The Gironde River is the spiritual home of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The red wines of the Bordeaux region are all derived from these two grapes (alongside a handful of lesser varieties). Bordeaux is also home to the very upper echelons of wine aristocracy, the great houses of Lafite, Latour, Margaux & Mouton Rothschild are all to be found here (although not on this site, mores the pity!)
Towards the end of the twentieth century, Bordeaux had gained itself a reputation for austere, tannic, thin, vastly overpriced wine that maybe appealed more to investors than drinkers
Fortunately a string of recent excellent vintages (2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010) and the loss of custom to competition from the Southern hem
isphere, have led the winemakers of Bordeaux to up their game. Modern Bordeaux is richer, weightier and more approachable when young. Prices have also become more realistic. You can get a half-decent claret for around a tenner and there is plenty of interesting stuff under twenty quid.