bordeaux wine brands

Popular Bordeaux Wine Brands (for the Love of Bordeaux)

Bordeaux is a legendary WINE REGION (PS: Bordeaux is not a grape) in southwestern France. It is synonymous with prestigious red wines, and some white wines too, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Within its boundaries, classified chateaux (estates) produce some of the world’s most coveted red wines.

This guide introduces you to some of the most celebrated Bordeaux wine brands, helping you discover your next favorite bottle.

bordeaux red wine brands

Popular Bordeaux Wine Brands

We have broken down the exploration of Bordeaux wine brands into First Growths (Premiers Crus Classés) and Second Growths (Deuxièmes Crus Classés), here’s why:

  • Historical Significance: The 1855 Bordeaux Classification is a famous historical ranking system that categorized chateaux based on reputation and price at the time.
  • Accessibility: First Growth Bordeaux wines are often very expensive and collectible. Second Growths, while still high quality, can be a more accessible entry point for those wanting to explore the world of Bordeaux.

First Growths (Premiers Crus Classés)

These legendary chateaux represent the pinnacle of Bordeaux winemaking.

  • Château Lafite Rothschild (Pauillac)

Known for its powerful structure and long aging potential, Lafite Rothschild is a benchmark for Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blends. Their wines are coveted by collectors worldwide.

  • Château Mouton Rothschild (Pauillac)

A neighbor of Lafite Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild is known for its bold and expressive style. Their iconic label, featuring a different artist each year, adds another layer of intrigue.

  • Château Margaux (Margaux)

The “château des femmes” (women’s chateau), Margaux produces wines known for their elegance and finesse. Their Cabernet Sauvignon blends are prized for their silky texture and complex aromas.

  • Château Haut-Brion (Graves)

Unique among First Growths, Haut-Brion produces both red and white wines. Their French red wine are known for their exceptional balance and aging potential.

  • Château Latour (Pauillac)

Latour crafts powerful and structured wines that are built to last. Their meticulous aging process ensures these wines continue to evolve for decades.

Second Growths (Deuxièmes Crus Classés)

These chateaux offer exceptional quality at a slightly more accessible price point.

  • Château Rauzan-Ségla (Margaux)

Neighboring Margaux, Rauzan-Ségla produces elegant and age-worthy wines with a distinctive spicy character.

  • Château Pichon Baron (Pauillac)

Known for its power and density, Pichon Baron offers a classic expression of Pauillac Cabernet Sauvignon.

  • Château Cos d’Estournel (Saint-Estèphe)

This chateau’s wines are characterized by their structure and depth. Their distinctive pagoda-style winery adds to the allure.

Beyond the Big Names

Beyond the classified growths, a wealth of excellent producers exists in Bordeaux. Look for exciting labels like Château d’Agassac, renowned for their Cru Bourgeois wines from the Haut-Médoc appellation. These wines exemplify the elegance and structure that define Bordeaux. Explore other appellations like Côtes de Bourg with offerings like Château Gros Moulin, known for its powerful and expressive red wine.

Choosing Your Bordeaux Adventure

With its vast array of producers and styles, Bordeaux red wine brands can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to navigate your selection:

  • Left Bank vs. Right Bank: The Left Bank (mainly Cabernet Sauvignon) is known for its powerful and age-worthy wines, while the Right Bank (Merlot-dominant) offers softer and more approachable styles.
  • Appellation: Bordeaux is divided into sub-regions like Pauillac, Margaux, and Saint-Emilion. Each appellation has its own distinct character.
  • Vintage: Weather conditions significantly impact the style of Bordeaux wines. Warmer vintages produce riper and more approachable wines, while cooler years result in more restrained and structured expressions. Benchmark Wines can guide you based on your preference.

