour and some spicy notes
Which winemaking vessels are used in Bordeaux?
All (there is little agreement in Bordeaux as to which fermentation vessels produce the best wines)
When are most wines blended in Bordeaux? What is the other possible practice in Bordeaux?
The Spring following the vintage Some winemakers prefer to keep their parcels of wine separate until the end of maturation
Which blending practices are most common among leading Chateaux in Bordeaux?
Making second and sometimes third wines with blends that may not be suitable for the grand vin Some wine may be sold to a negociant
How is the top quality red in Bordeaux aged? Some of the finest chateaux may even use...casks
In 225 litre barriques
Generic Bordeaux wines are unlikely to see...at all
What is the most important variety for sweet wines in Bordeaux?
What is blended with Sémillon in the premium dry white wines of Pessac-Léognan and Graves? What Semillon's role in these blends?
Sauvignon Blanc It adds body
What aromas do Sauvignon Blanc based wines produce in Bordeaux?
Citrus and green fruit
What is the one exception to the rule of all Bordeaux being blends?
Sauvignon Blanc varietal dry wines
What is the role of Sauvignon Blanc in Bordeaux blends?
It adds high acidity
What is the importance of Sauvignon Blanc in sweet wines of Bordeaux?
It adds a necessary acidity
What flavours does Muscadelle have?
Pronounced grapey, floral flavour
What role does Muscadelle play in Bordeaux?
It plays an important role in sweet and dry white wines of Bordeaux (it makes up a small percentage of the blend)
What is the general style of lower-end dry whites in Bordeaux?
Fresh and fruity
Some show hints of oak
How are less expensive dry Bordeaux whites generally vinified?
Fermented in temperature controlled, inert vessels with minimal further ageing
How are premium dry whites generally vinified in Bordeaux?
Frequently fermented and matured in new oak barrels
What is distinctive about the premium dry whites of Bordeaux?
They have a richness and concentrated nutty flavour overlaying the fruit
How are many of the great sweet wines of Bordeaux made?
From fruit that has been infected with noble rot
How are the best examples of Bordeaux sweet wines made (after harvest)?
They are fermented and matured in new oak barrels for anything up to 3 years
The...and...rivers combine in Bordeaux to form the...estuary
Dordogne Garonne Gironde
Which three broad areas lie to the south and west of the Gironde/Garonne?
The Médoc Graves Sauternes
Which appellation covers most of the area between the Dordogne and the Garonne?
What are the principal districts comprising the right bank?
St Emilion Pomerol
How many appellations are there in Bordeaux?
More than fifty
Bordeaux's classification does not rank...but...
What prompted the creation of the 1855 classification?
On the occasion of the Paris Universal Exhibition, the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce was approached to produce an official list of their best red wines from Médoc and white wines from Sauternes
What term is used for Chateaux in the 1855 classification?
How many ranks are in the 1855 Médoc classification?
How many ranks are in the 1855 classification for Sauternes?
Which wines are in the top classification for the Médoc?
Chateau Lafite Rothschild Chateau Latour Chateau Margaux Chateau Mouton Rothschild Chateau Haut Brion (Graves)
Which chateau occupies the top rank of Sauternes wine in the 1855 classification?
What is Cru Bourgeois?
A classification invented for chateaux not included in the 1855 classification
It is only for specific wines in specific vintages, so wines must be submitted every year
How are the wines of Graves (Pessac-Leognan) classified?
They are classified within a separate list (for red and white) entitling them to be called 'Cru Classés'
How are Cru classé wines ranked in Graves/Pessac-Léognan?
How are the best wines classified in Saint-Émilion?
Within a separate appellation, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. There is a separate classification within this appellation of the best Châteaux
What is the lower classification within Saint-Émilion Grand Cru?
Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé
What is the higher classification within Saint-Émilion?
Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé
Subdivided into A and B
How often are Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé reconsidered?
At least once every ten years
What are the generic appellations of Bordeaux?
What differentiates Bordeaux Supérieur?
Slightly stricter appellation rules
A higher required minimum level of alcohol
How are generic white Bordeaux labelled? Rosé?
Why are basic Bordeaux improving?
Export focused producers are having to compete with similarly priced wines from other parts of the world
Describe the best Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur wines
Ripe red and black fruit
Occasional cedar notes from oak
Describe the cheaper Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur wines
Lighter bodied with more astringent tannins
How does the best Bordeaux Rosé taste?
Fresh and fruity
Why is there less Bordeaux Clairet here than elsewhere?
It is mainly popular on the French market
Describe a unique characteristic of Bordeaux Clairet compared with many other French Rosés. Why is it like this?
It is deeper in colour and fuller in body due to longer maceration
White Bordeaux is increasingly dominated by... What is its flavour character?
