Pop open a bottle of Bordeaux, and you’re almost guaranteed to be in for something special. The famous wine region is well-known for its elite pours, historical vineyards and mouth-watering blends. But a Bordeaux is so much more than the pricey bottle of red on a wine shop’s top shelf.
Want to know more? We’re breaking down everything you need to know about Bordeaux wine, what grapes are common in Bordeaux blends and the best bottlings to pick up right now.
What Is Bordeaux Wine?
Like many European wines, Bordeaux wines are named after the region in which they are produced. Bordeaux is a wine region in France about three hours south of Paris and is well known for its world-class winemaking.
The area has a mild ocean climate courtesy of the Atlantic Ocean and is home to over 6,000 winemakers producing in mainly family-run estates. Bordeaux can refer to red or white wines. But red Bordeaux wines make up about 85 percent of wine production—they are often moderately alcoholic, have strong tannins and pair beautifully with food. In contrast, depending on which grapes are present and in what amounts, a white Bordeaux, or Bordeaux Blanc, tends to be fresh and can have notes of citrus, grass and apples. Dry white Bordeaux wines make up just about nine percent of the region’s wine production; Bordeaux also produces small amounts of rosé, sweet white and crémant.
What Are the Common Bordeaux Grapes?
Most Bordeaux wines are not single-varietal, but a blend that contains multiple grape varieties. Red Bordeaux wine often contains the grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, but can also be blended with Malbec, Carménère and Petit Verdot. A Bordeaux Blanc typically contains a mix of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon, but can also include a mix of other grapes like Sauvignon Gris, Muscadelle, Colombard, Ugni Blanc, Merlot Blanc and Mauzac.
Now, it’s time to get shopping. Our expert tasters picked these great examples of excellent quality Bordeaux wines from the current 2019 vintage, ranging in price from $15 to $200. They come from nine distinct grape-growing districts of Bordeaux. The wine is flowing, and we have the best Bordeaux wine bottles to get you started.
Cellar Selections from Bordeaux
Château Troplong Mondot 2019 (Saint-Émilion)
100 Points Wine Enthusiast
The magnificent Merlot in the blend has pushed up the alcohol, while also giving a velvet touch and power to the wine. This estate is now on top form, producing this generously ripe, black plum flavored wine. It is lifted by acidity while powering the wine’s intensity. Drink from 2026. #13 Top 100 Cellar Selections 2022 —Roger Voss$99 Wine.com
Château Cos d’Estournel 2019 (Saint-Estèphe)
98 Points Wine Enthusiast
Gone are the days when this illustrious estate produced the most powerful wine possible. This new release is stylish and packed with great black fruits. Some dark chocolate flavors add density while keeping the wine’s perfume and blackberry flavors. It is impressive, likely ready to drink from 2026. Cellar Selection —R.V.$254 Vivino
Domaine de Chevalier 2019 (Pessac-Léognan)
96 Points Wine Enthusiast
In this wine, rich tannins are beautifully polished by the 16 to 20 months in wood. The black fruits, from the 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, are structured, giving the wine considerable potential. Still coming into balance, the wine will likely be ready from 2027. Cellar Selection —R.V.$75 Wine.com
Château Léoville Barton 2019 (Saint-Julien)
96 Points Wine Enthusiast
The wine is rich, complete. Its impressive structure is cushioned by the velvet black fruits and acidity. The wine’s construction is powerful but never overpowering. It will age well, ready to drink from 2026. Cellar Selection —R.V.$289 Vivino
Château Haut-Bages Libéral 2019 (Pauillac)
95 Points Wine Enthusiast
The classed growth, whose vineyard is in the south of Pauillac, is now performing impressively. This release has succulent black fruits that are braced with tannins and a firm, spicy structure. It is a dense wine that will age. Drink from 2026. Organic. Cellar Selection —R.V.$65 Total Wine & More
Château Tour de Pez 2019 Cru Bourgeois (Saint-Estèphe)
93 Points Wine Enthusiast
From the Pez plateau west of the village of Saint-Estèphe, this wine is dense and structured. Against this, the black fruits and perfumed acidity give the wine plenty of promise. Drink from 2026. Cellar Selection —R.V.$408 / 12 bottles Millesima
Château de Sales 2019 (Pomerol)
93 Points Wine Enthusiast
This powerful wine with layers of new wood and dense black fruits is setting out for serious aging. It comes from one of the largest estates in Pomerol, less well known than it should be. Drink this wine that has great potential from 2026. Cellar Selection —R.V.$69 Vivino
Editor’s Choice from Bordeaux
Château Ferrière 2019 (Margaux)
94 Points Wine Enthusiast
The wine is dense and concentrated. Its deep black plum fruits and solid tannins have weight and density. The wine does keep a sense of proportion in its balance and juicy aftertaste. Drink from 2026. Organic and biodynamic. Editor’s Choice —R.V.$49 Wine.com
Château Fourcas Dupré 2019 Cru Bourgeois (Listrac-Médoc)
93 Points Wine Enthusiast
This is a structured wine with fine tannins that will allow it to age. Black currant fruits and spice come together in a concentrated bond. The wine needs plenty of time, wait to drink until 2025. Editor’s Choice —R.V.$30 Vivino
Best Buy Reds from Bordeaux
Château Beaumont 2019 Cru Bourgeois (Haut-Médoc)
92 Points Wine Enthusiast
This ripe, generous wine already promises well. Firm tannins back up the berry fruits and black-coffee flavors. The wine, while young, has everything ready for good aging. Drink from 2026. Best Buy —R.V.$32 Vivino
Why You Should Trust Us
All products featured here are independently selected by our team, which is comprised of experienced writers and wine tasters and overseen by editorial professionals at Wine Enthusiast headquarters. All ratings and reviews are performed blind in a controlled setting and reflect the parameters of our 100-point scale. Wine Enthusiast does not accept payment to conduct any product review, though we may earn a commission on purchases made through links on this site. Prices were accurate at the time of publication.
Which Bordeaux Wine Region Is the Best?
Hate to break it to you, but “best” is in the eye—or wine glass?—of the beholder. There are approximately 65 appellations within the Bordeaux wine region, divided into the Left Bank and Right Bank by the Gironde Estuary, where the Dordogne River and the Garonne River meet. The Left-Bank Médoc region is most famous for Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac, Saint-Julien and Margaux. This bank also includes Sauternes and Graves. The most famous Right-Bank regions are Saint- Émilion and Pomerol.
What Is Bordeaux’s Most Famous Wine?
Approximately 85 percent of the wine produced in the Bordeaux region are red wines made primarily with a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Wines labeled Bordeaux AOC and Bordeaux Supérieur AOC can be grown anywhere within the region, while bottles labeled for the specific appellations (like Pessac-Lèognan AOC or Saint-Émilion AOC) tend to be of higher quality and hold a more prestigious reputation. This is especially true when they hold titles referencing a specific chateau or are classified as Grand Cru Classé, Cru Classé or Cru Bourgeois.
Why Is Bordeaux Wine so Expensive?
Bordeaux wine is famously expensive; some of the higher-end wines come from renowned chateaus and produce quality pours, making them a pricier pick. But affordable and great-value bottlings are certainly available.
Last Updated: June 6, 2023