Brit expert Jane Anson’s magnum opus has all the juice on the region.  (photo by Joe Woodhouse)

I was supposed to be in Bordeaux this week. My flight schedule, posted on my calendar and not yet removed, continues to taunt me. In my head, all week, I’m grumbling, thinking, “We would be on the train to Bordeaux today,” or “I would have had tasting appointments all afternoon.”   

But one bright spot? I get to spend more time with a favorite new book—Jane Anson’s comprehensive new tome, Inside Bordeaux ($80), which appeared this past summer from UK publisher Berry Bros and Rudd Press. 

When you ask folks who study Bordeaux, they most often reference Stephen Brook’s classic The Complete Bordeaux, now in its third edition and originally published in 2007.  There hasn’t been a truly new major work published on the region for many years.

The British Anson, who lives and works in Bordeaux, is certified for teaching by the Bordeaux Ecole d’Vin and has covered the region for Decanter extensively for both the western and Asian audiences. Coming in at 708 pages, the book includes 58 new full-color maps including several gatefold maps for critical parts of the region. 

In Burgundy, it’s all about the vineyards, but in Bordeaux, it’s all about the chateaus. This book delivers up-to-date descriptions on each house by region, with ownership and production data infused with Anson’s expertise. In addition to the history and relevance, you get her analysis as she connects the dots between wine makers, owners, and families—and dishes on which bottles will be wines-to-watch in the years to come.

Even more unique—and valuable—for this book are the maps. For each region and for various chateaus, the graphics show specifically what’s planted in each plot, but more interestingly, topographical and soil data. In Bordeaux, they say Merlot likes to get its feet wet and with these maps you can clearly see why. Anson shows us exactly why terroir matters.

This work, available directly from Sotheby’s, is a must-have for anyone learning about Bordeaux, and if you’re already a Bordeaux lover, this book is necessary for your library. It’s especially for wine lovers who increasingly want to know new producers and find a sweet spot of quality and price—that is, for all of us.