Vibrant and grassy
Describe the location of the city of Bordeaux
South of the Médoc
North of Graves
What's the northernmost part of the Médoc called?
How are wines of the Bas-Médoc labelled?
What is the soil/ground like in the Bas-Médoc?
Predominantly clay with outcrops of gravel
What is usually the higher proportion of the Bas-Médoc blends? What style are the wines?
What is the northernmost limit of the Haut-Médoc?
What are the smaller appellations within the Haut-Médoc called?
What are the highest reputation communes in Haut-Médoc called (from north to south)?
Describe the varietal ratios in the best commune appellations of Haut-Médoc
They have a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon
Describe the flavour profile of commune appellation wines from Haut-Médoc
A core of Blackcurrant fruit complemented by cedar notes from oak
Grippy tannins when young
Often long ageing potential
Where is Pessac-Léognan
Immediately south of Bordeaux
What are soils like in Pessac-Léognan?
What is the most suitable grape for Pessac soils?
How do Pessac reds compare with those of the Haut-Médoc?
Usually lighter in body and more fragrant
How do wines of Graves compare with those of Pessac?
Similar, but less concentrated and complex
Higher proportion of Merlot usually
Which variety dominates blends of the right bank?
Which is the second dominant variety of the right bank?
Which is the larger of the two appellations in Bordeaux's right bank?
How many groups of distinct vineyards are there in Saint-Émilion?
Where is the first group of Saint-Émilion vineyards? Describe it...
To the north and west of the town of Saint-Émilion
On a plateau, with warm, well drained gravel and limestone soils
Mostly Cab Franc but some Cab Sauvignon
Where is the second group of Saint-Émilion vineyards? Describe it...
On the escarpment to the south and east of the region Clay limestone soils
Where do the most prestigious wines of Saint-Émilion come from?
The first two regions
Describe the most prestigious wines of Saint-Émilion
Medium to high tannins
Soft and rich mouthfeel
Complex red berry fruit and plum aromas, developing tobacco and cedar notes with evolution
Where is the third group of Saint-Émilion vineyards? Describe it...
At the foot of the escarpment
Lighter bodied and less prestigious
Describe wines of Pomerol
Richer than those of Saint-Émilion with spicy, blackberry fruit character
What winemaking movement has recently appeared in the right bank?
The appearance of full-bodied, very ripe wines in small quantities, from small plots of land
What were the original terms for the breakout wines/winemakers of the right bank?
Vins de garage
Describe the 'other' wines of the right bank...
Saint-Émilion and Pomerol are surrounded by a group of appellations producing Merlot dominated wines, similar in style to their better-known neighbours
What is the collective name for the lesser known appellations of Bordeaux?
Côtes de Bordeaux
Which appellations can append their names to the beginning of Côtes de Bordeaux?
Cadillac Blaye Castillon Francs
What style of wines are Côtes de Bordeaux?
Early drinking, Merlot based wines
Excellent value for money
Name a group of producers who have chosen not to join Côtes de Bordeaux
Côtes de Bourg
Which Bordeaux appellation can only produce white wines?
How must red wines be named if they are from Entre-Deux-Mers?
With a generic appellation name
What wines may Graves and Pessac-Léognan produce?
Red and white
Describe the white wines of Graves and Entre-Deux-Mers
Both made from unoaked Sauvignon Blanc
Where are many of the very best dry whites of Bordeaux made?
Where may some white wines be eligible for Cru Classé status in Bordeaux?
Describe the best white wines of Pessac and how they are vinified
They tend to be blends of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc Usually fermented and/or matured at least partly in new oak Medium to full body Toasty oak flavours
Can whites be made in Médoc and Sauternes?
Yes, but with a generic Bordeaux appellation
Where are the top sweet wine appellations of Bordeaux?
Grouped on the banks of the Garonne and its tributary (Ciron)
Why is the proximity of water important for vinification of sweet wine in Bordeaux?
The rivers create the ideal misty Autumn conditions for noble rot to develop
What is needed to help concentrate sugars in sweet Bordeaux when there is little noble rot
Where do the best sweet wines of Bordeaux come from?
Where is Sauternes?
The West Bank of the Garonne
Where is the village of Barsac?
Which appellation must Barsac producers use?
Either Barsac or Sauternes
Which grape variety dominates in Sauternes? Why?
Because of its thin skin and consequential susceptibility to Botrytis
Describe the best sweet wines of Sauternes
High in alcohol
Sweet, but balanced with high acidity
Apricot and citrus peel aromas of noble rot
Toast and vanilla from oak fermentation and/or maturation
Where else can sweet wine be made in Bordeaux?
Near to Sauternes (made in a similar style)