In continuing our series on the various wine regions of the world, especially those related to the wines we carry we wanted to include a quick segment on the classification of Bordeaux Superieur.
Bordeaux Superieur is a classification of certain wines made in the Bordeaux region. Just like regular Bordeaux these are blends, with the reds being predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with smaller amounts of Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and even some Carmenere. For the whites Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are favored with smaller amounts of Muscadelle, Ugni Blanc, and Sauvignon Gris.
Under the strict guidelines of French appellation law for a Bordeaux to be classified as Superieur it must come from a vineyard that is planted more densely. There must be 4,500 plants per hectare with a distance of 2.2 meters between rows, compared to 4,000 plants per hectare with a distance of 2.5 meters between rows for regular Bordeaux. This higher density makes it harder for the plants to survive creating stronger deeper roots, and healthier vines for the ones that do.
This produces a lower yield, about 10 percent lower per hectare. The grapes must also be picked riper at harvest with higher natural sugar levels resulting in 10 percent natural alcohol level compared to 9.5 percent for regular Bordeaux.
Bordeaux Superieur can be found anywhere in Bordeaux but is bias towards the area north of St. Emilon and Pomerol. The result of the differences usually creates a superior wine with a richer and more complex flavor.