Ink Notes: Visconti Bordeaux

A bottle of Visconti Bordeaux and the TWSBI Vac 700 filled with it
A bottle of Visconti Bordeaux in its case

With the name “Bordeaux” it was only a matter of time before I gave Visconti Bordeaux a try. I’ll get this out of the way immediately – it’s not a replacement for my beloved Montblanc Bordeaux. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad.
The ink comes in a fancy 40 ml. plastic bottle and costs about 44 cents per ml. The bottle is in a see-through plastic container instead of a box. The base of the container matches the ink color, as does the bottle cap. The container’s plastic cover is tapped to the base although I wish they snapped together as this would make storage easier. The fist time I got a bottle of Visconti ink I tossed the container. That is, until I realized the bottle design made it unstable so putting the bottle inside the inverted container cover while filling helped prevent accidents. The bottle design helps collect the last bits of ink making the pens easier to fill as the ink is used up.
Visconti Bordeaux has a good solid color without being overly saturated. This made it easy to read on all the papers I used. The flow was consistently good. The ink is well lubricated and the flow is just at the borderline of being too wet for me. I do prefer a ink on the dryish side so this doesn’t mean the ink forms puddles.
The ink puts down a line that’s dark enough to be easily read on all the paper I used. There’s no bleed-through, even with a wider broad stub on cheap copy paper. Show through is non-existent unless the page is held up to a light. Likewise I didn’t notice feathering on any paper I used, including some cheap stuff. The bottom line is that this is a very well behaved ink.
There is some shading and line variation present with the ink. I suspect an experienced flex writer could get some nice shading from the ink. It gives the line a little bit of character, even with a fine nib.
The ink is not at all waterproof. Enough ink was left behind in the spill test, where I immediately soaked up the water. But with a longer soak the test was unreadable between the faded line and smeared ink stain.
I used the ink as my daily writer in a Monteverde Impressa, which means about 8 pages of writing. The pen is a wet writer despite having a fine nib. This is the one pen where there was ink inside the cap and on the nib on the same day that I inked it. The pen is new but I’ve yet to experience this with any other inks. By comparison, the ink spent six weeks in my Pelikan 620 and ink in the cap was not a problem despite being carried to and from work in my computer bag.
For long-term testing I used my Pelikan 620 Shanghai with a broad nib ground to a custom stub. The nib is not something I’d use as a daily writer so there would often be several days of none use. The ink was always ready when I uncapped the pen for use. There wasn’t any ink in the cap, a least not in drops big enough to notice, and there was’t any nib creep. The ink easily flushed from the pen after six weeks without any signs of staining.

Comparison Swabs
Writing is with a glass dip pen, not a fountain pen.

Pens Used

My standard ink test pen is my TWSBI Vac 700 with extra-fine, fine, medium, broad and 1.1mm nibs. Flow was good with all the nibs. The nibs and pen were easily cleaned by flushing with water. The results are in the writing samples.
The Pelikan M620 Shanghai with a custom broad stub was used for long term testing. No signs of ink stains after six weeks. The pen also sat nib-up for a week without any signs of clogging. It took just a short extra stroke to get the ink flowing when the ink was up. The pen also sat for a couple days unused and wrote immediately when needed. Also easily flushed with regular water.
The Monteverde Impressa with a fine nib was used for the extended writing test, which was about 5 pages at once and about 8 pages throughout the day. This pen is new to me so I can’t compare it to other inks. It’s a wet pen so this ink flowed extremely well. This is the one pen that had problems with ink in the cap and on the  nib. This was just hours after inking it up. Maybe I should have forced one more drop out of the convertor after filling it. While it hasn’t been as bad I have noticed a couple new ink drops in the cap after another day. This pen still has the ink in it so it hasn’t been cleaned.

Wrapping Up


I like the ink. It’s a nice color, is well behaved and puts down a consistent line. It’s a little redder than Montblanc Bordeaux so won’t replace the ink for me since I prefer the more subdued MB Bordeaux for everyday writing. The Visconti Bordeaux usb;t so red I wouldn’t use it for everyday writing, but I’m more likely to use it for marking up pages or highlighting notes.

Writing Samples

Additional Reading

Reviewed on FPN

3 thoughts on “Ink Notes: Visconti Bordeaux

  1. Thanks for the review, I love the burgundy hues so this one gets added to the gotta have list. Funny how the same color name across two makers is so different in shade. That MontBlanc of the same is way to Magenta for me.

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