Bordeaux is the answer to the best wine in the world. This is still true even though all over the world some very remarkable vineyards produce really fine wine.
Bordeaux is the world's most well-known wine region. While its prestigious wines are among the most expensive in the world, Bordeaux is more than just a price tag — it's also rich in history and interesting information.
Bordeaux is similar to Champagne or Burgundy in that it is well-known but does not ensure quality or value. Furthermore, it can feel like the wine industry is trying to bathe you in data and bore you to death with wine-related minutiae.
Let’s see what Unique facts can we learn about our beloved wine.
- Bordeaux Classification History
It all began in 1855 with the Universal Exhibition in Paris. The Bordeaux merchants were invited to send in their best wine, and the categorization was done largely on the back of an envelope, based on the wines' prices. There was no wine testing or such things. There were 58 red wines and 21 white wines in the classification. The quick and dirty classification was believed to be forgotten the next year. However, the classification stayed, and after over two centuries, it is still in existence, with some changes.
- Bordeaux En Primeur
En Primeur, or 'wine futures,' is a well-known element of the French wine industry. Customers who buy in a vintage before it is bottled are guaranteed access to rare vintages and (typically) a timely investment at the chateaux that participate in this annual event. The En Primeur technique has been embraced by producers in Burgundy, the Rhone Valley, and Port, with certain New World locations showing significant interest in recent years.
As historically this started in Bordeaux, Bordeaux En Primeur is thus analogous to making a reservation for a good vintage. 2019 vintage wine is the winner those days, BTW.
- Different Bank, Different Wine
The defining paradigm among Bordeaux red wines is found on both sides of the Gironde River, which runs through the famous wine region. The majority of the Merlot planted on the "Right Bank" (near Libourne) is Merlot, with very little Cabernet Sauvignon. On the other hand, wines made on the Gironde's "Left Bank" (north of Bordeaux proper) tend to contain more Cabernet Sauvignon, and this region of Bordeaux is home to five of the world's most famous 1st Growth Chateaux.
- Most Expensive Wine In The World
The top estates in Bordeaux account for 5% of the region's total production. Regardless, Bordeaux accounts for the majority of good wine traded for investment globally. The Liv-Ex Fine Wine 100 index includes 74 Bordeaux wines, which represents what is currently in demand. The secondary market is similar, with Bordeaux wines accounting for 70-80% of sales.
- White Parades Here Too
When we say Bordeaux, we think of color-deep, dark red, and Bordeaux is well known for its highly expensive red wines that are meant to age for years, but the region also has considerable plantings of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Muscadelle — grapes used to make both dry whites and sweet dessert wines. Bordeaux produced more white wine than red wine until the 1970s.
- 2019 Vintage Wine
2019 Vintage wine is most demanded in Bordeaux, as despite the past two years of 2017 and 2018, the climate was perfect. Early budburst was prompted by exceptionally dry and mild weather in late winter and early April. Seasonal frosts and hail struck during a cold spell in April and May, but the damage was mercifully modest, albeit yields were reduced. The 2019 vintage wine is shaping up to be a fantastic one for Bordeaux.
- Grape Variety
There are five main grape varietals in Bordeaux (three reds and two whites) that you should be aware of. Others exist, but their significance pales in comparison to the top five. So, here they are;
- Merlot with the main flavor of plum
- Cabernet Sauvignon with the main flavor of blackcurrant
- Cabernet Franc adds perfume
- Sauvignon Blanc with the zest flavor of grapefruit
- Sémillon with the honey notes
- UNESCO World Heritage
In 2007, the city of Bordeaux was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a fitting homage to a city with stunning Enlightenment-era architecture, over 350 historic monuments, and scores of notable museums and art galleries.
- France Largest Appelation
Bordeaux is France's largest appellation, producing 900 million bottles of wine annually from over 250,000 acres of vineyard. While much of the attention and fanfare surrounding Bordeaux wines is focused on the well-known and iconic releases that sell for thousands of dollars per bottle, the region also produces a lot of good and reasonably priced wine.
- Bordeaux- First Wine Brand
The world needed Baron Philippe de Rothschild's entrepreneurial passion and vision to create the first wine brand, Mouton Cadet. The brand was revived in 1930, under the name Mouton Cadet, as a nod to the Baron's youth and inexperience, despite its first failure. He purchased wine that was in excess around the region and sold it at a low price. Mouton Cadet is still one of the world's most popular wine brands, with millions of cases sold each year in more than 150 countries.