Bordeaux is the most famous and highly coveted wine blend in the world. This region has been cultivating vines for more than 2,000 years and has perhaps the highest reputation for fine wines in the entire world. The Bordeaux vineyard appellation is one of the largest in France.
The Most Prestigious Wine Region In The World
Although the region is best known for its red wines, a variety of both white and red wines are produced here. Red Bordeaux wines are elegantly styled with firm tannin levels that develop a characteristic softness and subtlety with age. Their age worthiness makes them ideal wines for collecting and cellaring.
Also Read: Opus One – a World Famous Napa Valley Winery
Chateau Haut-Brion has one of the longest and most interesting histories of any Bordeaux vineyard. Its vineyard is located in the commune of Pessac, just a few miles southwest of Bordeaux’s city center. It belongs to the Pessac-Léognan appellation, to the north of the Graves wine-growing region. This unique terroir was first prized for growing grapes to produce Bordeaux wine close to 600 years ago! Elegant and complex, Château Haut-Brion red wine usually consists of 45% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc and a dash of Petit Verdot. Its characteristic mineral aromas and notes of black fruit make it unique. The first impression is very discreet, even reticent but each time it is swirled, new aromas bring out greater complexity.
Chateau Haut Brion also produces one of the world’s great white wines. It is without peer in quality, style and price. When we talk about the white wine of Château Haut-Brion, the first words that come to mind are uniqueness, excellence and richness. Made up of 52% Sémillon and 48% Sauvignon Blanc, Château Haut-Brion white is an icon in the world of exceptional white wines (400 to 650 cases per vintage). Haut Brion deserves credit for being first in many things we take for granted today. For example, Chateau Haut Brion was the first Bordeaux chateau to produce truly age worthy wine. They did this by introducing longer periods of aging in barrel, as well as being the first winery to continuously add wine to top off the barrels.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild
Chateau Lafite Rothschild is known for producing what some tasters think is the best Bordeaux wine in the appellation. It’s also thought of as one of the most famous, as well as most expensive wines in the world. The vineyard consists of three main areas: the hillsides around the Château, the adjacent Carruades plateau to the west, and 4.5 hectares in neighbouring Saint Estèphe. The vineyard covers 112 hectares and is well-drained and well-exposed, with soil made up of fine deep gravel, mixed with aeolian sand on a subsoil of tertiary limestone. It is well-drained and well-exposed to the sun.
The grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%).The average age of the grapevines is 39 years old. But it should be noted that vines younger than 10 years old are not used in the Grand Vin. This means that the average age of the vines used in the Grand Vin (Château Lafite Rothschild) is closer to 45 years. The oldest plot, called “La Gravière , was planted in 1886. The expertise and the tradition upheld for several generations by the Rothschild family are applied to all of the properties with the objective of producing high quality wines full of finesse and elegance in the “Lafite Spirit”. “The Lafite Spirit” is based on a rich past and a tradition rooted in the Bordeaux soil, on the transmission of the ancestral know-how of men and women and on the excellence and refinement of the wines that they help to produce.
The vineyard of Château Angélus is situated in a natural amphitheatre overlooked by the three Saint-Emilion churches. In the middle of this special site, the sounds were amplified and the angelus bells could be heard ringing in the morning, at midday and in the evening. They cadenced the working day in the vineyards and villages, calling the men and women to stop their labours for a few minutes and pray.
The Angélus style results from the combination of bold decisions on vine varieties and an outstanding terroir. It is this unique character born of the south-facing Saint-Emilion slopes with its large proportion of Cabernet Franc that we are so pleased to meet over and over again as the vintages pass by. It is also a composition re-crafted every year in a continuous quest for excellence.
There was a clear change of direction when the new generation took over in 1985, not least his commitment to biodynamic farming methods. Fertilization is now organic rather than chemical, there is grass covering between the vine rows and great emphasis is placed on naturally preserving the health of the soil. Angelus has become a leading example in the region by implementing sustainability practices; let us hope his predecessors follow his lead.