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Bordeaux Wines

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GirondeA Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France, centred on the city of Bordeaux and covering the whole area of the Gironde department, with a total vineyard area of over 120,000 hectares, making it the largest wine growing area in France. Average vintages produce over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wine, ranging from large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world. Eighty-nine percent of wine produced in Bordeaux is red (called “claret” in Britain), with sweet white wines (most notably Sauternes), dry whites, and also (in much smaller quantities) rosé and sparkling wines (Crémant de Bordeaux) collectively making up the remainder. Bordeaux wine is made by more than 8,500 producers or châteaux. There are 54 appellations of Bordeaux wine.

History

The history of Bordeaux wine spans almost 2000 years to Roman times when the first vineyards were planted. In the Middle Ages, the marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine opened the Bordeaux region to the English market and eventually to the world’s stage. The name Bordeaux derives from the French au bord de l’eau which means “along the waters” and makes reference to the Gironde estuary and its tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers which play a pivotal role in the history and success of this region.

Roman Times

Bordeaux wine production seems to have begun sometime after 43 AD, during the Roman occupation of Gaul, when the Romans established vineyards to cultivate wine for the soldiers. However, it is only in 71 AD that Pliny the Elder recorded the first real evidence of vineyards in Bordeaux. The area’s location along the Gironde estuary provided an ideal trade route with the British Isles. Wine historian, Roger Dion, has theorized that the first vine cuttings that the Romans brought to Bordeaux originated in the Rioja region of Spain. The early budding of the Bordeaux wine industry suffered a number of disruptions following the fall of Rome. The area was occupied by Vandals in AD 408, Goths in 406, and Visigoths in 414. The area was also subjected to repeated encounters with Saxon longboats along the coast. These disruptions continued into the 5th century to the period of Frankish rule.

Weinbaugebiete-frankreich-bordeauxMiddle Ages

Although domestically popular, French wine was seldom exported, as the areas covered by vineyards and the volume of wine produced was low. In the 12th century however, the popularity of Bordeaux wines increased dramatically following the marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Aliénor d’Aquitaine. The marriage made the province of Aquitaine English territory, and thenceforth the majority of Bordeaux claret was exported in exchange for other goods. Upon the ascension of their son, Richard, to the English throne Bordeaux became the base for Richard’s French operations.

As the popularity of Bordeaux wine increased, the vineyards expanded to accommodate the demands from abroad. Henry and Aliénor youngest son, John was in favor of promoting the wine industry, and to increase it further, abolished the Grande Coutume export tax to England from the Aquitaine region. In the 13th and 14th century, a code of business practices called the police des vins emerged to give Bordeaux wine a distinct trade advantage over its neighboring regions.




The citizenry of Bordeaux worked diligently to promote and foster their relationship with the English market. In 1205, King Alfonso VIII of Castile laid claim to Aquitaine and put Bordeaux under siege. The village was able to withstand the attack and King John rewarded the Bourgeois with orders for wine in excess of 120 tons. In 1224, King Louis VIII of France attempted to purge the English from French soil and was halted in his advance in the town of Bordeaux. In the aftermath Bordeaux received a privilege access to the English market through London, and their exports to the market soon dwarfed the production from other French wine making regions.

During the 13th century, the Graves was the principal wine region of Bordeaux. While there were some vines growing in the Entre-Deux-Mers, Saint-Émilion and Blaye, the Médoc during this period was virtually a barren marshland. At the turn of the 14th century, the town of Libourne was vying for dominance in the area, exporting 11,000 tons of wine to London from the 1308 vintage. A year earlier, this area fulfilled an order for 1,152,000 bottles to be used for the celebration of Edward II’s wedding. The wine of this time period was highly alcoholic and fruity but did not age well, often spoiling a year after the vintage was released. The export of Bordeaux was effectively halted by the outbreak of The Hundred Years’ War between France and England in 1337 followed by the outbreak of the Black Death which ravaged the area. By the end of the conflict in 1453 France had repossessed the province, thus taking control of wine production in the region.

Second Golden Era

In the seventeenth century, Dutch traders began to drain the marshland around the Médoc and encouraged the planting of vineyards. The Dutch would also open new distribution channels to the Bourgeosis which helped usher in a second era of prosperity. At the turn of the 18th century, the War of the Spanish Succession broke out which made navigation along the French coast line and the English channel very risky. Additionally, the tensions between English and French governments halted all “official” trade between Bordeaux and the London market. Despite the government sanction, bottles of prized Bordeaux wines began showing up in large quantities at auction houses in London, Bristol, and Plymouth as the captured bounty of privateers. Wine historian, Hugh Johnson, speculates that this was an arranged affair between the Bordeaux chateaux, the privateers and the London auction houses to get around the war time politics of the period.

