Bordeaux wine terms

Posted on: 25 March 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Bordeaux is one of the world's most famous wine producing regions, but with a dizzying variety of appellations you can use this guide to be sure you get value for money.

Bordeaux vinyardBordeaux on the label guarantees refinement, quality and a pleasurable experience!

Négociant (wine merchants/shippers): sometimes referred to as "branded" Bordeaux wines: made from selections specially created by the merchant or co-operative cellar. These wines reflect the outstanding quality of the 2000 vintage at very affordable prices.

Petits Châteaux:

Wonderful wines from lesser-known, fine wine-making châteaux. Look for "satellite" appellations, such Côtes de Castillon, Côtes de Bourg, Lalande de Pomerol, etc... and popular priced bottles carrying the Bordeaux or Bordeaux Supérieur appellations.

Crus Bourgeois:

In all the appellations that make up the Médoc and the Haut-Médoc - on the left bank of Bordeaux. These wines, officially classified as "crus bourgeois" represent outstanding quality and value.

"Second Label" (of grand cru or first growth wines):

Made from young vines or lots that cannot be used for the principal wine due to stringent production quotas. These wines share the cachet and winemaking expertise of the first growths, with a lower price tag, and can be drunk young.

En Primeur or Futures market:

Wine sold while still in the barrel, undergoing the aging process, before bottling/shipping; En primeur tastings take place every year in Bordeaux at the end of March/first week in April. (e.g. the en primeur tasting of the 2001 vintage took place in March 2002). Most wines sold this way are classified growths or wines from very well-known châteaux. En primeur or Future sales account for only 3 -5% of the total Bordeaux wine production.

Release Price:

The first price quoted by the chateaux and wine merchants for the sale of en primeur.

Remember, from "négociant" wines to "crus bourgeois", Bordeaux on the label guarantees refinement, quality and a pleasurable experience!

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