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There are few wine regions in the world with a reputation as glowing and well established as that of the Bordeaux, in France. Situated mainly around the Dordogne and Gironde rivers, Bordeaux makes the most of its humid climate and rich, clay and gravel based soils to grow some of the finest examples of red and white grape varietals on earth. Wineries in this region have been in operation for hundreds of years, and have carefully developed the expertise required for the production of carefully balanced and utterly delicious blended red and white wines, alongside some exceptional single variety bottles. Many of the chateaux found in Bordeaux have become household names, due to their prestige and the excellence of their products, grown with love and dedication by heritage wineries in this beautiful and special region.
St Estephe is the largest producer of the Haut-Medoc appellations, situated at its northernmost tip.
St Estephe has traditionally produced robust, solid wines, full of flavour that can need many years to soften and mature. In the last 30 years, a move towards using more of the softer Merlot grape and some changes in the wine-making process have produced some slightly lighter wines that can mature earlier, whilst still maintaining the substance and structure of this wine. However, the wines from this region still retain the big, well-structured and full characteristics of a St Estephe. Although only 5 St Estephe wines were ranked as a Classified growth in the 1855 classification, nowadays there are numerous Cru Bourgeois Chateaux producing superb wine, rivalling the quality of many Medoc classified growths. These wines are often excellent value for the consumer who enjoys a full, rich wine. Those having the patience to wait for these wines to mature are extremely well rewarded.
St Estephe is the closest to the mouth of the river, the Gironde, joining the Atlantic Sea and has less gravel, and more clay, than upstream towards Margaux. This heavier soil drains more slowly, which leads to full, robust wines with a reasonably high acidity. St Estephes excel in hot and dry years when vines in regions with lighter solid may suffer from the excessive heat. St Estephe offers many exciting, stylish and substantial wines, especially from the host of Cru Bourgeois Chateaux which can offer great value.