In 1725, the spread of vineyards throughout Bordeaux was so vast that it was divided into specific areas so that the consumer could tell exactly where each wine was from. The collection of districts was known as the Vignoble de Bordeaux, and bottles were labeled with both the region and the area from which they originated. During this period, Nicolas-Alexandre, marquis de Ségur rose to prominence as the “Prince of Vignes” due to his ownership of some of Bordeaux’s most prestigious estates and Pierre de Rauzan laid the foundation for Château Rauzan-Ségla, Château Rauzan-Gassies, Château Pichon Longueville Baron, and Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande.

In 1855, a classification system was set up that ranked the top chateaus of the Médoc according to their market price.




Phylloxera Epidemic

From 1875-1892 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. All Bordeaux vines that survive to this day are a product of this action. Some grape variety responded better to the grafting than others and these varieties-Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Merlot, Semillon, Sauvignon blanc and Muscadelle-became Bordeaux leading grapes.

Economic Uncertainty

Due to the lucrative nature of this business, other areas in France began growing their own wines and labeling them as Bordeaux products. As profits in the Aquitaine region declined, the vignerons demanded that the government impose a law declaring that only produce from Bordeaux could be labeled with that name. The INAO or Institut National des Appellations d’Origine was created for this purpose.

In the twentieth century, the French wine market saw the effects of over cropping and the early developments of the wine lake phenomenon as supply far out paced demand. The two World Wars, Great Depression and 1970s oils crisis also had a detrimental effect on the industry.

20th Century

In 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. This law later extended to other goods such as cheese, poultry and vegetables.

The economic problems in the 1970s, in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis marked a difficult period for Bordeaux. A series of scandals coincided with a commercial crisis in Bordeaux. The vintage of 1972 had been overpriced as was 1973 and 1974. And when the market crashed the négociants were stuck with overpriced wine that they could not sell. The early 1980s saw a new trend. Inheritance taxes were doubled in 1981 and on top of the crisis in the 1970s, many families found it increasingly difficult to hang on to their châteaux. Enter domestic and foreign insurance companies, banks and other corporate giants. Some of these companies were looking for a quick profit, others were in it as a long-term investment. But the 1980s decade wasn’t all bad. It also saw more great vintages in a single decade than ever before and a new era in other respects. First, wine critics (rather than just official classifications) started to have an influence on demand and prices. Wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. reviewed the 1982 Bordeaux vintage as the most sumptuous vintage in decades. Not only was this a turning point for Bordeaux wine economically, it also represented the beginning of an American domination of the reviewing of wine, especially Bordeaux. The result was a broader appeal of Bordeaux wine where the presence of fruit became a much more important factor than previously.

This critical selection of grapes also resulted in many chateaux introducing second wines, so not to waste good but not optimum quality grapes. It was also the introduction of the en primeur concept where traders alongside critics are invited to Bordeaux six months after harvest, to sample the new wine.

Bordeaux used to have a significant production of white wines, with Entre-deux-Mers, a primarily white wine area. Unlike the style of dry white Bordeaux favoured today, with almost 100% Sauvignon Blanc and a heavy influence of new oak, the traditional Entre-deux-Mers whites had a high proportion of Semillion and were made in either old oak barrels or steel tanks. Starting in the 1960s and 1970s, these vineyards were converted to red wine production (of Bordeaux AOC and Bordeaux Supérieur AOC), and the production of white wine has decreased ever since. Today production of white wine has shrunk to about one tenth of Bordeaux’s total production, with 11.0% of the vineyard surface in 2007 used for white wines (7.8% for dry, 3.2% for sweet).


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France-map-12th-CenturyBordeaux Wines

History

The vine was introduced to the Bordeaux region by the Romans, probably in the mid-1st century, to provide wine for local consumption, and wine production has been continuous in the region since then.

In the 12th century, 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 part of the Angevin Empire, and thenceforth the wine of Bordeaux was exported to England. At this time, Graves was the principal wine region of Bordeaux, and the principal style was clairet. This accounts for the ubiquity of claret in England. The export of Bordeaux was interrupted by the outbreak of the Hundred Years’ War between France and England in 1337. By the end of the conflict in 1453 France had repossessed the province, thus taking control of wine production in the region.

In the seventeenth century, Dutch traders drained the swampy ground of the Médoc 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.

In 1855, the châteaux of Bordeaux were classified; this classification remains widely used today. From 1875–1892 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.

