Medoc or Saint-Emilion wines?
We have decided to make this week a bit educational, with an interesting selection across the two most popular areas: Médoc and Saint-Emilion. Are you rather "left bank" or "right bank" when it comes to Bordeaux? But do you know what it really means?
Médoc is located on the left bank of the Garonne river. This area is home to the most prestigious Châteaux on the planet such as Lafite Rothschild, Margaux or Latour. Soils are mostly made of gravel, giving good drainage to Cabernet Sauvignon. As a result, blends are dominated by this grape providing tannins, concentration and complex black fruit aromas. Some Merlot is also added for its roundness and fruity aspect. These wines will generally show more structure and age longer.
In Saint-Emilion, on the right bank, the Merlot grape has perfect conditions thanks to clay soils. Wines are fruity, smooth and easier to drink young - although top wines will also develop very well in the bottle. Some Cabernet - Sauvignon or Franc - completes the blend for structure and body.
So whether you already know your side or not, it’s time to make your own selection of Médoc and Saint-Emilion in different price ranges - and ideally, taste them together. We have focused on the 2011 vintage when possible: being in the shadow of the great 2009 and 2010, it offers really good quality at a more reasonable price, and is generally ready to drink now.