Bordeaux Red: Bordeaux Superieur

Appellations Bordeaux Supérieur and Bordeaux are the largest category of Bordeaux wines, accounting for over 50 per cent of all Bordeaux appellations. They have the same varieties of grapes as regular Bordeaux: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and occasionally Malbec and Petit Verdot. The geographical area of the Bordeaux Supérieur is the same as Bordeaux, but by law, the wines have lower yields, a higher minimum requirement of alcoholic content (a consequence of warmer, better vineyard sites) and usually older vines. They show more complexity, power and richness than appellation Bordeaux wines, and typically require (but not always) a slightly higher price. They age 3-5 years easily, a year or two more than Bordeaux appellations. The acres planted as Bordeaux Supérieur amount to close to 12 thousand hectares or close to 31 thousand acres. Pair these wines with roast chicken, lighter red meats, charcuterie or cheese.

  • Chateau Fleur de Rigaud

    The Bordeaux AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) surface area is the largest AOC in France, covering over 215000 acres. The average yield is about 5 million hectolitres, 1.1 million tons of grapes or 650 million bottles, divided among some 20,000 growers. There are many reasons why Bordeaux wine is so plentiful and popular. The distinctive soils are one contributing factor (such as the gravel soil of Graves) as they provide excellent drainage for the vines and hold the heat. As well the area is blessed with very warm autumn months and the tempering quality of the Gironde River and its tributaries. This delightful Château is in the town of Sainte Radegonde just south across the Dordogne River from St. Émilion.

    Typically a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is made from 25 year old vines grown on a clay and limestone soil. Deep red with aromas of currant and cassis, moderate structure and smooth tannins make this an easy drinking Bordeaux for all occasions. Try with steaks, roast lamb, roast pork or your favorite cheese.

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  • Chateau Fleur de Rigaud "Cuvee Prestige"

    The CUVÉE PRESTIGE is oak-aged for 8 months in new oak from the best lots of grapes, thes best vineyard sites and older vines. This wine is almost black-purple in color with an expressive nose, an amazing amount of fruit, rich mid-palate of black fruits and integrated tannins. Quite an exceptional value, it drinks like a St. Emilion at one-third the price!

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  • Chateau du Barry

    This Château is in the Entre-Deux-Mers commune of Guillac, which has over 200 hectares of vines planted. It is situated virtually half-way between Saint Émilion and Sauternes. The property is over 20 hectares and most in this area are planted 50/50% between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon/Franc, with a clayey-limestone soil. The 2009 Vintage received the Gold medal at the Paris Agricultural Fair in 2010.

    Garnet with purplish highlights in color, with aromas of loamy earth, cassis, and flowers. On the palate, lovely ripe red fruit and cassis flavors intermingle with meaty tannins that are starting to integrate, but give structure, not harshness. Very good length, with very persistent fruit behind the tannins. An exceptional Bordeaux appellation that drinks much above its price.

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  • Chateau Haut Nadeau

    This wine comes from the Entre-Deux-Mers area between the left and right banks of the major Bordeaux regions, half-way between Saint Emilion to the north and Sauternes to the south. This area is quite hilly, and the surface soil is a hard-packed sandy/clay soil that is known locally as ‘boulbènes’ or ‘bouvées’. This soil is hard to work, and requires a special root-stock accustomed to this type of earth. The sub-soil is more diverse and gives the wine some excellent complexity and richness.

    Mauricette Audouit’s estate is over 12 hectares in size, with almost 8 hectares being planted to red grapes and just over four planted to white. This is the ‘Reserve du Proprietaire’, which is made from the best lots of the vineyards. The wine shows a pretty nose from the Merlot, a certain earthiness from the Cabernet Franc, and a bit more richness and complexity and richness from the Cabernet Sauvignon. A delightful red Bordeaux at a delicious price.

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  • La Grande Dame de Chateau Lavagnac

    This is the first release of The Grande Dame of Château Lavagnac ever. Owner Philippe Riviere had noticed in the past that certain areas of the vineyard were more ripe than others, this is the first time he has separated those grapes from the rest of the vineyard to make a special cuvée, and what a spectacular wine it is.

    Situated in the commune of Sainte Terre about 10 miles southeast of the center of Saint Émilion, the vineyards of Château de Lavagnac are planted in a clay and sand soil with gravel subsoil, typical of the area near the river and the Côtes de Castillon. In the 16th century, the picturesque château was a fort surrounded by a moat. Until quite recently you had to go over a drawbridge to enter the château.

    At the vineyard they practice leaf pulling to give the grapes more sun during the last two months of ripening. Grape varieties are planted to the ratio of Merlot 70%, Cabernet Sauvignon 25%, and Cabernet Franc 5%. This bottling, however, is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. After traditional vinification in thermo-regulated vats for over 20 days, this wine is aged 1 year in new oak barrels and then bottle-conditioned for 9 months before release.

    This wine has a lovely intense purple color, with red and black fruits on the nose and palate. Rich with oak and fruit, with ample tannins, it is round and velvety, showing excellent balance, with an incredibly long finish. Although it drinks well now when allowed to breathe a little, this wine will shine after a few years in the bottle and could keep upwards of 10 years.

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