Clos de l'Echauguette
Château Moulin Le Chasserat
Château La Parize
Blaye is a beautiful area, quieter and less well known than many other Bordeaux regions. Hills rise up to 70m above the estuary sometimes making the place feel closer to Tuscany than France.
The region's activity tends to be centered around the village of Blaye, a UNESCO world heritage site with its imposing citadel commissioned by Louis XIV dominating the Gironde landscape since 1685. Just down the road from Blaye is the village of Plassac, an ancient Gallo-Roman village and one of the first places in Bordeaux to grow wine.
About 7000 hectares are under vine, with a soil of clay over limestone. It produces reds, whites, and a small amount of rose and sparkling. The AOC regions have been reorganised many times, most recently in 2007, where Blaye AOC is exclusively red and Côtes de Blaye AOC is exclusively white, although for the listings on this page I have used Côtes de Blaye for both red and white. The former Premières Côtes de Blaye has been absorbed into Côtes de Bordeaux AOC and included both reds and white.
The red grape varietals are mostly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, with small quantities of Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carménère. White wine under the label Côtes de Blaye is made predominantly from Colombard and Ugni blanc, whereas white wine under the label Côtes de Bordeaux (Blaye) is made predominantly from Sauvignon blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle.
The reds are fresh, fruity, and best drunk young, whereas the whites are dry, light, full of soft fruits.
On a personal note, I have lived in and around Blaye for most of 2020, and feel both the area and the wines are some of the most underrated and best value in all of Bordeaux.
No visit to Blaye is complete without a drink and meal at Le Petit Wine Cave by the ferry in the village.
In late 2020 the owner of Etalon Rouge in Blaye
and La Petite Cave wine bar, Leslie Kellen,
created a classification system for the
Blaye and Bourg appellations.
This is the first time the wines of this region have been ranked into five growths, with growth one being the best and descending with respect to quality.
Click on the link to see the full classification list.