A terroir is the whole environment that influences the vines, this includes everything the soil, the climate, the latitude and the altitude; but even the types of ocean breeze or a nearby river’s influence will have an effect. These set the characteristics of a wine.
But what is so special about the Bordeaux terroir? It has a moderate maritime climate, and the warming ocean current helps during the spring frosts to extend the growing season. The vineyards are protected by the Landes forest and the coastal sand which lies to the west of the region from the worst of the Atlantic storms.
We can divide Bordeaux into three areas: left bank, right bank (referred to as the riverside), and the area between two rivers that split Bordeaux, the Garonne and the Dordogne, known as “Entredeux-Mers”. The left bank soil is gravel and fossilrich limestone and is hot and dry soil which is perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon. While the right bank with more clay soil with gravel, limestone, and sand is perfect to retain rainwater so is perfect for Merlot. The soil in the “Entre-deux-Mers” here has great diversity, with limestone (particularly towards the Dordogne), clay-rich areas (to the north-west of the region), and gravelly areas, on the north side, so you can have red, white or even sweet wine from this area.
You must have heard about the famous Bordeaux Blend, which is a blend from the majority of two grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In this blend, the Merlot provides the Cabernet Sauvignon with fruity flavour and aroma, and softens the very strong Cabernet Sauvignon grape that gives acidity, tannin, and aromatic black fruit to the blend. The Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot also add complexity.
THE BORDEAUX REVIEW
I start with the right bank with Grand Vin De Bordeaux Silver Bell Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 2012, (an ode to the famous bell adorning Angelus bottles by Hubert de Bouard) which is a Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet blend with the very expressive aroma of a beautiful violet, rose, truffle, earthy, coffee, leather, tobacco, berry, flower, black currant, blackberry, cherry, cedar, and cigar box and almost what you smell is what you taste with medium acidity, medium body, excellent long and complex tasting. It is real value for money with the quality of the Grand Cru Classe wines.
My second wine from the right bank is Thomas Barton Reserve Saint Emilion, 2019 Appellation Saint Emilion Controlee. The blend is Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Deep ruby colour with a purple hue on the side, very aromatic with floral, mint with blackcurrant, black and red cherry, vanilla, and I smell a hint of green tea aroma. Medium acidity and medium tannin have a good balance and round structure on the acidity, tannin with the
fruit making the wine very easy to drink.
Lets move to the left bank with Chateau Cissac Hout Medoc 2017.A blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petit verdo. Impressive fresh fruit aroma of the black currant and raspberry and cherries, a lot of oak influence of the aroma of vanilla, cedar, tobacco, earthy and nice velvety tannin in the palate. High but round tannin, a good balance with high acidity and fruitiness in the wine make the wine easy to enjoy with just the right spiciness in
the wine just make it perfect. I might say this is my number one ranking wine in this tasting flight.
My last review isThomas Barton Reserve Margaux 2017 Appellation Margaux Controlee. Cabernet sauvignon and merlot based wine. Excellent in the aroma of very complex leather, earthy, dusty, toasty, a lot of baking spice and vanilla, a bit meaty, with lots of black currants and dark cherry. The taste is complex and round with medium+ acidity, high tannin, and a lot of minerals, I even taste the saltiness in the wine it shows in the mineral and soil influence on the wines.
You need full-bodied food to pair with the fullbody intense aroma like the Bordeaux blend. Carefully choose the dressing, and sauces in your protein just to ensure you got the best pairing with it. A simple salt pepper with good quality meat with the right amount of juices will be perfect with the wines.
WSET Certified Educator / Head of Hatten Education Center
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www.nowjakar ta.co.id | June 2022