Promotional feature sponsored by AOC Côtes de Bordeaux
Jane Anson reviews dozens of Côtes de Bordeaux red and white wines in this paid-for feature that first appeared in Decanter magazine.
The AOC Côtes de Bordeaux tasting below gathered together more than 220 wines; for the reds, the 2014 and 2013 vintages, and for the whites the 2015 and 2014.
These were then cut down to around 100 final choices.
These are three vintages with real variations in style, with the full range from light, fresh, early drinking bottles to more powerful structured wines to age.
The 2013 vintage for the reds was a little bumpy in places, but we have narrowed down the field to some excellent examples, full of light fresh fruit and unforced pleasure.
The 2014 vintage was, in contrast, almost uniformly excellent, and you will find plenty of wines offering both firm rich fruits and soft, round tannins.
The whites in 2014 also show some great success, with plenty to get excited about. And while the brilliant 2015 reds are still ageing in cellars right now, the whites on show seem hugely promising – the acidities a little lower than in 2014 perhaps, with a gourmet take on the Côtes.
What to look for on labels
The home of good value and enjoyable wines, the AOC Côtes de Bordeaux has the fourth largest sales of red wines in France.
The Côtes draws together wines made from four separate areas of Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon and Francs that lie on the Right Bank of Bordeaux along the Dordogne and Garonne rivers.
Over 900 winemakers make their home here, farming an area of 10,000 hectares and producing around 10% of Bordeaux’s overall output per year.
The vast majority (97%) of the wine here is red, but there are also some excellent white wines.
And the spirit of the Côtes is clear – these are welcoming, family-run properties that
prioritise not only making wonderful wines, but welcoming visitors to discover what are some of the most beautiful parts of Bordeaux.
These four regions are part of the fabric of Bordeaux’s history, and yet are also part of its renaissance, making some of the most exciting wines of modern Bordeaux.
On wine labels, look out for either the general Côtes de Bordeaux appellation, which is becoming an increasingly strong promise of value and quality, or one of the four individual names of Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon and Francs, indicating that the grapes are grown only in that specific area.