And this is his little trick

Four Rules for Success (feel free to take notes): never borrow more than your IQ times a hundred, never borrow from a man who calls you by your first name on first acquaintance, never take a drink while the sun's still up, and never take a partner you wouldn't be willing to embrace naked on a waterbed.

Grands-Vins-de-Bordeaux_Premier-Grand-Cru-Classe

click photo to zoom

When someone mentions Grands vins de Bordeaux or Grand cru de Bordeaux he is talking about 5 great red wines that come from Médoc and Graves (see the map later in this article). The estates that produce these wines are classified as  Premier grand cru classe, meaning they are first class estates, which also means their wines are top quality ones. 

These wines are ‘the most’ in many respects:

- the most expensive
- the most famous and sought after by wine collectors
- the most reliable investment (if you buy wine to sell it later)
- the most fit for aging. 

Below you will find the brief ABC style outline of the core facts relating to the five greats. Then we’ll look at the map to connect quality with geography.


Grands vins de Bordeaux. 5 Great Bordeaux wines:

Chateau Margaux Chateau Latour Chateau Lafite Rothschild Chateau Mouton Rothschild Chateau Haut-Brion


1

Chateau Margaux

Chateau_Margaux_1 Chateau_Margaux_2 Chateau_Margaux
Click photo to zoom

Region:
Bordeaux
Subregion: Medoc
Appellation: Margaux
Estate: Chateau Margaux
Class: Premier Grand Cru Classe _________________________________________________
Area: 87 hectares
Grape variety: 75%-Cabernet-Sauvignon, 20%-Merlot, 5%-Petit Verdot
_________________________________________________
Best vintages: 1937, 1945, 1953, 1961, 1983, 1986, 1990, 2000, 2005 
Weak vintages: 1975,1976, 1980, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993 _________________________________________________ Average retail price, 0,75 l: 2000  — $850  1986  — $500. _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________
2

Chateau Latour

Chateau_Latour_1 Chateau_Latour_2 Chateau_Latour
Click photo to zoom

Region: Bordeaux
Subregion: Medoc
Appellation: Pauillac
Estate: Chateau Chateau Latour
Class: Premier Grand Cru Classe _________________________________________________
Area: 65 hectares
Grape variety: 75%-Cabernet Sauvignon, 20%-Merlot, 4%- Cabernet Franc 1%-Petit Verdot
_________________________________________________
Best vintages: 1945, 1959, 1961, 1982, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005
Weak vintages: 1980, 1991, 1992, 1993 _________________________________________________ Average retail price, 0,75 l: 1995  — $700  1989  — $400. _________________________________________________

_________________________________________________
3

Chateau Lafite Rothschild

Chateau_Lafite_Rothschild_1 Chateau_Lafite_Rothschild_2 Chateau_Lafite_Rothschild
Click photo to zoom

Region: Bordeaux
Subregion: Medoc
Appellation: Pauillac
Estate: Chateau Lafite Rothschild
Class: Premier Grand Cru Classe _________________________________________________
Area: 100 hectares
Grape variety: 70%-Cabernet Sauvignon, 25%-Merlot, 3%- Cabernet Franc 2%-Petit Verdot
_________________________________________________
Best vintages: 1945, 1959, 1961, 1982, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005
Weak vintages: 1980, 1991, 1992, 1993 _________________________________________________ Average retail price, 0,75 l: 2003  — $1350  1998  — $965. _________________________________________________

_________________________________________________
4

Chateau Mouton Rothschild

Chateau_Mouton_Rothschild_1 Chateau_Mouton_Rothschild_2 Chateau_Muton_Rotschild_bottles_5 Chateau_Mouton_Rothschild
Click photo to zoom

Region: Bordeaux
Subregion: Medoc
Appellation: Pauillac
Estate: Chateau Mouton Rothschild
Class: Premier Grand Cru Classe _________________________________________________
Area: 75 hectares
Grape variety: 80%-Cabernet Sauvignon, 8%-Merlot, 10%- Cabernet Franc 2%-Petit Verdot
_________________________________________________
Best vintages: 1945, 1959, 1961, 1982, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005
Weak vintages: 1980, 1991, 1992, 1993 _________________________________________________ Average retail price, 0,75 l: 2002  — $375  1986  — $1000. _________________________________________________

_________________________________________________
5

Chateau Haut-Brion

Chateau_Haut_Brion_1 Chateau_Haut_Brion_2 Chateau_Haut_Brion
Click photo to zoom

Region: Bordeaux
Subregion: Graves
Appellation: Pessac-Leognan
Estate: Chateau Haut-Brion
Class: Premier Grand Cru Classe _________________________________________________
Area: 43 hectares
Grape variety: 55%-Cabernet Sauvignon, 25%-Merlot, 20%- Cabernet Franc
_________________________________________________
Best vintages: 2005, 2000, 1998, 1990, 1985
Weak vintages: 1976, 1980, 1991, 1992 _________________________________________________ Average retail price, 0,75 l: 2000  — $750  1996  — $360. _________________________________________________

Medoc and Graves overview

 

France_Bordeaux FRANCE. BORDEAUX

Bordeaux is situated in western coast of France. Thanks to Gulf Stream the region enjoys soft climate conditions with smooth temperature variations. There are almost no frosts there (the major wine-making evil), however unstable hot summer and unpredictable autumn lead to the fact that neighbor vintages can vary a lot.

 
. MAP_BordeauxBORDEAUX Taking into account soil composition and geographic conditions, Bordeaux vineyards can be divided into three parts. Namely, «the left bank«, «the right bank» and «entre-deux-mers», («between two waters») — in relation to Gironde estuary and its tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne. The left bank represents the area on the left side of Garonne and Gironde to the north and south of the city of Bordeaux. It has gravelly soils formed by Pyrenees wash.  Entre-deux-mers has a heavier rubbly soil composition which dates back to tertiary period. The right bank on the right side of Dorgdogne has various kinds of soil — from gravelly to clay &limestone mix. Grape varieties depend on soil zones. Cabernet Sauvignon is the Left bank’s favorite, while Merlot is more usual for the right bank.     

THE LEFT BANK. Médoc and Graves

mapMedocsGraves

The greatest wines of Bordeaux come from the Left Bank of  Gironde, which is also called ‘red wine empire’. It consists of two minor areas — Medoc and Graves.
Medoc is located to the north of Bordeaux along the estuary of the Gironde. Its soil composition is perfect for subtle, complicated reds. The Médoc is divided in two parts: the area to the north has the same name (Médoc), whereas the area to the south is called Haut-Médoc. Médoc produces red wines and the grape mainly cultivated is Cabernet Sauvignon.

Graves is situated to the south of Bordeaux. The region derives its name from the soil composition, formed by ancient rivers’ wash. Vineyards are divided in two parts: Graves (mostly red wines) and Graves-Superior (sweet whites). The best sweet wines come from  Sauternes and Barsac, located in the south part of Graves.

Médoc and Graves. The five great châteaux
 
Bordeaux_Premier Grand Cru

The 5 of the most renowned châteaux of Bordeaux are located in this area in communes Margaux, Pauillac and Pessac-Léognan. Here is the list:

Bordeaux > Médoc > Appellation Margaux > Château Margaux
Bordeaux > Médoc > Appellation Pauillac > Château Latour
Bordeaux > Médoc > Appellation Pauillac > Château Lafite Rothschild Bordeaux > Médoc > Appellation Pauillac > Château Mouton Rothschild Bordeaux > Graves > Appellation Pessac-Léognan > Château Haut-Brion