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Possible additional grapes allowed in Bordeaux


Just read the below article on Decanter:

Must be really serious if any of the Bordeaux rules are to change on grapes considering any changes in the area usually take ages and are usually rejected.


I understand that this has been going on for a long time (planting trials etc)… but always hushed even denied

and of course…just for Bordeaux and B.Superior - a long way off the communes adopting.

Now we just have to see if the INAO will ratify it - that will really show you how much they understand climate change as a threat to their industry!!


Some of those grapes I know nothing about!

But others I am surprised to see in there, such as Petit Manseng and Touriga Nacional. Not that I doubt their excellence (they are both world-class), but that their distinctiveness is in a way hitherto unseen in Bordeaux wines. Though if the Bordelais are happy to broaden the understanding of what constitutes a typical Bordeaux wine, then I’m happy too, if a little surprised.

In terms of global warming, most of the red grapes have plenty of headroom left I suspect. Probably the most at-risk variety is merlot. Of the whites, I think both SB and semillon could probably handle hotter climates, though maybe that’s with the benefit of modern viticulture and oenology.


When TWS starts selecting wine from Svalbard, we will know global climate change in real.


From another article I picked this interesting comment:

Interestingly and perhaps controversially, the grapes won’t be listed on the labels, a decision possibly aimed at preserving the identity of Bordeaux as it tentatively accepts “outsiders.”

Also I was initially surprised that Syrah wasn’t being considered since that always used to appear in Bordeaux some time ago. However that same article made this comment:

Now don’t expect them to start growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the signature grapes of Burgundy, and call them Bordeaux. The idea is not to infringe on the identify, or sovereignty, so to speak, of any other wine region.

And I guess allowing Syrah might have contravened that principle with respect to the Rhone.


do consider that few use carmenere today and that has (if I understand correctly) some ‘headroom’

I think as much the issue on allowing new grapes is the reluctance to change viticulture and oenology methods allowed too… too much head in the sand for a while !

more / better info at - https://www.drinks-today.com/wine/news/seven-new-grapes-approved-historic-bordeaux-aoc-vote


I wonder if the recent success of carmenere in Chile has perhaps rekindled some interest in this variety. The W/S have a mid range claret with a high proportion of malbec at the moment On my wishlist :

I think a drop of manseng will improve white Bordeaux no end, particularly the more straightforward inexpensive fruitier wines.


Hmmm. Interesting story but…

Bordeaux winemakers allow new grapes to fight climate change

Another day, another shoddy headline. ‘Fight’ climate change? I never knew touriga was such an all-powerful carbon-sucker :open_mouth:


Bordeaux winemakers allow new grapes to accommodate climate change



Not in our lifetime, I hope!.. :scream:


the one I know that uses carmenere is Ch Argentyre in Begadan - https://www.rudewines.co.uk/product/chateau-argentyre-2014-medoc-2702/

although I question the write up…“modern bordeaux” - it uses Malbec and Carmenere so possible very old School ?! I was there in 2016 and approx 10% of their vineyard was Malbec and Carmenere (very susceptible to conditions at florasion…it must be dry)

Begadan and that northerly area has a microclimate due to the influence of both the sea and the Gironde. They don’t use Cab Franc as they don’t have the soil for it


It appears that some preliminary approvals have been given to the inclusion of “new” varietals to become permitted constituents in wines labelled Bordeaux A.O.C. This is to take account of climate change. Read about it here -


Thanks for highlighting the article. Chris Kissack’s insights are always interesting.


Looking forward to taste one of this blend in the upcoming vintages from Bordeaux. It is the first region in France allowing those grapes if I am right, I think Touriga Nacional could perform really well in Rhone Valley as well…


To be honest, Touriga Nacional would be a far better match with existing red Rhone grapes, rather than Bordeaux. More Malbec would be a better solution for Bordeaux, or if you want to add a new grape, Tannat. All IMHO, naturally.