Barton & Guestier is the oldest and one of the most prestigious wine houses in Bordeaux. With nearly 300 years of history, Barton & Guestier was established in 1725 by Thomas Barton, a renowned negociant coming from Ireland. In the early 19th century, his grandson joined forces with Frenchman Daniel Guestier, a reputed importer of Bordeaux wines into Baltimore, in the British colonies in America, and the one who delivered the wines that President Thomas Jefferson had ordered from the Barton family. It remains the most iconic French wine brand bringing authentic French terroir and emotions to wine lovers all over the world.
The Barton & Guestier range represents a wonderful diversity of the best French wine appellations with about 200 passionate winegrowers over the main winegrowing regions: Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Rhône Valley, Languedoc, Gascony and Corsica. With its wide variety of wines, Barton & Guestier enables wine lovers - from the occasional wine drinker to the connoisseur - to make a journey through France. The B&G winemaking team guarantees consistent quality and style, vintage after vintage. The company headquarters is based at Château Magnol, Haut-Médoc, a great Cru Bourgeois wine estate certified “High Environmental Value” and ISO 14001. Chateau Magnol also serves as a guesthouse and wine academy open to wine professionals from all over the world.
Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.
St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.
Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.
The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.
Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.