Climate and geography

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. The Gironde estuary dominates the regions along with its tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers, and together irrigate the land and provide an Atlantic Climate, also known as an oceanic climate, for the region.

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:
• Graves, the area upstream of the city Bordeaux.
• Médoc, the area downstream of the city Bordeaux, situated on a peninsula between Gironde and the Atlantic.

In Bordeaux the concept of terroir plays a pivotal role in wine production with the top estates aiming to make terroir driven wines that reflect the place they are from, often from grapes collected from a single vineyard. The soil of Bordeaux is composed of gravel, sandy stone, and clay. The region’s best vineyards are located on the well-drained gravel soils that are frequently found near the Gironde river. An old adage in Bordeaux is the best estates can “see the river” from their vineyards. The majority of land facing riverward is occupied by classified estates.

Vignobles_medocGrapes

Red Bordeaux is generally made from a blend of grapes. Permitted grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and rarely Carménère. Today Carménère is rarely used, with Château Clerc Milon, a fifth growth Bordeaux, being one of the few to still retain Carménère vines.

As a very broad generalization, Cabernet Sauvignon (Bordeaux’s second-most planted grape variety) dominates the blend in red wines produced in the Médoc and the rest of the left bank of the Gironde estuary. Typical top-quality Châteaux blends are 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot. This is typically referred to as the “Bordeaux Blend.” Merlot tends to predominate in Saint-Émilion, Pomerol and the other right bank appellations. These Right Bank blends from top-quality Châteaux are typically 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

White Bordeaux is predominantly, and exclusively in the case of the sweet Sauternes, made from Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc and Muscadelle. Typical blends are usually 80% Sémillon and 20% Sauvignon blanc. As with the reds, white Bordeaux wines are usually blends, most commonly of Sémillon and a smaller proportion of Sauvignon blanc. Other permitted grape varieties are Sauvignon gris, Ugni blanc, Colombard, Merlot blanc, Ondenc and Mauzac.

In the late 1960s Sémillon was the most planted grape in Bordeaux. Since then it has been in constant decline although it still is the most common of Bordeaux’s white grapes. Sauvignon blanc’s popularity on the other hand has been rising, overtaking Ugni blanc as the second most planted white Bordeaux grape in the late 1980s and now being grown in an area more than half the size of that of the lower yielding Sémillon.

Wineries all over the world aspire to making wines in a Bordeaux style. In 1988, a group of American vintners formed The Meritage Association to identify wines made in this way. Although most Meritage wines come from California, there are members of the Meritage Association in 18 states and five other countries, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Israel, and Mexico.

Viticulture and winemaking

The red grapes in the Bordeaux vineyard are Merlot (62% by area), Cabernet Sauvignon (25%), Cabernet Franc (12%) and a small amount of Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère (1% in total). The white grapes are Sémillon (54% by area), Sauvignon blanc (36%), Muscadelle (7%) and a small amount of Ugni blanc, Colombard and Folle blanche (3% in total). Because of the generally humid Bordeaux climate, a variety of pests can cause a problem for the vigneron. In the past, this was counteracted by the widespread use of pesticides, although the use of natural methods has recently been gaining in popularity. The vines are generally trained in either single or double guyot. Hand-picking is preferred by most of the prestigious châteaux, but machine-harvesting is popular in other places.

Winemaking

Following harvest, the grapes are usually sorted and destemmed before crushing. Crushing was traditionally done by foot, but mechanical crushing is now almost universally used. Chaptalization is permitted, and is fairly common-place. Fermentation then takes place, usually in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. Next the must is pressed and transferred to barriques (in most cases) for a period of ageing (commonly a year). The traditional Bordeaux barrique is an oak barrel with a capacity of 225 litres. At some point between pressing and bottling the wine will be blended. This is an integral part of the Bordeaux winemaking process, as scarcely any Bordeaux wines are varietals; wine from different grape varieties is mixed together, depending on the vintage conditions, so as to produce a wine in the château’s preferred style. In addition to mixing wine from different grape varieties, wine from different parts of the vineyard is often aged separately, and then blended into either the main or the second wine (or sold off wholesale) according to the judgment of the winemaker. The wine is then bottled and usually undergoes a further period of ageing before it is released for sale.

