By Lisa Rowlands

Bordeaux is renowned for its unique set of climatic conditions which are considered perfect for viticulture, and even the less ambitious wines produced under the regional label, benefit from this natural advantage. The vineyards of Bordeaux AOC are non-surprisingly dominated by the grapes proven to thrive here, with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc accounting for the lion’s share of production. However there is an increasing propensity amongst some producers to cultivate the Malbec grape. Of the white varieties, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon have roughly equal share of the vine, with Muscadelle accounting for the remaining tenth.

Whilst the label Bordeaux AOC does not have the same reputation or the same connotations of luxury, as the more distinguished appellations, its wines nevertheless, have to comply with strict quality measures including a maximum yield of fifty-five hectolitres per hectare and an alcohol by volume greater than 11% but not exceeding 13%.

This label accounts for a huge portion of all wines produced in the Bordeaux region. The vast majority of these are simple, easy drinking, young reds intended for the mass market. However, the AOC is also applied to dry white wines produced in esteemed red or sweet wine appellations - Château Margaux’s Pavillon Blanc is perhaps the most famous wine to display the Bordeaux AOC label.