Bordeaux is a reference in the world wine industry for diverse reasons. The city is a pioneer of the modern wine trade, with history dating back to the marriage of Henri Plantagenet and Aliénor d’Aquitaine in the 12th century. Also, Bordeaux is home to some of the highest quality, age worthy, most expensive, speculative wines. But Bordeaux has far more to offer than that!
Both of us studied wine and spirits management in Bordeaux, we had the chance to visit memorable estates from small producers to renown century old domains. The region counts over 9000 wine producers, 117 200 hectares of vines with a production around 5 million hectolitres of wine per year! Due to a diversity of soils, grapes and production, the region has been subdivided into 38 appellations.
▪︎ Bordeaux, Bordeaux supérieur, Bordeaux clairet, Crémant de Bordeaux… ▪︎ Médoc, Haut Médoc, St Estèphe, Pauillac, Margaux… ▪︎ Graves, Pessac-léognan, Sauternes… ▪︎ Entre-deux-mers, Côtes de Bordeaux, Loupiac… ▪︎ Pomerol, St Emilion, St Emilion grand cru, Montagne st Emilion… ▪︎ Côtes de Blaye, Côtes de Bourg…
As you can see, Bordeaux is huge and complex and we’re not even speaking about the classification systems. I could talk about it for hour but let’s go to the point.
There is this estate, that we visited with our class, that stayed in our minds. It is no Château Pape Clément or Angelus, it is a small family domaine located on the right bank of the Gironde estuary, northerly of Bordeaux. Join the tour of Domaine du Cassard !
Since 1947, after 2 generations, Bernard Billières gives his son Eric his knowledge and the Domaine du Cassard. There are 31 hectares of red grapes and 11 hectares of whites grapes planted on gravel stones, facing south. This ensures good drainage while maximising the sun exposure to ripen the grapes properly.
Our recommendations (we couldn’t choose just one wine to present 😉)
Domaine du Cassard – Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux Blanc (white wine)
⇨ Clean and elegant nose with loads of stone fruits (peach, apricot) with a floral touch ⇨ Mineral and fruity with uplifting acidity ⇨ Pairs with oysters, seafood and shellfish ⇨ 6€ at the estate
Domaine du Cassard – Crémant de Bordeaux Rosé (sparkling wine)
⇨ Pale salmon with delicate and fine bubbles ⇨ Aromas of cassis, strawberry and raspberry enhanced by a touch of lavender ⇨ Silver medal “Sparkling Wine of the World” ⇨ 9€ at the estate
Bordeaux is mostly known for it’s speculative reds and famous sauternes but there is more to it. It just takes you a few steps out of the big names’ path to discover amazing yet affordable wines. You may find wines of every styles and colour of the panel in the wider Bordeaux appellations. Enjoy the colourful Bordeaux wines!