Located on the right bank of the Gironde estuary, across the water from the prestige and fame that is the Haut-Médoc, Blaye is one of the larger communes in Bordeaux, and is five times larger than the commune of Bourg which is located just to the south. In fact, the vineyards of Blaye were first planted by the Romans some two millenia ago. The fortunes and wines of Blaye have long been linked to Bourg, and they are often described together as they have similar weather conditions, soil types and wine style. The rustic reds are often good if unremarkable.
This regions has some of the benefits of other areas of Bordeaux, with well-drained soils that consist of mainly clay, sand and alluvial soil types, as well as some protection from the cold north winds and frost that can affect the region. It is the landscape of rolling hills that offers this protection, and Bourg and Blaye can offer some of the most picturesque vineyards of Bordeaux.
The red wines have a high percentage of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, emulating other communes on this side of the Médoc. For the last few decades the wines have varied in quality and consistentcy, but modern winemaking techniques of low yields, later harvests and cool fermentations have produced dramtic results. In the future this region will be one of the few in which good to great wines will be found at good to great prices. Some white wine is produced, mainly from Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
Though Blaye is the commune, the white wines are sold as Côtes de Blaye and reds are sold either as AC Blaye or as Premières Côtes de Blaye, which denotes a higher level of quality as it has more strict regulations on yields and alcohol level, though there is up until now little difference from AC Blaye.
Visit Bordeaux for an in depth look at the history of Bordeaux.
France → Bordeaux → Right Bank