Left & Right Bank
Bordeaux is the largest fine wine-making region in the world (with 284,320 acres of A.O.C. vines) as well as the most legendary.
The Gironde River and its tributaries, the Dordogne and Garonne, divide the Bordeaux region creating three distinct areas corresponding to geographical areas and styles of wines - the Left Bank , Entre Dex Mers (Between the two tributaries) and the Right Bank.
The left Bank includes the Médoc and the subregions of Pauillac, Saint Estephe, Saint Julien, Margaux and Graves, which also includes Pessac Leognan.
The Left Bank is home to the first growth wines from the official 1855 Bordeaux Classification; Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Cabernet Sauvignon which thrive in the gravely soil dominates the Bordeaux left bank and that results in the left bank wines having more intense flavors and tannin. In addition to its famous reds, Graves and Pessac-Léognan produce renowned crisp, dry, refreshing whites primarily consisting of Savignon Blanc and Semillion and also, golden sweet white wines, famous throughout the world, are produced mainly in Sauternes and Barsac. Semillon dominates this region and includes the renowned Chateau d'Yquem.
The Entre-Deux-Mers produces the majority of the wine labeled as Bordeaux AOC or Bordeaux Superieur. Varying proportions of sands, clays, gravels, and limestones can be found all over the district providing different wine styles. The Reds are predominately, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit-Verdot and Cabernet-Franc which produce the blend that embodies the much-appreciated Bordeaux style of harmonious elegance and aromatic complexity. Elegant dry whites are produced in the rolling Entre-deux-Mers, which offers fresh and aromatic white wines made from Sauvignon, Sémillon and muscadelle.
The Bordeaux right bank includes the subregions of Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Bourg and Blaye. Although the right bank was not included in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, it is also home to some of the world’s most expensive and prestigious wines; Chateau Petrus, Chateau Le Pin, Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc. On the Right Bank, Merlot is king which is more suited to the clay, limestone and sand which prevails resulting in wines that are fruitier, softer, and certainly more approachable (due to less tannin, especially for younger vintages) compared to left bank wines.