Located in the southwest part of France, Bordeaux is the most famous wine region on the planet. Bordeaux features seven major grape varietals: five reds and two whites. The red Bordeaux varietals are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet France, Malbec and Petit Verdot. The white Bordeaux varietals are: Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Bordeaux produces numerous styles of wine including sparkling wines, dry red and white wines and dessert wines.
While Bordeaux has numerous appellations and sub-appellations, there are a few that are widely regarded as the most important. Bordeaux appellations are traditionally categorized by their location in relation to the Gironde estuary. The three most important Right Bank appellations are: Pomerol, St. Emilion, and Lalande de Pomerol. The Left Bank appellations are St. Estephe, Pauillac, St. Julien, Margaux and Pessac Leognan-Graves. The famous dessert wine appellations are Sauternes and Barsac and are located in the southern part of Bordeaux. Left Bank wines tend to be dominated by Cabernet while Merlot dominates wines on the Right Bank. Most Bordeaux whites come from Pessac Leognan-Graves, and the reds from Pessac are mostly dominated by Cabernet, though the percentage of Merlot in Pessac wines Is generally higher.
Though wines from different regions of Bordeaux are made with different combinations of the same grapes, each region has its own taste profile that professional wine tasters call typicity. St. Estephe is known for its highly structured wines, while Pauillac is known not only for power, but classic, textbook flavors. Bordeaux from St. Julien always seems to have notes of espresso, and Margaux generally have the aroma of fresh cut flowers. Reds from Pessac Leognan-Graves seem to have a core of minerals that persists throughout the palate. Whites from Bordeaux tend to range in character from deeply honeyed, rich examples with aromas of stone, to crisp, clean Sauvignon Blanc dominated wines. The dessert wines in Bordeaux almost always come from the southern part of the region, most notably in the Sauternes and Barsac. These wines are some of the finest stickies in the world. Not only are these wines late harvest, they are also infected with noble rot, a rot that transforms these wines into honeyed, rich beauties that can age for twenty to thirty years.
"93 Points - James Suckling. Quite ripe with aromas of currants, violets, rich dark plums, dark chocolate, graphite and toasty cedary oak. Really complex. The palate has impressive polish and depth. Very supple and smooth tannins, carrying long, bright flavors of plums and dark cherries. Superb. Best from 2022."
"92 Points - Robert Parker. Deep ruby/purple, with wonderfully sweet, earthy, black cherry and blackcurrant fruit jumping from the glass, it is broad, opulent, beautifully textured and juicy. This is a sexy, lush, heady Pomerol to drink now and over the next 15 or more years. Full, long and impressive, there is no reason to defer your gratification with this beauty."
"95+ Points- Robert Parker. The 2012 is a beauty, with a deep ruby/purple color, complex notes of minerals, crushed rock, red and black fruits, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, great texture, long finish and true ability and character. It should age beautifully for 20 or more years and yet be drinkable another three or four."
"94 Points- Wine Enthusiast. It is elegant, stylish, its fruits well integrated with red berry and plum skin flavors. Powerful while round and fruity with a fine sense of weight, this wine will develop relatively quickly but will then stay at its peak for many years. Drink from 2017."
"This has a relatively simple but crisp nose with dried honey, apricot, quince and a touch of almond. The palate is well balanced with good acidity and botrytis, pure, quite linear with white peach, pear, a touch of mandarin and citrus acidity cutting through its viscous texture towards the finish. It improves the more it remains in the mouth, the nose seeming to absorb energy, the palate becoming ever more pixilated. This is another intellectual Sauternes that should age beautifully. Drink 2012-2030+"
"92 pts Robert Parker A flamboyant display of smoky oak, buttered peach and caramelized pineapples and orange marmalade notes are impressive. On the palate, the wine exhibits a multi-dimensional, textured, full-bodied style with terrific fruit, depth, and some toasty oak in the background. This is a big, blockbuster style of Sauternes to drink over the next 20-25 years."
"93 pts. Robert Parker The Guiraud 2007 has a typically unabashed, exuberant bouquet with tangerine, pear, white peach and honeysuckle. The palate is medium-bodied with a lovely viscous entry, very good weight of fruit, and a lot of botrytis; smooth and very harmonious towards the finish that would benefit from a little more clarity and dare I say, personality. Still, a very fine Sauternes. Drink 2012-2035."
"93 Points- Wine Spectator. Sappy, complex nose offers citrus peel, pineapple, fresh herbs and a whiff of banana. Extremely fresh and primary in the mouth, with rare intensity and stylishness for this cuvee. Here's terrific cut and lift to the flavors of spices, fresh herbs and honey. Finishes very long, pure and perfumed."
"Another excellent vintage for Bordeaux's dry whites, which tend to be vastly underrated and exceptionally long-lived (30-40 years in some cases). The 2005s possess crisp acidity as well as serious weight, richness, and texture. Space constraints did not allow full tasting notes, but this is one of the top 2005 dry white Bordeaux wines. 92-95 pts. - Parker"
"93 Points- Wine Advocate. The Rieussec 2007 has a subtle nose of dried honey, pear, a touch of quince and crushed stone on the nose, the oak better integrated than last year. The palate is well-balanced with stem ginger and honeycomb on the entry. Hints of tangy marmalade and lemongrass that should become more accentuated with time."