How To Read & Pronounce A Bordeaux Wine Label
Bordeaux bottles are often recognisable due to their classic high shouldered shape and their labels on the other hand may appear confusing at first glance Especially if you don’t speak French By following a few simple steps, you will be able to understand and interpret these labels First start with the appellation which is where the wine comes from Knowing the main Appellations of Bordeaux will give you the best indication of what blend of grapes is inside each bottle Increasingly producers may put the blend on the back label. However, don’t count on this As a good rule of thumb Left bank wines such as those from the Murdoc and Graves will primarily be Cabernet Sauvignon based Whereas right bank wines from Pomerol and Saint Emilion will be Merlot based Next is the producer which will often start with the word Chateau You may even see an image of the Chateau on the label which under French law can only be shown if it is the original house of the producer and still exists Unlike other regions where wines are ranked by the vineyards from which the grapes are picked in Bordeaux They are ranked based on their producer though there are a handful of classifications in Bordeaux. The most famous is the 1855 classification of the Médoc only five chateau boasts the top ranking of this classification These are Lafite Latour Margaux Haut-Brion Mouton Rothschild You can also find on the label where the wine was bottled The top wines will state Mis En Boteille Au Chateau, meaning that the wine was bottled at the estate then there is the vintage or the year in which the grapes were harvested as Weather can vary from one year to another this can influence the quality of the wine, even from the best producers. You’ll find a number of other technical facts on a Bordeaux wine label as well such as the alcohol content or ABV. This can give an indication as to how rich or full-bodied the wine is. Other important facts may be found on the back label such as whether the wine is organic, biodynamic or even vegan Some wines will also have tasting notes or a small history of the Chateau from the producer Bordeaux labels are not as confusing as they may appear And following these steps will help you understand what’s inside the bottle, where it comes from and an idea of its quality level.