Though this Bordeaux region can produce both red and white wines, most of the vineyards produce red wines.
Their average surface area is usually more than ten hectares. These are often planted with more than fifty percent Merlot, followed by Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and occasionally Malbec.
Among the best of the chateaux are Puygueraud, Prevor, Puy, and Marsau. The red wines-opulent, rich, and deeply colored-are remarkable for the harmony and femininity of their tannins.
They are an excellent choice for the cellar. However, depending on the vintage, they can be particularly pleasant when drunk young, thanks to their elegant note of red berries. The white wines, which can be dry or sweet, also show character.
Bordeaux oak casks
The best red Bordeaux are matured in barriques, oak casks which hold 225 liters. These barrels also come in smaller sizes, the half-cask and quarter cask.
Botrytis cinerea is a fungus found throughout the world which can arrack many different plants. Alternate periods of rain and sun encourage its development. Depending on the situation, the season, and its development, Botrytis can give rise to gray or vulgar rot, the bane of the winemaker's existence, but also to the noble tot which is so desirable in the making of sweet wines.
Due to the fact that it attacks ripe and even over-ripe grapes which are healthy and intact, Botrytis concentrates the sugar content of the berry, which shrinks in size while the skin turns brown. The grape is still swollen and full, which is the "full rot" stage.
With the return of hotter and drier weather, the growth of the fungus around the berry slows down and no longer shows signs of spreading.
The berry then turns a purple-brown color, wrinkles, folds, and shrinks-in short, over-ripens-as a result of the Botrytis which, as it nourishes itself on part of the grape's sap, concentrates and increases the levels of sugar, glycerine, and other elements, thus reducing the acidiry.
The juice can have a sugar content as high as 300 to 350 grams per liter-sometimes more.
In turn, the volume of the yield can shrink by fifty percent or more. A grape that has been attacked by Botrytis is dead: it is no longer nourished by the vine.