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Bordeaux Côtes join forces

From the 2007 vintage, Bordeaux will have just 54 appellations instead of the current 57.

Four of the current ‘côtes’ appellations – Premieres Côtes de Blaye, Premieres Côtes de Bordeaux, Côtes de Franc and Côtes de Castillon – are joining together to create one new appellation – Côtes de Bordeaux.

The areas are linked by geography and style, as all are on the Right Bank of Bordeaux, and are on the slopes – hence ‘côtes’. They produce mainly merlot-based wine.

One côte has been refused entry – Côtes de Bourg – because of long-standing disagreements over the rules of the new appellation. ‘We wanted the option of choosing between the existing and the new appellations for wine labels,’ Stephane Donze of Chateau Martinat told decanter.com, ‘but were told that we had to make a definitive choice.’

But Christophe Chateau, president of the Bordeaux Côtes association said, ‘The idea was to simplify things, not complicate them further.’

The Union des Côtes de Bordeaux officially inaugurated the new association on 3 July. The appellations of Graves de Vayres and Bodeaux St Foy have also applied to join, and will be included in promotional activities.

Individual communal names (Castillon, Blaye etc) will still appear on the label, to distinguish the localised areas.

An advertising campaign has been launched, to ‘communicate that the côtes of Bordeaux are little corners of paradise where we produce great wines,’ Chateau said.

The Côtes de Bordeaux has also been selected as the official wine supplier for the Irish rugby team for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

INAO is expected to ratify the new appellation within the next few months.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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