Bordeaux is divided into two major areas, the Left abs the Right Bank. The Left Bank lies south west of the Gironde River and is home to some of the most prestigious sub-appellations in the Médoc, including Pauillac, Saint Estephe, Saint Julien, Margaux and Graves.
While the Right Bank produces blends that are mostly Merlot dominant, the Left Bank produces blends that are Cabernet Sauvignon dominant.
The key difference in blend composition had everything to do with what the French call terroir (if you like French wines, you will hear this term a lot). Mostly, it’s a concise way to define an specific region based upon the soil, climate, and the collective knowledge of the generations of people who have farmed the land. When shopping for these wines, keep in mind, it’s all about the region and the blend and less so about individual grape varieties.
Cabernet from this region often has intense tannings and structure, giving it long aging potential. Cabernet Franc and Merlot are often included in the blend, but they are supporting actors, not the star of the show.
Alcohol levels are lower than typical American Cab blends, and the wines exhibit elegant, nuanced flavors like black cherry, cassis, graphite, cedar, violets, black tea, leather and herbal notes such as mint or bay leaf.