Bordeaux Wine Region Essay
Bordeaux Wine Region
Romans • In the mid-1st century, they introduced wine to the Bordeaux Region to provide wine for local consumption, and wine production has been continuous in the region since then. • the popularity of Bordeaux wines in England increased dramatically following the marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine. The marriage made the province of Aquitaine English territory, and thenceforth the majority of Bordeaux was exported. • Grave; Clairet • Dutch traders drained the swampy ground of the Medoc in order that it could be planted with vines, and this gradually surpassed Graves as the most prestigious region of Bordeaux.
Malbec was dominant grape here, until the early 19th century, when it was replaced by Cabernet Sauvignon. 12th century 17th century 1855 • the chateaux of Bordeaux were classified; this classification remains widely used today. 18751892 • almost all Bordeaux vineyards were ruined by Phylloxera infestations. The region’s wine industry was rescued by grafting native vines on to pest-resistant American rootstock and all Bordeaux vines that survive to this day are a product of this action. This is not to say that all contemporary Bordeaux wines are truly American wines, as rootstock does not affect the production of grapes.
1936 • the government responded to the appeals from the winemakers and stated that all regions in France had to name their wines by the place in which they had been produced. Labeled with the AOC approved stamp, products were officially confirmed to be from the region that it stated. Terminologies • The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 resulted from the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris, when Emperor Napoleon III requested a classification system for France’s best Bordeaux wines which were to be on display for visitors from around the world.
Brokers from the wine industry ranked the wines according to a chateau’s reputation and trading price, which at that time was directly related to quality. • Cremant – are produced using the traditional method, and have to fulfill strict production criteria. • Grafting – or graftage, is a horticultural technique whereby tissues from one plant are inserted into those of another so that the two sets of vascular tissues may join together. • Rootstock – is a plant, and sometimes just the stump, which already has an established, healthy root system, used for grafting a cutting or budding from another plant.
• Phylloxera – is a pest of commercial grapevines worldwide, originally native to eastern North America. These almost microscopic, pale yellow sapsucking insects, related to aphids, feed on the roots and leaves of grapevines (depending on the phylloxera genetic strain). It gradually cutting off the flow of nutrients and water to the vine. Bordeaux Wine • The major reason for the success of winemaking in the Bordeaux region is the excellent environment for growing vines. The geological foundation of the region is limestone, leading to a soil structure that is heavy in calcium.
• These rivers define the main geographical subdivisions of the region: ? “The right bank”, situated on the right bank of Dordogne, in the northern parts of the region, around the city of Libourne. ? Entre-deux-mers, French for “between two seas”, the area between the rivers Dordogne and Garonne, in the centre of the region. ? “The left bank”, situated on the left bank of Garonne, in the west and south of the region, around the city of Bordeaux itself. The left bank is further subdivided into: o Graves, the area upstream of the city Bordeaux.
o Medoc, the area downstream of the city Bordeaux, situated on a peninsula between Gironde and the Atlantic. Climate and geography Red Grapes • MERLOT Early-ripening Merlot is the most widelyplanted grape variety in Bordeaux. It expresses its full potential on cool soils, producing smooth wines with a great deal of color, roasted aromas, and flavors reminiscent of red fruit (such as plums) and figs after ageing in bottle for several years. Red Grapes • CABERNET SAUVIGNON Cabernet Sauvignon is a traditional late-ripening local variety.
The gravely soil of the Left Bank provides the necessary warmth for optimum ripening. This grape variety contributes structure to the wines as well as hearty tannins and a flavor profile including liquorice, black fruit (such as blackcurrant), and elegant aromas of forest floor with age. Red Grapes • CABERNET FRANC Cabernet Franc ripens earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon. It is an excellent complementary grape variety that rarely makes up the majority of the final blend. It adds freshness, finesse, and aromatic complexity as well as hints of raspberry and violet.
