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Aging Bordeaux Wine

The question of aging remains an enigma for many wine-lovers. In the past, a large number of French households were equipped with cellars, making it easy to age wines. Because of this, wine-growers were in the habit of making hard, tannic, deeply colored wines that were practically undrinkable in their youth.

Today, the rarity of proper cellars and the financial cost of accumulating wines to drink later have made younger wines popular with consumers, even if many wine-lovers appreciate old vintages.

This trend has led growers to produce suppler wines that are drinkable after a few years but that also improve if they are kept longer. They were able to do this by careful blending and adjustment of the vinification techniques. It is difficult, then, to know when is the best time to drink any given wine. As this depends on the taste of each person, the only solution is to buy enough of each wine to be able to taste it at regular intervals in order to decide when it is at its peak.

 

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This is the exclusive and strictly defined area in which vines must grow in order for the wines they produce to earn the AOC title.

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BARSAC (A.O.C.) BORDEAUX WINE REGION

Bordeaux Wine AcademyThe privilege of royal provostship, awarded to Barsac in the thirteenth century, greatly contributed to the development of its vineyards, and thus to its renown. Located at the mouth of the Ciron river, Barsac is blessed with an exceptional microclimate which provides a natural breeding ground for "noble rot:" the much-prized fungal growth botrytis cinerea. Barsac's famous landscape is easily recognizable thanks to the dry stone walls which surround the vineyards. Two types of soil here are ideal for viticulture-, alluvial deposits which form gravelly soils (a type of gravel known as Garonne Gunz), and a plateau of clay-lime-stone overlaying limestone, the site of the oldest crus.

Ten of this town's crus were classified in 1855, and two were named Premiers Crus(First Growths): Cimens and Coutet. Among the crus of special interest to wine enthusiasts in this AOC, classified or not, are those of Chateaux Broustet, Doisy, Vedrines, Piada, Liot, and Closiot.

Barsac AOC wines are remarkable for their beautiful golden color ranging from pale gold to yellow gold. The nose is full and deep. Varied and fruity aromas develop: acacia honey, vanilla, white peach flesh, sweet almond—and especially botrytized grapes, which become increasingly complex and harmonious over time, producing aromas such as dried apricot and candied orange.

The knowledgeable taster will detect a vigorous strength which enlivens the syrupy sweetness of Barsac wines to create a complex blend of liqueur and alcohol, and an unequaled balance.

Due to an anomaly in the Sauternes region’s appellation system, growers may choose to label their wines with the Barsac or the Sauternes AOC.

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