The ‘right bank’ is the area of Bordeaux vineyards that lies to the east of the Gironde estuary and the Garonne River.
The red wines of the right bank are typically rich in Merlot, but also with a high degree of Cabernet Franc, and are known for their smoothness and fruitiness.
The St Emilion appellation is made up of areas from 9 villages that surround and include the town of St Emilion. It has a classification system that is reviewed every 10 years. There are 2 levels of classification, 1er Grand Cru Classé (which is split into ‘A’ and ‘B’) and Grand Cru Classé. Only around 10% of St Emilion’s 800 vineyards typically gain classified status. In the last classification of 2012 it totalled 82, of which only 18 were awarded 1er Grand Cru Classé status.
The Pomerol appellation is the smallest of all in Bordeaux and has no classification system. It is adjacent to St Emilion and its boundaries are defined by a unique soil structure of blue clay. Merlot grapes thrive on this iron-rich clay.
The Côtes de Bordeaux appellation comprises a number of hilly areas of the right bank that produce red wines. There used to be numerous different ‘Côtes’ appellations (such as Côtes de Castillon, 1er Côtes de Bordeaux and Côtes de Blaye), but these have now been amalgamated into one title “Cotes de Bordeaux” appellation.
The Bordeaux Supérieur appellation is the more generic and less prestigious appellation, that most of the remaining red appellation wines of the right bank fit into.
The Entre-deux-Mers appellation lies to the east of Bordeaux and is bordered by the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers to its north and south. It is the largest appellation in Bordeaux and produces dry white wines. Rich in Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon they provide the ideal accompaniment to seafood or can be enjoyed as an aperitif. The area is one of the most picturesque in Bordeaux yet is frequently overlooked by visitors to the region. The Entre-deux-Mers appellation is festooned with 14th century bastide towns, fortified watermills, ancient abbeys and wonderful food markets.
Entre-deux-Mers really ought to be on everyone’s ‘must do’ list when visiting Bordeaux. Let GT plan you a route through this picturesque countryside taking in some memorable family-run châteaux. You will be shown around by the owner and have the opportunity to buy their fantastic value wines.