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Explore this much-celebrated region, home to benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends.

Bordeaux is home to some of the world's finest wines, and is known for classic reds (historically called claret), elegant whites and sublime sweet wines. The region is divided by the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, which meet to form the Gironde estuary. On the 'left bank', the Médoc has savoury, perfumed reds mainly from Cabernet Sauvignon with small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Across the river, the undulating countryside is home to Saint-Émilion and Pomerol.

The soil is a mixture of clay, gravel and sand, and the area typically has hotter summers than the Médoc, making it ideal for Merlot. These 'right-bank' wines tend to mature faster, and their soft texture is more approachable than the firmer, more structured left-bank reds.

The white wines can be sublime; weighty, yet with refreshing elegance. Zesty Sauvignon Blanc is often given weight by Sémillon. Dry whites have long been the region's best-kept secret, but with recent excellent vintages, it is now their time to shine.

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