Merlot, enamoured of the soils and the climate, thrives on the Right Bank. It is the main contributor to the wines of the district and creates a style that, though still complex and capable of great ageing, is generally softer and more approachable than the dominant Cabernet Sauvignon of the Left Bank. This latter grape is still important here, as is Cabernet Franc, and Malbec has a presence.
Soil is the crucial factor on the Right Bank, especially in the great areas of St-Émilion and Pomerol. The former has a variety of types, though its limestone is particularly prized, and the clays of the Pomerol are equally sought after. Concerning the climate, the Right Bank's generally cooler winters and warmer summers than those of the Left Bank are suited to the Merlot grape rather than Cabernet Sauvignon. Appellations do vary considerably, and they need to be looked at individually for more specific details.
2010, 2009, 2005, 2001, 2000, 1999 and 1998 were all very good years for the wines of the Right Bank. Going further back, 1995, 1990,1989 and 1982 were excellent.
Back to top