Your guide to Bordeaux Wine

It is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes a wine lover could ever imagine. Orderly rows of manicured vines – gnarled with age, literally growing right up to the walls of their medieval cobble stoned, picture perfect villages.

Bordeaux has more acres of vineyards than the entire geographical area of Germany. No other region produces such a massive quantity of wine, with such a varying scale of quality. Here you will find many of the wealthiest wine labels on the planet. Legendary producers like Petrus, d’Yquem, Mouton Rothschild, Angelus, Margaux, Haut-Brion, Cheval Blanc, Latour, Lafite Rothschild and the list goes on. With over 10,000 producers, 60 different appellations, and a complex classification system that dates back to 1855, the wines of Bordeaux can be hard to navigate for anyone. But with a small amount of knowledge, we can help you buy some great wines you’ll enjoy, and you don’t need to spend a fortune to do that!

Most years, we hold a Bordeaux Sale. 2020 was a write off due to the Global Pandemic, as we simply couldn’t get the wine! Last year was challenging with pressures on shipping schedules, but we managed a reduced list, and this year may well go down as our greatest yet! These past couple of years have created a shortage here on this side of the world, and in many other parts too. This will no doubt mean less wine for consumers to purchase, with many Retailers and Distributors focusing on wines produced closer to home. But in times like this when you can’t go to the wine, we think it’s even more important to bring the wine to you!

Our Bordeaux drinking customers can relax at last, with our greatest ever selection across more sub-regions than usual, and more vintages than normal. We’ve spent months working with our suppliers to bring you our spectacular Annual Bordeaux Container Sale. After extensive research we accepted over 100 samples that our expert tasting panel whittled down to a final list of forty five wines. We ship direct cutting out the middleman, ensuring the prices are kept as low as possible, and these are sent in a temperature-controlled container to guarantee the wines arrive in pristine condition. Our knowledgeable staff can assist you with any questions you may have, and of course you can feel confident in your purchase with our famous money back guarantee!


With a rich winemaking heritage dating back almost 2000 years to Roman times, this is where the key varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot originated. 90% of the wine made here is a Red Blend comprised of the six red varietals allowed by Bordeaux legislation – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carmenere. The term ‘Bordeaux Blend’ is so famous now, it is used globally to describe a red wine comprising any of these key varietals. But what sets a Bordeaux wine apart from this generic title used elsewhere, is their inimitable structure and style.

Medium to full-bodied with loads of black fruit and minerality, that leads into an undeniably savoury structure with mouth-drying tannins. Those trademark tannins are often high enough for the wines to age for decades, and it’s their age-worthiness that has often seen the investment values on these wines skyrocket. And it’s because of that fact that we urge our customers not to get too worried about which vintage of a wine they should buy. Because of their remarkable ageing potential, Bordeaux wines even from lesser vintages can unfold into something quite remarkable with time.

The Chateau Olivier from Pessac-Leognan 2011 in this sale is a fantastic example. This is a wine from a challenging vintage that pleasantly surprised us with a decade of bottle age on it. And it is the reason we often come back to wines that previously didn’t make our final list. It's drinking superbly now, but even after a decade it's still youthful and will continue to evolve with more cellaring. 2017 saw devastating early frosts, making supply a huge issue. However, there are some gems to be found from that year too. And then we struck the trifecta of warm vintages - 2018, 2019, and now 2020. They are riper and more approachable than previous years, but you can still enjoy a wonderful cellar surprise with just five to ten years under their belts.


No doubt you will have heard people mention the Left and Right Bank, and in simple terms this refers to which side of the Gironde Estuary these sub regions reside. They both run different classification systems, making it hard to pick out their similarities., so let’s look at what’s different about each side… and that comes down to terroir – more specifically soil!

  • The Left Bank.

Here the famed Medoc region reigns supreme with its legendary sub-regions of Pauillac, Saint-Julien, Saint-Estephe, Margaux, Haut Medoc and Pessac-Leognan. This area is ranked by the official Bordeaux Classification of 1855 that Napolean III introduced to sort producers by importance and quality – the system that ranks them First through to Fifth Growths. With gravelly, ancient river soils, this is where Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the blends creating wines with greater power and tannin.

  • The Right Bank.

Saint-Emilion with its rich clay soils and limestone hillsides, and Pomerol with its gravels, are the most well-known sub regions. This side of the river does not adhere to the 1855 Classification, with many of its regions refusing to be ranked at all. Typically known for rich, bold red wines filled with fleshy ripe fruit, you’ll find mostly Merlot dominant blends on this side of the River. If you’re looking for a more plush and approachable style the Right Bank might suit you better.

  • Satellite Appellations.

