Bordeaux (France) as a region is split into three sections: Right Bank, Left Bank and Entre-Deux-Mers. Entre-Deux-Mers is 100% white wine from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The Right Bank and the Left Bank produce comparable red wines, though very different due to the soil structure and warming abilities for the varietals grown (and allowed to be grown).
Right Bank Bordeaux
- located on the right bank of the Dordogne River
- soil consists of sand, clay and gravel with layers of limestone outside of Pomerol and iron rich clay (crasse de fer) in Pomerol.
- The varietals nurtured by this unique soil structure are Merlot, Cabernet Franc and moderate amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pomerol is 70-80% Merlot and 20-25% Cabernet Franc, aka Bouchet
- St. Émilion (and surrounding Pomerol areas) 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec
Left Bank Bordeaux
Left Bank Bordeaux wines are structured, tannic and expressive!
- located on the left bank of the Gironde estuary and Garonne river
- the Médoc soil consists of gravel topsoil with Margaux showing increased layers of limestone, sand and clay and the Graves showing a sandier mixture with gravel and light clay is known as boulbenes.
- this gravely soil structure is vital for the maturation of Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot also play a role but are not primary.
- Médoc – the northern region with three sub regions (Haut, Médoc, Bas)
- Graves – the southern region which produces white, reds and dessert wines