Bordeaux is divided into two major areas, the Left and the Right Bank. The Left Bank lies south west of the Gironde River and is home to some of the most prestigious sub- appellations in the Médoc, including Pauillac, Saint Estephe, Saint Julien, Margaux and Graves.
While the Right Bank produces blends that are mostly Merlot dominant, the Left Bank produces blends that are Cabernet Sauvignon dominant.
The key difference in blend composition has everything to do with what the French call terroir (if you like French wines, you'll hear this term a lot). Mostly, it's a concise way to define a specific region based upon the soil, climate, and the collective knowledge of the generations of people who have farmed the land. When shopping for these wines, keep in mind, it's all about the region and the blend and less so about individual grape varieties.
Cabernet from this region often has intense tannins and structure, giving it long aging potential. Cabernet Franc and Merlot are often included in the blend, but they're supporting actors, not the star of the show.
Alcohol levels are lower than in typical American Cab blends, and the wines exhibit elegant, nuanced flavors like black cherry, cassis, graphite, cedar, violets, black tea, leather and herbal notes such as mint or bay leaf.Read more
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