Wine styles

chateau_Margaux_exteriorImage of the exterior of the Bordeaux wine estate Château Margaux

The Bordeaux wine region is divided into subregions including Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Médoc, 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 Supérieur. Bordeaux winemakers may use the two regional appellations throughout the entire wine region, however approximately half of the Bordeaux vineyard is specifically designated under Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur AOCs. With the majority of châteaux located on the Right Bank in the Entre-Deux-Mers area, wines are typically Merlot-dominant, often blended with the other classic Bordeaux varieties. There are many small, family-run châteaux, as well as wines blended and sold by wine merchants under commercial brand names. The Bordeaux AOC wines tend to be fruity, with minimal influence of oak, and are produced in a style meant to be drunk young. Bordeaux Superieur AOC wines are produced in the same area, but must follow stricter controls, such as lower yields, and are often aged in oak. For the past 10 years, there has been strong, ongoing investment by the winemakers in both the vineyards and in the cellar, resulting in ever increasing quality. New reforms for the regional appellations were instituted in 2008 by the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur Winemakers’ Association. In 2010, 55% of all Bordeaux wines sold in the world were from Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur AOCs, with 67% sold in France and 33% exported (+9%), representing 14 bottles consumed per second.

• Red Côtes de Bordeaux. Eight appellations are in the hilly outskirts of the region, and produce wines where the blend usually is dominated by Merlot. These wines tend to be intermediate between basic red Bordeaux and the more famous appellations of the left and right bank in both style and quality. However, since none of Bordeaux’s stellar names are situated in Côtes de Bordeaux, prices tend to be moderate. There is no official classification in Côtes de Bordeaux. In 2007, 14.7% of the region’s vineyard surface was used for wines in this family.


• Red Libourne, or “Right Bank” wines. Around the city of Libourne, 10 appellations produce wines dominated by Merlot with very little Cabernet Sauvignon, the two most famous being Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. These wines often have great fruit concentration, softer tannins and are long-lived. Saint-Émilion has an official classification. In 2007, 10.5% of the region’s vineyard surface was used for wines in this family.


• Red Graves and Médoc or “Left Bank” wines. North and south of the city of Bordeaux, which are the classic areas, produce wines dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, but often with a significant portion of Merlot. These wines are concentrated, tannic, long-lived and most of them meant to be cellared before drinking. The five First Growths are situated here. There are official classifications for both Médoc and Graves. In 2007, 17.1% of the region’s vineyard surface was used for wines in this family.

A dry white Bordeaux

• Dry white wines. Dry white wines are made throughout the region, using the regional appellation Bordeaux Blanc, often from 100% Sauvignon blanc or a blend dominated by Sauvignon blanc and Sémillon. The Bordeaux Blanc AOC is used for wines made in appellations that only allow red wines. Dry whites from Graves is the most well-known and the only subregion with a classification for dry white wines. The better versions tend to have a significant oak influence. The In 2007, 7.8% of the region’s vineyard surface was used for wines in this family.


• Sweet white wines. In several locations and appellations throughout the region, sweet white wine is made from Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc and Muscadelle grapes affected by noble rot. The best-known of these appellations is Sauternes, which also has an official classification, and where some of the world’s most famous sweet wines are produced. There are also appellations neighboring Sauternes, on both sides of the Garonne river, where similar wines are made. These include Loupiac, Cadillac, and Sainte Croix du Mont. The regional appellation for sweet white wines is Bordeaux Supérieur Blanc. In 2007, 3.2% of the region’s vineyard surface was used for wines in this family.


• The vast majority of Bordeaux wine is red, with red wine production outnumbering white wine production six to one.

Wine classification

Chateau-Wines

Main articles: Bordeaux wine regions and Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855
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 Médoc, and sweet wines of Sauternes-Barsac.
• The 1955 Official Classification of St.-Émilion, 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. 78 producers took legal action against the 2003 classification. In September 2010 a new list of Crus Bourgeois was unveiled as a recognition of quality, with a yearly reappraisal. It is no longer a recognized classification.
• The Cru artisan Classification was recognized by the European Union in June 1994 and published on January 11, 2006. The classification is to be revised every 10 years. The initial list of 44 Cru Artisans was extended to 50 in 2012. See.
• The 1855 classification system was made at the request of Emperor Napoleon III for the Exposition Universelle de Paris. This came to be known as the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, which ranked the wines into five categories according to price. The first growth red wines (four from Médoc and one, Château Haut-Brion, from Graves), are among the most expensive wines in the world.

Ancient-WineThe first growths are:

• Château Lafite-Rothschild, in the appellation Pauillac
• Château Margaux, in the appellation Margaux
• Château Latour, in the appellation Pauillac
• Château Haut-Brion, in the appellation Péssac-Leognan
• Château Mouton Rothschild, in the appellation Pauillac, promoted from second to first growth in 1973.

