The Amazing Bordeaux Vs Tuscany Tasting: A Wine Lover’s Dream

Wine enthusiasts often debate the merits of different wine regions, but few comparisons ignite as much passion as Bordeaux versus Tuscany. I recently had the pleasure of attending an extraordinary tasting at Berry Brothers and Rudd in London, hosted by the esteemed Barbara Drew MW, that showcased this very rivalry. The line-up included some of my favorite wines in the world, and the experience was nothing short of a vinous revelation.

We tasted five pairs of wines, one from each region, encompassing two whites and eight reds. Here’s a glimpse into this epicurean adventure, where each wine told a unique story of its terroir.

The Duel of Whites: Tuscan Sunshine Meets Bordeaux Elegance

The tasting began with a delicate exploration of the white wines from these regions. Each wine showcased the unique approach to white winemaking in Tuscany and Bordeaux, offering a fascinating insight into how different terroirs and techniques can influence the final product.

2022 Vermentino, La Magia, Tuscany:
Dubbed “Sunlit Orchard in a Glass”, this Tuscan Vermentino was a true testament to the region’s ability to produce vibrant and refreshing whites. The wine glimmered in the glass with a pale, straw-yellow hue, while the nose offered a beautiful symphony of green apples, white flowers, and a hint of citrus zest. On the palate, it was crisp and invigorating, with a zesty acidity complementing flavors of pear and almond. A clean and lingering finish made it an ideal pairing for seafood or a delightful sipper on a warm day. My rating: 4.2 / 5.0.

2019 Asphodèle, Château Climens, Bordeaux:
Titled “White Elegance, Bordeaux Style”, the Asphodèle from Château Climens showcased the lesser-known but equally impressive white wine side of Bordeaux. Exhibiting a pale straw color, it released aromas of ripe peaches, honey, and a touch of vanilla upon swirling. The palate was luxuriously smooth with an almost oily texture, balanced by a foundational acidity and layers of stone fruit. The finish was long, seamlessly integrating fruit and floral notes. My rating: 4.0 / 5.0.

My verdict: For me, the Tuscan wine had the edge here.

A Clash of Reds: Power and Elegance

This segment of the tasting shifted our focus to the red wines, starting with a striking comparison between the robust nature of Tuscan wines and the elegant complexity of Bordeaux reds.

2018 Cepparello, Isole e Olena, Tuscany:
Labelled “Tuscan Powerhouse in a Bottle”, the Cepparello was a striking example of the robust character of Tuscan wines. It boasted a deep, intense ruby color, and the nose was a burst of black cherries, violets, and a hint of leather. The palate revealed robust tannins and lively acidity, framing flavors of dark fruit, tobacco, and oak. The finish was long and satisfying, hinting at espresso notes. This wine, though still young, promised to age gracefully. My rating: 4.4 / 5.0.

2014 Château Palmer, 3ème Cru Classé, Margaux, Bordeaux:
“Velvety and Elegant”, this Margaux wine was a testament to the finesse Bordeaux is renowned for. With a deep ruby color, it offered a complex nose of blackcurrant, cedar, and tobacco. The palate was a symphony of floral notes and a powerful structure, with well-integrated tannins and balanced acidity framing flavors of dark berries, plums, and spice. The finish was long and lingering with fruit and earthy notes. My rating: 4.7 / 5.0.

My verdict: It was a beautiful pair, quite surprising for me. The Cepparello had a better nose, but was then a little too powerful and young, the Palmer is more restrained on the nose but beautifully balanced on the palate.

The Mid-Palate Exploration: Fruit Versus Savory

Here we delved into the heart of the tasting, comparing the fruity vibrancy of Tuscany against the more savory and mature notes of Bordeaux.

2013 Tignanello, Antinori, Tuscany:
“Aromatic and Elegant”, the Tignanello was a showcase of Tuscan finesse. It presented a deep garnet color, and the nose was a complex blend of ripe red fruits, black cherry, dried herbs, and smoky oak. The palate was a beautiful balance of silky tannins and vibrant acidity, supporting flavors of cherry, plum, and anise. The finish was long, gracefully integrating all elements. My rating: 4.7 / 5.0.

