Côtes de Bordeaux

There have been a number of changes to the usage and application of the term Côtes de Bordeaux since it was first coined in the mid-1980’s, so it is worth putting the record straight.  Essentially the word Côtes refers to the better terroirs that lie on limestone slopes on Bordeaux’s Right Bank, which lie along the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers but outside the well-known and long-established AOC’s like St Emilion.  It’s a quality thing; château owners here wanted to give themselves the means to elevate their wines from the rank and file of the AOC Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieurs.  At the same time there is strength in numbers and the benefit of having one name to promote instead of many is always attractive to winemaking collectives on a budget.

The problem is that in the ensuing few decades there have been re-evaluations, maps have been redrawn and specific appellations have joined and left the club, and it has all become a bit confusing for consumers and professionals alike.

Today the club consists of six AOC’s:

  • Côtes de Bordeaux (which allows blending of wines from more than one AOC)
  • Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux
  • Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux
  • Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux
  • Francs Côtes de Bordeaux
  • Sainte-Foy Côtes de Bordeaux

Some producers choose to label their wines simply as Côtes de Bordeaux when they could use one of the more precise AOC’s, believing that there is more commercial weight behind the broader term.  Others, for example Château Réaut below, prefer to run with the even more generic term, Grand Vin de Bordeaux.

One notable absentee from the Côtes de Bordeaux family is the Côtes de Bourg appellation whose statute was granted considerably earlier in 1920 and therefore remains separate from the other Côtes.

Our Côtes de Bordeaux Selection

Château Réaut, Côtes de Bordeaux, 2012iconePdf
Château Réaut, Côtes de Bordeaux, 2014iconePdf
Château Réaut, Côtes de Bordeaux, 2015iconePdf
Carat du Château Réaut, Côtes de Bordeaux, 2012iconePdf
Carat du Château Réaut, Côtes de Bordeaux, 2015iconePdf