The Final Sip

Bordeaux represents a culmination of history, tradition, and meticulous winemaking. With its diverse styles and long aging potential, it offers a journey for every palate. Let Benchmark Wines be your guide as you explore the world of these popular and emerging Bordeaux winemakers with easy delivery of wines online. So, raise a glass to the grandeur of Bordeaux, uncork a bottle, and embark on your own French wine adventure!

Decantation of Wine: Between Bottle and Glass

One term that is surely overused in wine circles is “decanting wine.” But what exactly is it, and why should you care about it?

Let’s talk about that special pit stop between the bottle and your glass – the art of decantation.

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What Does it Mean to Decant the Wine?

Decanting wine isn’t about simply pouring it from one container to another; it’s a meticulous process that involves separating the liquid from any sediment that may have settled at the bottom of the bottle. This sediment, while not harmful, can impart undesirable flavors and textures to your wine.

To decant wine properly, you’ll need a decanter—a glass vessel with an easy-pour neck. There are various types and sizes available, from the elegant swan and cornett to the classic duck and standard decanters. The choice of decanter depends on your aesthetic preference and the wine you plan to decant.

The Threefold Benefits of Decanting Wine

Separating Sediment from Liquid

The primary purpose of decanting is to remove sediment from the wine. This is especially crucial for red wines, particularly older ones and vintage ports. Sediment doesn’t harm you, but it can make your wine taste unpleasant.

Enhancing Flavor through Aeration

Aeration, or allowing a wine to “breathe,” is a key aspect of decantation. By introducing oxygen to the wine, decanting softens the tannins and releases trapped gases. This process can awaken the flavors and aromas that were dormant in the bottle, elevating your wine-drinking experience.

Wine Rescue in Case of a Broken Cork

Sometimes, a cork may break, releasing unwanted solid matter into your wine. Decanting can act as a safety net. As you pour the wine into another vessel, both the cork and sediment will gather near the neck of the bottle, making it easier to filter out any small cork fragments.

Which Wines Should Be Decanted?

The good news is that most wines can benefit from at least a brief decantation to promote aeration. However, certain wines reap the most significant rewards from this practice and must be decanted to get the best results, this includes:

Wines That Don’t Need Decanting

The only wines that shouldn’t be decanted are sparkling wines like Champagne. These wines thrive when they maintain their effervescence, which decanting, and aeration can diminish.

Decant the Wine, Step by Step

Now that you’re ready to give decanting a try, here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure you do it right:

Preparation: If your wine bottle has been stored horizontally, stand it upright for a full day before decanting. This allows sediment to settle at the bottom.

Opening the Bottle: Use a corkscrew to open your bottle, ensuring you do it with care.

The Pour: Tilt the neck of the bottle toward the decanter and pour the wine slowly. Keep the bottle at an angle of less than 45 degrees to prevent a rush of wine that might disturb the sediment.

Watch for Sediment: Be vigilant for any sediment approaching the bottle’s neck while pouring. If you spot any, stop pouring temporarily, tilt the bottle back upright, and continue once the sediment settles.

Leave a Bit Behind: Finish pouring the wine, leaving about half an ounce in the bottle along with the sediment.

PS: Decanted wine can be enjoyed immediately or within the next 18 hours without concern of over-decanting.

How Long Should You Decant?

When it comes to the timing of decanting, the rule of thumb is to let your wine breathe, but not too much. For red wines, ranging from bold Cabernets to elegant Pinot Noirs, a decanting time of 20 minutes to 2 hours can work wonders, with the duration often dictated by the wine’s style and age.

White and Rosé wines, known for their refreshing qualities, typically benefit from up to 30 minutes of aeration, but it’s always wise to consider the specific conditions. Sparkling wines, those effervescent delights, can also benefit from up to 30 minutes of decanting, under certain circumstances.

Get Your Wine Here

Did we just give you some crazy wine cravings? Get your favorite bottle of wine delivered at your doorstep by one of the best wine shops in Singapore, Benchmark Wines.

Do not forget to Decant that baby! 🍷⏳

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