France: Bordeaux

Saint Emilion and area

Saint Emilion, its satellites and Côtes de Castillon and Francs
By Jane Anson

This Guide was last updated on 22 March 2010
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Main wine styles

Reds

By far the most important production here. The wines have juicy fruit and good structure with a honeyed, raisiny richness. Those wines produced on more gravelly soils are sturdier and less immediately approachable, but with rich, ripe fruit. Oak ageing in both new and used barrels, these wines develop more quickly than those of the left bank due to the high Merlot content in the blend. The ‘Rolland Revolution’ has swept through this region with force. Michel Rolland not only has his own winemaking properties here but acts as consultant for several others. These wines have a more modern, bigger, riper character.

Whites

Only the Côtes de Francs AC produces whites; dry and sweet. Small production.

Rosés

Bordeaux clairets and rosés are made by macerating red grape varieties for a short time. Both are fresh and fruity, clairets have a more intense colour. Premières Côtes de Bordeaux is the principle production area.

Sparkling

Crémant de Bordeaux is mainly white with a little rosé, generally Brut. It can offer good value for money.

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