Bordeaux Satellite Appellations

A recent resurgence in Bordeaux’s Right Bank districts (detailed below) over the last decade has been led by select elite groups of local growers and an injection of intelligent new winemakers from neighbouring Pomerol and Saint-Émilion.

This upsurge in quality has made these underrated Bordeaux districts a very happy hunting ground for wine drinkers rather than investors, who are unable to afford the increasingly inflated prices of the Médoc and the like. Refer to our vintage guide for these district’s best wines from 2000 onwards.

Blaye

Blaye is a town and a large Right Bank wine producing district of over 19,000 acres, north of Bourg. Blaye’s white and red wines are generally undistinguished, but the best vineyards, entitled to the Premières Côtes de Blaye appellation, offer the wine drinker the chance to taste soft, rich, fruity reds based on the Merlot grape. Other permitted red grape varieties include Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc, and Malbec.

Top producers include:
Château Bel Air La Royère
Château Gigault Cuvée Viva
Château La Croix de Perenne
Château Les Grandes Maréchaux
Château Prieuré Malésan

Bourg

The Côtes de Bourg is a beautiful undulating district of around 10,000 acres dotted with late Medieval fort ruins perched on hillsides with stunning views over the Gironde Estuary. Like Blaye, Bourg offers the wine drinker up-front, fruity early-accessible reds with plenty of appeal. On the political map the Bourg district is actually part of Blaye, and you catch a ferry from the ancient village port of Bourg itself to Margaux on the other side of the Gironde.

Top producers include:
Château Fougas-Maldorer
Château Grand Maison
Château Guerry
Château Martinat
Château Roc des Cambes

Castillon

The Côtes de Castillon (7,500 acres), situated 25 miles from Bordeaux, is the most exciting satellite appellation, and a truly excellent source of high quality and great value-for-money Bordeaux. According to Robert Parker it is: "…now the most fashionable of all the Bordeaux satellite appellations", and when you look at its soils it’s easy to see why.

Its limestone soils are a direct continuation of those of Saint-Émilion which has attracted some of Bordeaux’ finest winemakers (like Hübert de Boüard of Château Angélus, Gérard Perse of Château Pavie, Stéphane Derenoncourt and Stephan von Neipperg of Châteaux Canon-La-Gaffelière and La Mondotte).

Top producers include:
Château Clos des Lunelles
Château d’Aiguilhe
Château Cap de Faugères
Château Clos l’Eglise
Château Clos-Puy-Arnaud
Château Dubois-Grimon Domaine de l’A
Château Joanin-Bécot
Château Veyry
Château Vieux Champs de Mars

Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac

In the 19th century the 3,000 acres of Fronsac’s vineyards, sited around the town of Fronsac to the north-west of Saint-Émilion, were more famous than neighbouring Pomerol and Saint-Émilion. However, as access became easier into Pomerol and many brokers had their offices in Libourne, Fronsac slipped into relative obscurity from which it is just beginning to emerge – with a new emphasis on softer, medium-bodied wines than the big, tannic wines of its past.

Fronsac’s wines are based on Cabernet Franc with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec in support. Canon-Fronsac is a small sub-appellation that generally produces better wines.

Top producers include:
Château Fontenil
Château Moulin-Haut-Laroque
Château La Vieille Cure
Château Moulin-Pey-Labrie
Château Haut-Mazeris
Château La Dauphine

Lalande-de-Pomerol

Lalande-de-Pomerol’s 2500+ acres of red wine producing vineyards, based on the Merlot grape, are situated just north of Pomerol, and planted on light gravelly/ sandy soils. This little known district’s finest wines are on a par with mid-level Pomerol, yet are more accessible young and lighter in style and price!

In recent times the number of top-flight château in the district is increasing and offer great value for bargain hunters.

Top producers include:
Château Bertineau Saint-Vincent
Château de Chambrun
Château Grand Ormeau
Château Jean de Gué
Château La Fleur de Boüard
Château Le Plus de la Fleur
Château Les Cruzelles
Château Les Gravières