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Wine Spectator School


Course: Bordeaux

Class 1: Bordeaux


CHARACTER KEYS

 
Three elements determine the fundamental character of every Bordeaux wine. In ascending order of importance, they are the

  • Appellation
  • Vintage
  • Château (or producer) = most important

The more you know about each element, the more you'll know what to expect from the wine, and the better you'll understand it. Happily, these are also the three most prominent elements of any Bordeaux label.

 

 
Appellation

Terroir is Important...
Traditionally, Bordeaux's wines and their different styles have been viewed according to appellations. Conventional wisdom holds that each appellation has its own specific terroir and wine character.

For example, Pomerol's clay soil makes opulent wines that mature relatively early, while wines from the gravelly soils of Pauillac have firmer tannins and take longer to...

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