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Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Entre-Deux-Mers, large, pretty area of the bordeaux wine region between the Rivers dordogne and garonne; hence a name which means ‘between two seas’. A high proportion of the vineyard land in this pretty, green region (which has much in common with bergerac to its immediate east) produces light red, often slightly austere wine made from merlot and cabernet grapes and sold as bordeaux aoc. Indeed, since vine-growers converted their white wine vineyards to red varieties in the 1960s and 1970s, the Entre-Deux-Mers district has become the chief source of red Bordeaux AC. The Entre-Deux-Mers region contains a number of other appellations, some of them enclaves such as graves de vayres, ste-foy bordeaux, and Côtes de Bordeaux-St-Macaire. Haut-Benauge is another whose dry white wines have their own appellation, Entre-Deux-Mers-Haut-Benauge. The premières côtes de bordeaux and its sweet white winemaking enclave lie between the Entre-Deux-Mers appellation and the river Garonne, in the same territory as produces red cadillac côtes de bordeaux. Wines sold as Entre-Deux-Mers are dry whites made, with degrees of winemaking skill which vary from minimal to dazzling, mainly from sauvignon blanc together with sémillon, muscadelle, and sauvignon gris grapes. After Bordeaux AC, this is the biggest dry white wine appellation in the Bordeaux region, on a vineyard area that had fallen to 1,325 ha/ 3,273 acres by 2012. Clay and sandy clay predominate although there are pockets of limestone, especially just across the Dordogne from St-Émilion. This is one of the few French wine districts to have adopted the lenz moser system of high vine trellising to any great extent. Most Entre-Deux-Mers should be drunk as young as possible and without great ceremony.