There is plenty to love about Bordeaux wines outside of the Left and Right Banks, with some of the best value wines coming from the satellite appellations surrounding the two more prestigious and well-known areas. Keep your eyes peeled for the notable sub-regions of Lalande de Pomerol, Cotes de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Superieur, Cotes de Castillon, Haut-Medoc, Fronsac and of course Entre-Deux-Mers. The latter is is the sub-region that sits smack in the middle where the main body of water ends. It is a very apt translation of “Between Two Tides”, and here you will find both white and red grapes grown, in a combination of both soil types.


Cabernet Sauvignon works well with rich grilled meats, peppery or creamy sauces, and big powerful flavours in general. Its high acid and tannin structure cut through fat content so meats like beef or lamb are ideal. Similarly Cabernet can cut through fat in a creamy sauce, butter and hard cheeses. And if you’re not a meat eater than steer towards the heartier veges – Portobello mushrooms and Cabernet are a match made in heaven!

Merlot is an ideal food wine. It sits smack in the middle of the red wine spectrum and due to its softer acidity and medium weight tannins, it is incredibly versatile. The obvious food choices also sit in the middle weight category like duck, turkey and really lean cuts of beef. It will also pair well with chicken and other lighter meats, as well as lightly spiced dark meats. Great for roasted vegetables or char grilled eggplant, or a classic Ratatouille.

Cabernet Franc is the parent grape of both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Its high acidity makes it a match for rich tomato based dishes or vinegar based sauces (ideal for low and slow bbq), and great with rich legumes like lentils or black beans.

The remaining varietals are used as minor components, each offering their own nuances but seldom in large quantities. Petit Verdot offers a lot of structure. It is big on tannin and acid, with floral aromas and a gravelly minerality. Carmenere is medium bodied with lower tannin, but high in acidity with a unique herbaceous flavour reminiscent of peppercorn. And Malbec is fuller bodied but with lighter tannins and a shorter finish than Cabernet Sauvignon.

It might be cliché but it really is true, that a Bordeaux wine is at its best enjoyed with a good cut of steak and a large side of duck fat potatoes!


There’s an extensive list of wines available in this sale, and we can’t spend all day harping on about them all. Instead, we’ve picked a handful of fantastic buys across all prices to give you some inspiration to get shopping!

Chateau Ferreyres Bordeaux 2019 This is a superb value Bordeaux Red from a very strong vintage, and at just $15.99 you can afford to drink it any night of the week. It's Merlot dominant, backed up by Cabernet Franc, and it quite literally blew the socks off our tasting panel. We were totally unprepared for a Triple Gold Medal Winning Bordeaux to be so good at just $15.99 a bottle! Outstanding everyday drinking.

Chateau Des Demoiselles Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux 2016 One of the better known producers, with a historic past running back to the middle ages! A classic Merlot dominant wine, that is juicy and harmonious, and yet there is enough structure to tell that 6-8 years in the cellar is going to transform this Gold Medal winner completely. Drinking superbly now for those who cannot wait, this is exceptional buying for just $20.99

Chateau Teyssier Montage-Saint-Emilion AOC 2018 Classic Merlot with Cabernet Franc, grown just a stone's throw from the famous sub-region of Saint-Emilion. There is literally just a river between these two areas and the soil is so so similar, many people can't tell it apart. This is one of our top customer favourites, year on year...and for very good reason. It's serious, powerful, layered and divinely rich. This is exciting drinking, and an incredible bargain at just $26.99!

Chateau Valade l'Etendard Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2016 This one's got it all going on ... from an exceptional village in Saint Emilion, crafted from an incredible vintage, and a wine that is typically structured and guaranteed to age for another ten years. If you're yet to taste the true magic of an aged Bordeaux Red, then buy this wine and have a truly mezmerising wine moment ... in a decade! This is a superb buy at only $34.99

Chateau Pontac Monplaiser Pessac-Leognan 2019 From the famed gravels of Pessac-Leognan providing incredible richness and structure - presenting more like Cru Classe in quality, this wine is a definite step up in quality. Still Merlot dominant, but the remaining 40% is Cabernet giving it a substantial amount of structure and some definite cellaring potential. Still offering outrageous value at just $37.99

Many people dismiss the magic of Bordeaux. They focus on the expensive wines that only a few can afford, and they get put off by its complexity. But to do so would be missing out on something truly wonderful. Bordeaux Blends are a classic example of the philosophy that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. It is an important timeline for the evolution of winemaking, a glimpse into a time-honoured tradition where generations have tended vines and crafted beautiful wine, with centuries of intimate knowledge of their unique terroir. The rest of the winemaking world envies their knowledge, and as consumers we can embrace the journey by seeking out their wines and enjoying the fruits of their labour.

So come in store this month and learn all about these wonderful French Red Wines with our insightful tastings, or shop online with confidence that the best French Bordeaux has been sourced for you at every price point. But most importantly, enjoy them with family, friends and food…just as the French would!

Live Chat