These AOCs are often called generic because they do not indicate a specific subregion or commune within Bordeaux as the source of the wine. Large parts of the Bordeaux region can only use the generic appellations. Most Bordeaux AOC is produced within the Entre-Deux-Mers subregion.
Like all other AOCs in Bordeaux, even the simplest generic Bordeaux AOC wines are allowed to display the text Grand Vin de Bordeaux - Great wine of Bordeaux.
Most Bordeaux AOC, red and dry white, is a simple and fruity everyday wine and is meant for early consumption rather than cellaring. More ambitious reds are usually sold as Bordeaux Supérieur AOC. Sweet white wines and Rosés must use other generic appellations than Bordeaux AOC.
Notable exceptions to the general rule of Bordeaux AOC as simpler wines are some dry white wines produced in Médoc and Sauternes, where the production of respectively red and sweet wines dominate. In difference from most of Graves, these areas are not allowed to use any other designation than Bordeaux AOC for dry white wines. Thus, some very ambitious and expensive dry white wines, such as Château Margaux's Pavillon Blanc and Château d'Yquem's "Y" have to be classified as "simple" Bordeaux AOCs.
The vineyard area devoted to the production of Bordeaux AOC wines is approximately , of which are used for red wine and for white wine.
Average yearly production is around 2,900,000 hectoliter of wine, corresponding to around 390 million standard-size 75 cl bottles, and made up of 2,500,000 hectoliter of red wine and 420,000 hectoliter of white wine.
The maximal authorized yield for Bordeaux AOC is 55 hectoliter per hectare, and the alcohol level of the wine must be between 10 and 13 volume percent. Dry white Bordeaux may not have more than 4 grams per liter of residual sugar.
The Bordeaux supérieur appellation covers the same geographic area as Bordeaux AOC. However, the wine in this appellation is produced by older vines. Moreover, Bordeaux supérieur wines must be raised at least for twelve month before they can be sold.
Yealy production: 530000 hectolitres
Surface : 25000 acres
Bordeaux clairet is a generic AOC) for the Bordeaux defined as "clairet". All other appellations in the Bordeaux region, including the most prestigious ones, are entitled to produce under this AOC. Bordeaux clairet is a wine which can either be described as a dark rosé wine or a light-coloured red wine. As there is also a more commonly used Bordeaux rosé designation, Bordeaux clairet is not simply any rosé from Bordeaux.
Bordeaux clairet wines are similar in colour to the wines which were shipped from Bordeaux to England during the Middle Ages, known as French Claret. These wines established the fame of Bordeaux as a wine-making region, and led to the (primarily British) practice of referring to Bordeaux as "claret". They are refreshing wines, appreciated because they can be easily enjoyed with picnics or exotic food.
The authorized grape varieties are the same as red Bordeaux AOC although Merlot is the most common of this AOC.
Production requirements and statistics for the various regional AOCs are as follows:
|AOC||Bordeaux (red)||Bordeaux Clairet||Bordeaux Rosé||Bordeaux Supérieur (red)||Bordeaux (white)||Bordeaux Sec||Bordeaux Supérieur (white)|
|Allowed grape varieties||Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Carmenère, Merlot rouge, Malbec, Petit Verdot|| Principial grape varieties (min 70%): Sémillon, Sauvignon (blanc and gris), Muscadelle |
Accessory grape varieties (max 30%): Merlot blanc, Colombard, Mauzac, Ondenc, Ugni blanc
| Principial grape varieties (min 70%): Sémillon, Sauvignon (blanc and gris), Muscadelle |
Accessory grape varieties (max 30%): Merlot blanc (max 15%), Colombard, Mauzac, Ondenc, Ugni blanc
|Specific colour requirement (if applicable)||lightly coloured red||rosé|
|Grape ripeness (in terms of minimum sugar content)||178 g/l||187 g/l||178 g/l||170 g/l||212 g/l|
|Alcohol content after fermentation||min 10%||min 11%||min 10.5%|| min 10.5% (potential) |
min 10% (actual)
| min 10% |
| min 12.5% (potential) |
max 15% (potential)
min 11.5% (actual)
|Residual sugar (if applicable)||min 4 g/l||max 4 g/l|
|Base yield||55 hl/ha||50 hl/ha||65 hl/ha||50 hl/ha|
|Minimum planting density||2,000 vines per ha|
|Maximum number of buds kept after pruning||60,000 per ha|
|Maturation requirement (if applicable), earliest sale date||1 July the year after harvest||1 July the year after harvest|
|Vineyard surface||44,000 ha||925 ha||3,300 ha||10,000 ha||6,740 ha|
|Average annual production||2,500,000 hl||52,000 hl||180,000 hl||530,000 hl||420,000 hl|