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Wine Spectator School

Class 5: Old World Model: France



Left Bank
Cabernet Sauvignon has an affinity for the well-drained gravelly soils of the Haut-Médoc, where it is the main red grape in the blend. St.-Estèphe, Pauillac, St.-Julien and Margaux are the Haut-Médoc's most famous districts.

Their wines show the cherry and currant flavors of Cabernet, along with spice and cedar notes. Some also display firm tannins that smooth out with time.


Right Bank
In St.-Emilion and Pomerol, the limestone and heavier clay and sand soils provide the perfect conditions for Merlot, which dominates the blend.

These reds tend to have smoother tannins and be drinkable earlier than those based on Cabernet Sauvignon, but the finest can be just as long-lived.


Dry White Bordeaux
Bordeaux also produces white wines blended from Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. The best...

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