The Right Bank of Bordeaux is most famous for being home to the Saint Émilion and Pomerol communes. These appellations are to the Right Bank what the Haut-Médoc is to the Left Bank. Fine, age-worthy wines led by Merlot come out of these two legendary and historic areas. The finest grapes from these communes grow on clay soils leading to fruit-forward, rich, velvety, full-bodied wines.
Saint Émilion has its own standards system which, unlike the 1855 classification of the Left Bank, is incorporated into the overall appellation system. It highlights the best chateaux and has several levels; Saint Émilion Grand Cru AOC, and Saint Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé which is divided into ‘B’ and ‘A’ (the best) categories.
Also on the Right Bank of Bordeaux is an appellation called Côtes de Bordeaux AOC. This consists of four communes spread over the region east of the Gironde and Garonne rivers. The wines from this area can be Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot led, are very food-friendly and offer exceptional value for money.
As with the Left Bank, there are two regional AOCs detailed below.
Bordeaux Supérieur AOC
These early-drinking wines are made from fruit harvested from all over Bordeaux as opposed to specific, quality vineyards. They are always red and have stricter production criteria and higher alcohol levels than Bordeaux AOC, one tier below.
These early-drinking wines are also made from fruit harvested from all over Bordeaux. They can be red, white, or rosé. While on the lowest rung of the Bordeaux appellation system, the quality of these wines has improved enormously in recent years and the best can offer very good value for money.
This style of Bordeaux Blend is imitated around the globe, especially in the New World in South Africa and California.
Fun Fact: Merlot is the most cultivated grape in Bordeaux and it dominates on the Right Bank of the region.