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Bordeaux reclaims ‘claret’ name

The French are aiming to reclaim the term 'claret' for the 2012 vintage.

Though it has fallen out of fashion, the word claret – from ‘clairet’ or clear – was for centuries used by the British as a generic term for Bordeaux red wine.

Allan Sichel, managing director of Sichel wine merchants and president of the Union des Maisons de Negoce de Bordeaux, told Decanter.com that the intention is to use Claret de Bordeaux for wines that are ‘light and fruity, easy to drink, in the same style as the original claret when it was prized by the English in former centuries’.

The expectation is that the term will be used mainly by AOC Bordeaux, AOC Bordeaux Superieur and AOC Cotes de Bordeaux, to allow them to create new brands with a clear taste profile for consumers.

‘It is not a new appellation,’ a spokesperson for Bordeaux trade body the CIVB confirmed, ‘but a commercial brand aimed at re-invigorating the everyday drinking category of Bordeaux wines.’

‘The term has never been official before, and has never used by the French,’ said Sichel, ‘but for the new brand to work, it needs it to have legitimacy not only in England, but in all export markets, and within France itself. We feel confident that it is simple and clear enough to work.’

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Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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