Côtes-de-Bordeaux is the youngest AOC appellation in Bordeaux. It was created in 2009, when the INAO declared the merging of four, previously recognized communes, Côtes de Blaye, Côtes de Bordeaux, Côtes de Castillon and Côtes de Francs. The following changes took place for wines labeled Côtes-de-Bordeaux starting with the 2009 vintage. Wines from Côtes de Castillon became Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux, Côtes de Francs became Francs Côtes de Bordeaux, Premieres Côtes de Blaye became Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux and Premieres Côtes de Bordeaux Rouge became Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux.
While the Côtes-de-Bordeaux appellation was officially created in 2009, the genesis of the idea was planted in 1985 when the separate, but distinctive regions banded together to create the Association de Cotes-de-Bordeaux. The named eventually changed to Les Cinq Côtes de Bordeaux, to include additional appellations. Things started coming together by 2003, and in 2009, the new Cotes de Bordeaux appellation was created with the purpose of helping to promote the wines from the previously separate appellations as a united group.
The specific areas were chosen because they shared similar terroirs of gravel, clay and limestone soils. Another consideration was the fact that the vast majority of the wines produced in those soils were dominated by the Merlot grape. One problem, or virtue, (pepending on your point of view) found in the new appellation is the ability for producers from any terroir in the now very large Cotes-de-Bordeaux appellation to incorporate grapes from any of the previously, separate appellations; Côtes de Castillon, Côtes de Blaye, Côtes de Bordeaux and Côtes de Francs into their wine.
Information source : www.bordeaux-cotes.com
Credit map : www.vins-bordeaux-courtiers.com