It’s Still Cold, Still Time for Bordeaux

Saint-Emilion, in the Libournais district of Bordeaux, France

We’re a few weeks into March, the month that brings back the spring season. But once the sun sets, it’s still bitterly cold here in New York City. When I get up tomorrow, it’s going to be 36°F. That does not say “spring” to any sane soul. Even in our spectacularly intrepid city, few are out in shorts and tank tops in the evenings sipping prosecco. We’re just not there yet! 

While it’s always cool to have a hearty wine selection in your cellar, wine rack, or kitchen shelf, some make it a civil duty to conquer the lingering cold weather with heart-warming reds after dinner, or on the weekends in front of a fireplace (or watching Game of Thrones in bed). And when it comes to reds to warm the soul, the legendary region of Bordeaux, France is always a great choice.   

Bordeaux is located close to the European Atlantic coast, in the southwest of France, just over 300 miles southwest of Paris. The seemingly eternal spring weather there is categorized as temperate oceanic climate. Summers are mild to warm and long, while the winters are relatively mild, where freezing temperatures are extremely rare. The year-round average falls between 44°F and 72°F. The soil of Bordeaux is composed of gravel, sandy stone, and clay. Beneath the earth, the geological foundation is limestone, leading to a soil structure that is heavy in calcium. The Gironde estuary (river opening), which cuts through the center of the region creates a “right bank” and a “left bank”. Where a winery is located on either bank determines the proportion of Merlot to Cabernet inside each wine. This unique blend of location, climate, geology, and natural irrigation gives Bordeaux a unique advantage for grapevine cultivation. 

These favorable conditions have been exploited for winemaking in Bordeaux with little interruption since the Romans planted the first grapevines, sometime in the middle of the first century. Another feature that contributes to the region’s success is the Atlantic coast, which served as a major port for centuries, giving local winemakers the opportunity to access wealthy merchants and global markets (like Great Britain and the Netherlands) before other regions.   

In 1982, wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. reviewed the Bordeaux vintage as the most sumptuous vintage in decades. Not only was this a turning point for Bordeaux wine economically, it also marked a US domination in reviewing wines, especially Bordeaux. Since then, the region has become one of the cornerstones of French wine.   

For José Moura Selections, the wonderful region of Bordeaux means more than just great history and reputation. It is the relationships we have cultivated with the local winemakers that truly brings it all together — including, of course, the great wines. We are proud to have the following Bordeaux in our France portfolio: