Wine Area Profile: Bordeaux

Informed by years of experience in the wine industry, The London Wine Cellar is a company of experts connected by a shared passion for wine. When we’re not helping customers understand the contents of their cellar or wine investments, we’re talking trade and staying up-to-date with the global marketplace for fine wine, Liv-ex.

The culmination of July saw Bordeaux’s regional share of trade by value claiming nearly 70% of the market. Its Pontet Canet 2009, a wine with a 100-point score from Robert Parker, was the top most-traded wine by value. Interestingly, this had only recently been listed by Liv-ex as one of the less expensive perfect wines.

If you’re lucky enough to be an owner, you may well be wondering how much the bottles of Bordeaux in your collection are worth.

Here, the London Wine Cellar not only explore the rich history of winemaking in Bordeaux, but also look at the kind of bottle that could release a substantial financial sum.

A brief history of wine in Bordeaux

Bordeaux has a long history of wine production, so it’s hardly surprising that it commands such authority among oenophiles.

In order to celebrate the best of France, the French Emperor Napoleon III requested a wine classification system for the red wines of the Gironde in 1855. Much of this massively influential system is still in place today, and though classifications are not always accurate when it comes to the taste and quality of wine, they still have a significant effect on value.

There are many wines that the region is known for, and the kind of wine grapes that grow vary with the area of Bordeaux. For example, grapes that grow on the Right or Left Bank are wildly different.

Vineyard veterans now understand that the grapes of the Left Bank go on to create full-bodied blends that have a greater amount of tannins, alcohol and acidity. It has been said that the wines of the Left Bank age better than the Right, and it could be for this reason that the wines of the Left Bank made the region famous.

The Right Bank’s most common grape is Merlot, a type that’s well-known for its soft flavour and its ability to be turned into wine much more quickly. As a result the Right Bank usually produces wines that are less expensive.

What makes a great Bordeaux wine?

Often the significant aspects taken into account are the vintage and the chateau. For example a red Bordeaux wine from 1982, a very good year for the region, will be highly coveted due to its age and lasting ability.

In 1982 it was the Merlot based wines that truly stood out and Petrus is famed for making some of its best wine that year. Thus a Merlot based blend from Petrus with a 1982 vintage would be considered a very fine wine indeed.

It’s important to note that research should always be undertaken to determine how fine a wine is, regardless of what you think you know.

How much is Bordeaux wine worth?

The value of a wine depends on many variables. Of course the vintage and chateau will always be important, but the bottle quality is also key. This is why proper storage is integral to a valuable wine collection.

The Bordeaux wines that we are most keen to purchase at The London Wine Cellar include wines from the first growth classification alongside others known for their illustrious winemaking capabilities such as Petrus and Latour. For a full list of Bordeaux wines we are actively looking for, please see our Wines We Buy page.

Researching the vintage and chateaux of a wine can help you determine value but the demand in the world wine market is also important. The London Wine Cellar provides a free wine valuation service which can give you a better idea of what your wines are worth, providing they meet the quality check.

If you have been collecting Bordeaux wines in your lifetime and would like to free up some cash for house renovations or retirement plans it could be time to start thinking about their value, lasting ability and ultimately, whether it’s time to sell your wine.

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