By Hillary Latos
Recognizing a need to promote the excellent yet lesser known Bordeaux wines of the left and right banks, Docteur Alain Reynaud established the Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux in 2002, which showcases nearly 200 Bordeaux wines selected for their superb quality and reasonable price.
The Bordeaux region is naturally divided by the Gironde Estuuary, with the left bank creating the Medoc and Graves region and the right bank encompassing the Libournais, Bourg, and Blaye appellations.
Throughout the last 200 years Bordeaux has established itself as having a distinct wine with strong personalities that have set the bar for wines around the world. Originally, the first commercially viable wines came from the left bank, while the newer right bank wines were recognized for their innovative blending and continuous quest for perfection.
To become a member, the Grand Cercle estates must share a common geographical location, including right bank appellations such as Bordeaux, Entre-Deux-Mers, Sainte-Foy Bordeaux, Cadillac, Blaye, Pomerol, Saint Emilion, Blaye, and Canon Fronsac. The left bank appellations include Medoc, Saint Estephe, Pauillac, Saint-Julien, Listrac, Moulis, Margaux, Graves, Pessac-Leognan, Sauternes and Barsac.
Ensuring the highest quality wines also comes with a strict code of ethical practices. Every estate must maintain a continuous quest for innovation, including an analysis of cross sections of the different soil types, water drainage, and disease control. To achieve the optimal ripeness of grapes, yields must be controlled by pruning, bud and sucker removal, and also engage in eco-friendly organic pesticides. Additionally, wines must be aged in oak barrels to achieve specific aromatic qualities and more complex bouquets. And unlike most of the chateaus in the region, they must welcome visitors to the estates to explore the vineyards, landscapes, and wines.
Not only is Dr. Alain Reynaud the president of the Grand Cercle des Bordeaux, but he is a consultant to the wine estates in France, California, and Argentina bestowing his knowledge to wineries around the world. In 2011, he also founded his own winery, Chateau du Parc, a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru that lies on five hectares of sandy gravelly soils to the South and clay limestone soils to the North, making it ideally suited to grow 80 percent Merlot and 20 percent Cabernet Franc.
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