What are Bordeaux Superieur Wines? Wines with Bordeaux Superieur on the label are viewed as a type of classification, as well as an appellation by consumers today. Bordeaux Superieur is a designation granted to chateaux producing wines in specific appellations that meet select quality standards in order to have their wine classed as Bordeaux Superieur.
While an estate could have the right to be listed as part of a specific appellation, most of the time, but not always, the designation of Bordeaux Superieur is used to signify wines of better quality than many wines from lesser-known Bordeaux appellations.
To be classed a Bordeaux Superieur wine:
- The wine is required to age in oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months.
- The wines will also have higher sugar levels than lesser wines.
- They will come from vineyards with lower yields than is commonly found in generic Bordeaux AOC wines.
- Bordeaux Superieur wines must reach at least 10% alcohol naturally, while generic Bordeaux must be at least 9.5% alcohol.
- Also, the vast majority of Bordeaux Superieur wines are estate bottled, which is not a requirement for generic Bordeaux.
There is also a very small amount of sweet, white Bordeaux Superieur produced as well. Simply put, the easiest way to understand this class of wine is, these wines are considered better than generic Bordeaux AOC wine as they Superieur to generic Bordeaux wine.
The majority of Bordeaux Superieur are red wines. But some white Bordeaux wines can also be classified as Bordeaux Superieur Blanc Semi Sweet and Bordeaux Superieur Blanc Moelleux.
In 2008, a new set of rules and regulations took place for AOC Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur wines which was set forth by the INAO. The new governing body will be known as the ODG, the Organisme de Defense et de Gestion.
This was agreed to by more than 5,500 different producers, which is quite an accomplishment in Bordeaux!
The surface area devoted to the production of wine with the Bordeaux Superieur designation is massive. The area that can produce Bordeaux Superieur includes about 11,375 hectares of vines to make wine from!
QUICK FACTS ABOUT BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR
GRAPE VARIETIES: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot
SOIL: The Bordeaux appellation covers the entire Bordeaux wine region, a very large geographical area with a wide variety of soils and terriors.
SURFACE AREA: 12,363 ha
AROMAS: Fruit (cherry, raspberry, blackcurrant), violet with touches of licorice, cedar, and dried plum or rose
TASTE: More concentrated and more complex and powerful than most AOC Bordeaux.
AGING POTENTIAL: 3 - 10 years
SERVING TEMPERATURE: 55 - 59° F