Red Bordeaux may be made from the following grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Carmenère, and Malbec. Some Bordeaux wines are made from a single variety, others from a blend. For white Bordeaux, only three permitted varieties are produced in significant quantities: Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle.
A great vintage for Cabernet Sauvignon might be a so-so vintage for Merlot (and vice versa). For this reason, winemakers may choose to vary the proportions of grape varieties in their wines from vintage to vintage.
Left Bank wines (e.g., Médoc, Paulliac, Margaux, Graves) are usually based on Cabernet Sauvignon, while Right Bank wines (e.g., Côtes de Bordeaux, Pomerol, St.-Émilion) contain more Merlot and Cabernet Franc. So, if you love Cabernet Sauvignon, look on the map above to find some new Left Bank regions to explore. If you tend to prefer Merlot, look to the Right Bank.
Left Bank Bordeaux typically matures more slowly – so don’t plan on opening your young Pauillac any time soon. Wines from the Right Bank, on the other hand, tend to be plush, overtly fruity, and more approachable in their youth.
Pick out a trophy Bordeaux to lay down in your cellar, or snag one of the amazing values on our Top 11 list for your dinner…