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Flashcards in Left Bank: Medoc Deck (35)
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Where is the Medoc AOP located?

The left bank of the Gironde Estuary, 50-mile stretch Northward from the city of Bordeaux.


What chateaux use the Medoc AOP on their labels?

Ones that don't qualify for a more precise appellation, namely those located in the marshy region north of St-Estephe.


How much land in the Medoc is planted to white grapes?

123 acres


What grapes are more likely used in the Bas-Medoc compared to the Haut-Medoc?

Bas-Medoc wines are more likely made with Merlot, as this grape performs better in the clay-heavy soils located here.


What makes the Haut-Medoc so conducive to Cabernet Sauvignon?

Well-drained gravelly soils


Who was responsible for commissioning the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux?

Emperor Napoleon III


What is the only Chateau from outside the Medoc that was included in the 1855 Classification? Where is it located?

Chateau Haut-Brion, in Graves


What is the main difference between classification of Bordeaux versus Burgundy?

In Bordeaux, the Chateaux are classified; in Burgundy, the vineyards themselves carry the classification.


What year was the 1855 Classification changed? What happened?

1973, Baron Philippe de Rothschild got Chateau Mouton Rothschild elevated from 2nd growth to 1st after years of lobbying


What other designations mark Chateaux of quality in Bordeaux?

Cru Artisan and Cru Bourgeois


Northernmost commune of Haut-Medoc, producing sturdy and full-bodied reds with a slightly higher percentage of Merlot, due to a higher proportion of clay amongst the gravel.



How many classified growths are located in St-Estephe? What is the most notable?

It hosts only five classified growths, the most notable of which is the "Super-Second," Chateau Cos d'Estournel, making powerful wines in a polished modern style.


What appellation in Haut-Medoc is considered classic claret? What are its most notable Chateaux?

Pauillac AOP, it hosts three 1st growths; Lafita, Mouton, and Latour


What AOP produces less wine than the other communes, yet retains great quality?

St-Julien AOP, approx. 80%. Of the AOP is "Cru Classe" wine.


What are the most notable Chateaux in St-Julien?

Although there are no 1st growths, it contains five 2nd growths:



What are the possible wine types of Bordeaux AOP?

Red, white, rose or "Clairet" (a darker, more aromatic style of rose that evokes the original claret wines shipped to England in the Middle Ages)


What are the six grapes allowed for Red Bordeaux AOP wines?

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Carmenere


What is the most widely planted grape in Bordeaux?



What differentiates Merlot from other red grapes of Bordeaux?

It is the earliest to ripen, prefers clay-based soils, as they delay its natural vigor.


What soils do Cabernet Sauvignon thrive in? Why?

Well-drained gravel, it allows the vine's root system to dig deeply while slight water stress adds concentration to the fruit.


What soils are difficult for Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen in?

colder limestone and clay soils


What soils are best for Cabernet Franc? Why?

limestone-based soils, they promote acidity and freshness in wines


Why do Bordeaux estates tend to blend their grapes?

It gives Chateaux insurance, as well as providing balance and complexity to the resulting wine.


What does Cabernet Sauvignon contribute to Bordeaux blends?

It is highly pigmented and tannic, giving structure, power and longevity


What does Merlot contribute to Bordeaux blends?

a fleshy, juicy, texture that can soften the austerity of Cabernet Sauvignon


What does Cabernet Franc contribute to Bordeaux blends?

It is more tannic than Merlot, bus less muscular or weighty than Cabernet Sauvignon, imparting herbal spice and red fruit aromatics


What grapes dominate left bank blends? Right bank?

Cabernet Sauvignon, about two thirds of the blend in the left bank.

Merlot and Cabernet Franc are the main players in right bank blends.


Where is Petit Verdot most commonly used? Why?

On the left bank, this inky, late-ripening variety is used in minute quantities to add color, depth, and exotic perfume


What is Malbec referred to on the right bank?



What grapes are commonly used in Bordeaux AOP white blends?

Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle; Ugni Blanc, Merlot Blanc, and Colombard are restricted to a maximum of 30%.