2006 Château Branaire-Ducru, 4ème Cru Classé, St Julien, Bordeaux:
“A Classic Savoury Beauty”, this wine from Château Branaire-Ducru was a reflection of the aging potential of St Julien wines. It displayed a mature ruby color with hints of brick at the rim. The nose blended blackcurrant, leather, and earthy undertones. The palate was smooth, with softened tannins and moderate acidity, carrying flavors of dark fruit, tobacco, and truffle. The finish was elegant and persistent. My rating: 4.3 / 5.0.

My verdict: I just love the fruitiness of the Tignanello, while the Château Branaire-Ducru is a bit too savoury for me.

The Elegance of Italian Icon vs. St Émilion’s Finest

As we neared the climax of the tasting, we were treated to iconic wines from both regions, each showcasing the pinnacle of elegance and refinement in their respective styles.

2013 Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido, Bolgheri Sassicaia, Tuscany:
“Italian Icon, Worldly Elegance” described this benchmark of Italian winemaking. A vibrant ruby color with garnet hints, the nose was a mix of blackcurrant, cedar, and Mediterranean herbs. The palate was balanced, with refined tannins and bright acidity carrying flavors of ripe berries and a subtle oak influence. The finish was long and smooth. My rating: 4.6 / 5.0.

2015 Château Figeac, 1èr Grand Cru Classé B, St Émilion, Bordeaux:
“St Émilion’s Finest Expression” aptly characterized the Figeac. It boasted a rich ruby color and a nose of blackberry, plum, and sweet spice. Opulent yet balanced, the wine had velvety tannins and lively acidity, enhancing its complex dark fruit and cocoa flavors. The finish was luxuriant. My rating: 4.8 / 5.0.

My verdict: Two absolutely beautiful wines. But for me, the Figeac had the edge.

The Ultimate Tuscan Mastery vs. Bordeaux Grandeur

The final pairing was a spectacular finale, showcasing the epitome of winemaking mastery from both Tuscany and Bordeaux.

2013 Redigaffi 7, Tua Rita, Tuscany:
“An Amazing Symphony of Tuscan Mastery” was the perfect description for the Redigaffi 7. From a magnum, this wine, made only in exceptional years from a small single patch, had an impenetrable deep ruby color. The nose was a lavish affair of dark fruits, chocolate, herbs, and vanilla. The palate was sumptuous, with dense, velvety tannins and balanced acidity enveloping flavors of blackberry, mocha, and spice. The finish was decadent and never-ending. My rating: 4.9 / 5.0.

2010 Château Angélus, 1èr Grand Cru Classé B, St Émilion, Bordeaux:
“Beautiful Symphony of St Émilion’s Grandeur” was how I would describe the Château Angélus. It displayed an inky deep ruby color with a complex aroma of dark cherries, cassis, and oak. The palate was robust yet elegant, with powerful tannins and vibrant acidity melding with flavors of rich fruit, dark chocolate, and graphite. The finish was profound and lingering. My rating: 4.8 / 5.0.

My verdict: Two amazing wines! Very hard to choose. I went back and forth between a draw and a winner. The one I would want to drink more often in the end is the Radigaffi 7, a real beauty and a privilege to taste!

This tasting was a journey through the heart of two of the world’s most revered wine regions. Each wine not only reflected its heritage and terroir but also the skill and passion of its makers. Whether it was the crisp, refreshing Vermentino or the sumptuous Redigaffi 7, each glass was a reminder of the beauty and complexity that fine wine offers. The Bordeaux vs. Tuscany tasting was more than a comparison; it was a celebration of the diverse expressions of excellence in the world of wine.

Written by

Bernard Marr has a deep passion for wine. He has written hundreds of articles on wine, including features for Forbes, covering wine-making and industry trends. Away from the world of wine, Bernard is a world-renown business and technology futurist. He is the award winning author of over 20 best-selling books and has a combined audience of nearly 4 million people across his social media channels and newsletters.

Wine Sections

Tasting and Enjoying Wine | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Tasting & Enjoying Wine

Understanding Wine Making | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Understanding Wine Making

Understanding Wine Regions | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Understanding Wine Regions

Understanding Grape Varieties | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Understanding Grape Varieties

Understanding Wine Labels | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Understanding Wine Labels

The Wines of the World | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

The Wines of the World

Wine Trends & Technology | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Wine Trends & Technology

Wine and Food Pairing | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

My Wine Adventures

Wine & Food Diary | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Wine and Food Pairing

Wine Reviews | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Wine Reviews

Some of my most memorable wines