At the same time, the sweet white wines of Sauternes and Barsac were classified into three categories, with only Château d’Yquem being classified as a superior first growth.

In 1955, St. Émilion AOC were classified into three categories, the highest being Premier Grand Cru Classé A with two members:

• Château Ausone
• Château Cheval Blanc

In the 2012 classification, two more Châteaux became members:

• Château Angélus
• Château Pavie


There is no official classification applied to Pomerol. However some Pomerol wines, notably Château Pétrus and Château Le Pin, are often considered as being equivalent to the first growths of the 1855 classification, and often sell for even higher prices.

Wine label

Saint-Emilion_Chateau_langelus_1978

Bordeaux wine labels generally include:

• The name of estate (Image example: Château L’Angelus)

• The estate’s classification (Image example: Grand Cru Classé) This can be in reference to the 1855 Bordeaux classification or one of the Cru Bourgeois.

• The appellation (Image example: Saint-Émillion) Appellation d’origine contrôlée 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 château (Image example: Mis en Bouteille au Château) or assembled by a Négociant.

• The vintage (Image example: 1978)
• Alcohol content (not shown on image)

“Claret” terminology

Claret is a name primarily used in British English for red Bordeaux wine.

Claret derives from the French clairet, a now uncommon dark rosé, which was the most common wine exported from Bordeaux until the 18th century. The name was anglicised to “claret” as a result of its widespread consumption in England during the period in the 12th–15th centuries that Aquitaine was part of the Angevin Empire (please compare the History section). It is a protected name within the European Union, describing a red Bordeaux wine, accepted after the British wine trade demonstrated over 300 years’ usage of the term.

Claret is occasionally used in the United States as a semi-generic label for red wine in the style of the Bordeaux, ideally from the same grapes as are permitted in Bordeaux. The French themselves do not use the term, except for export purposes.

The meaning of “claret” has changed over time to refer to a dry, dark red Bordeaux. It has remained a term associated with the English upper class, and consequently appears on bottles of generic red Bordeaux in an effort to raise their status in the market.

In November 2011, the president of the Union des Maisons de Négoce de Bordeaux, announced an intention to use the term Claret de Bordeaux for wines that are “light and fruity, easy to drink, in the same style as the original claret when it was prized by the English in former centuries”.

Commercial aspects

Many of the top Bordeaux wines are primarily sold as futures contracts, called selling en primeur. Because of the combination of longevity, fairly large production, and an established reputation, Bordeaux wines tend to be the most common wines at wine auctions. The latest market reports released in February 2009 shows that the market has increased in buying power by 128% while the prices have lowered for the very best Bordeaux wines.

Syndicat des AOC de Bordeaux et Bordeaux Supérieur

Syndicate des Vins de Bordeaux et Bordeaux Supérieur is an organization representing the economic interests of 6,700 wine producers in Bordeaux, France. The wine lake and other economic problems have increased the salience of the winemakers’ association, whose members are facing increasing costs and decreasing demand for their product.

As the largest appellation producing fine wines, and the strong foundation of the pyramid of Bordeaux wines, Bordeaux AOC & Bordeaux Supérieur AOC today account for 55% of all Bordeaux wines consumed in the world.

Plan Bordeaux

Plan Bordeaux is an initiative introduced in 2005 by ONIVINS, the French vintners association, designed to reduce France’s wine glut and improve sales. Part of the plan is to uproot 17,000 hectares of the 124,000 hectares of vineyards in Bordeaux. The wine industry in Bordeaux has been experiencing economic problems in the face of strong international competition from New World wines and declining wine consumption in France.

In 2004, exports to the U.S. plummeted 59% in value over the previous year. Sales in Britain dropped 33% in value during the same period. The UK, a major market, now imports more wine from Australia than from France. Amongst the possible causes for this economic crisis are that many consumers tend to prefer wine labels that state the variety of grape from which the wine is made, and often find the required French AOC labels difficult to understand.

Christian Delpeuch, president emeritus of Plan Bordeaux hoped to reduce production, improve quality, and sell more wine in the United States. However, two years after the beginning of the program, Mr Delpeuch resigned, “citing the failure of the French government to address properly the wine crisis in Bordeaux.” Delpeuch told journalists assembled at the Bordeaux Press Club “I refuse to countenance this continual putting off of decisions which can only end in failure.” “Delpeuch said he was shocked and disappointed by the failure of his efforts—and by the lack of co-operation from winemakers and négociants themselves—to achieve anything concrete in terms of reforms to the Bordeaux wine industry over the last 24 months.” The future of Plan Bordeaux is uncertain.



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