White Grapes • SAUVIGNON BLANC Sauvignon Blanc, except in rare instances, is the most important variety for dry white wines. It provides the wines with the necessary acidity as well as minerality, aromatic freshness, and varietal aromas, such as citrus, boxwood, and fig leaves. White Grapes • SEMILLON Semillon is the main grape variety for semi-sweet and sweet white wines and is almost always a component of dry white wines as well. It contributes roundness, richness, and apricot and honey aromas. When affected by «noble rot», it develops an inimitable bouquet.
White Grapes • MUSCADELLE Muscadelle, which plays a secondary role in the blend for both dry and sweet white wines (generally no more than 10%), is a fragile but very interesting variety with musky floral overtones. Viticulture • Bordeaux is a relatively humid region. Thus it is a place rife with diseases and other problems that afflict vines, compared with many of the world’s other wine regions, such as dry Chile or Australia. • In Bordeaux, the pruning of the vine happens almost always as cane-pruning (as opposed to spur-pruning).
There are two types of cane-pruning: guyot simple and guyot double. • The use of chemicals and fertilizers has dropped in the recent decades in Bordeaux. Instead, the *lutte raisonnee method is gaining ground. • When harvest time approaches the Bordeaux wine producers start getting anxious. Unlike many other wine regions, weather in Bordeaux is relatively unstable and sudden changes in weather can delay a harvest, force a harvest in bad weather (diluting the wine) or severely damage the harvest. • In Bordeaux, hand picking is now common among the more prestigious chateaux.
But while hand-picking is foremost, some classified chateaux still harvest by machine. Viticulture Hand-Picking • the delicate and selective process of harvesting by hand is still the best way to secure a maximum quality harvest. • One problem with manual harvesting is the sheer size of vineyards in Bordeaux (not to mention the labor cost of hand-picking), with tens of thousands of hectares needing harvesting within a few weeks. Mechanical harvesting • flexibility: it makes possible harvesting at night, which is preferable during hot weather.
• The flatter geography of Bordeaux also allows for mechanical harvesting, whereas the steep slopes of wine-producing areas such as *Cote-Rotie make machine harvesting nearly impossible. Winemaking • In Bordeaux, almost all wines are blended. Only a few producers make single-variety or varietal wines, though the lack of naming grape varieties on labels masks the fact. The typical blend consists of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (and/or Cabernet Franc), with small additions of Petit Verdot and Malbec. Wine classification.
• There are four different classifications of Bordeaux, covering different parts of the region: ? The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, covering (with one exception) red wines of Medoc, and sweet wines of Sauternes-Barsac. ? The 1955 Official Classification of St. -Emilion, which is updated approximately once every ten years, and last in 2006. ? The 1959 Official Classification of Graves, initially classified in 1953 and revised in 1959. ? The Cru Bourgeois Classification, which began as an unofficial classification, but came to enjoy official status and was last updated in 2003.
However, after various legal turns, the classification was annulled in 2007. As of 2007, plans exist to revive it as an unofficial classification. Wine styles • The Bordeaux wine region is divided into subregions including Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, Medoc, and Graves. The 60 Bordeaux appellations and the wine styles they represent are usually categorized into six main families, four red based on the subregions and two white based on sweetness: ? Red Bordeaux and Red Bordeaux Superieur ? Red Cotes de Bordeaux ?
Red Libourne, or “Right Bank” wines ? Red Graves and Medoc or “Left Bank” wines ? Dry white wines ? Sweet white wines • The name of estate -(Image example: Chateau HautBatailley) • The estate’s classification -(Image example: Grand Cru Classe en 1855) This can be in reference to the 1855 Bordeaux classification or one of the Cru Bourgeois. • The appellation -(Image example: Pauillac) Appellation d’origine controlee laws dictate that all grapes must be harvested from a particular appellation in order for that appellation to appear on the label.
The appellation is a key indicator of the type of wine in the bottle. With the image example, Pauillac wines are always red, and usually Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant grape variety. • Whether or not the wine is bottled at the chateau (Image example: Mis en Bouteille au Chateau) or assembled by a Negociant. • The vintage -(Image example: 2000).
• Alcohol content – (Image example: 13% vol) Wine label • http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Bordeaux_wine Credits • http://www. bordeaux. com/us • http://www. bordeaux-fete-levin. com/uk/programme/index2012uk. html THANK YOU! ?