Bordeaux wine-lovers taste these wines at every opportunity. Calling on all five senses, the taster holds the glass by the stem; touch comes into play, and the choice of glass becomes all-important. A blind tasting should be thought of as a game. It is better to tell guests which wine you’re serving, as knowing what you’re tasting is an integral part of the pleasure. Next come sight, smell, and taste, which help us appreciate the color, the nose, the fruit, and finally, the body of the wine.
One of the most complex wine terms, this is often reduced to its geological aspect. The word “terroir” refers not only to the soils and subsoils of a cru or an AOC, but also the climate, production methods, history, and customs that have led to the creation of the cru or appellation.
TONNEAU of Bordeaux Wine
A traditional measuring unit of production of a Bordeaux estate. One tonneau is equivalent to four Bordeaux oak casks: 900 liters, 1,200 bottles, or 100 cases.
Tour Haut-Caussan (Ch.) Bordeaux Wine
Château Tour Haut-Caussan has an excellent seventeen-hectare vineyard, planted with fine grape varieties: half Cabernet and the other half split between Merlot and Malbec. It produces an average of 100,000 bottles of Médoc AOC wine, half of which is sold in France to a particularly faithful clientele and the other half exported.
Half of this vineyard grows on the slopes and crest of a hill near the village of Caussan. The soil, which is rocky at the top and gravelly on the lower slopes, is ideally suited to wine-growing. The other half grows on gravel in Potensac. The current owner ensures that the viticulture and vinification are carried out with the utmost care. Philippe Courrian is especially attentive to the maturing process: the wines are matured in oak barrels (one-third new) for one to two years, depending on the character of the vintage.
Each year more than four mil-lion visitors come to the Gironde for its 125 kilometers of sandy beaches, 450,000 hectares of forest, nearly the same area of lakes, and 115,000 hectares of vineyards. Following in the footsteps of the French writers François Mauriac and Montesquieu, who explored wine-growing regions, tourists find a site or an estate to visit in each commune. The more they see, the more they come to realize that wine is not just a product but an integral part of the region’s culture.