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Wine Spectator School

Class 5: Old World Model: France



Châteaus and Blended Wines

Bordeaux is known primarily for the complex and ageworthy reds made by leading wineries such as:

  • Château Haut-Brion
  • Château Lafite Rothschild
  • Château Latour
  • Château Margaux
  • Château Mouton-Rothschild

In Bordeaux, the wineries are called "châteaus." Each château grows a mix of grape varieties, some that ripen early and others that ripen later, to ensure a decent wine even in difficult vintages.

Over time, each château has developed its own distinctive blend, yet the influence of the local terroir means that the wines of each district have more in common with one another than with wines made elsewhere.


Climate and Geography

Bordeaux straddles the Gironde estuary and the Dordogne and Garonne rivers in southwestern France.

Moderating breezes from the Atlantic protect the...

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