In the hierarchy of Bordeaux wines, the Bordeaux AOC category offers nice expressions of the region's wines, made to be enjoyed in their youth with relatively fruit-forward characteristics. They are generally not aged that long in barrel and offer easy-drinking personalities. Take it one step further and you get a bit more quality—or at least the promise of—than Bordeaux AOC wines: Bordeaux Supérieur.
Bordeaux Supérieur, as the name suggests, promises to offer a superior version of Bordeaux AOC wines. This is promised by the higher quality standards to which viticulturists and vintners must adhere in order to have Supérieur on their wine label. Its elevated status is defined by:
- Use of older vines
- Densely planted vineyards
- Required ripeness of fruit and natural sugar levels upon harvest
- Lower harvest yields
- Minimum 10.5% ABV
- 12-month minimum barrel aging requirement
What Does Bordeaux Supérieur Taste Like?
You likely know that at the upper echelon of the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, wines produced by First-Growth estates command the highest prices of any other wines in the world—and they are best drunk with decades of cellar-aging behind them. But the beauty of Bordeaux Supérieur wines is that you can enjoy a well-made Bordeaux without breaking the bank—or having to cellar it away for over 20 years.
A Bordeaux Supérieur like Chateau de Cazenove’s 2010 expression offers the balanced profile one expects from Bordeaux, while still keeping its tannins and oak influence in balance to let the fruit shine and the wine drink beautifully in its youth. And for about $20 a bottle, it’s a great way to get to know Bordeaux!