White Bordeaux wine tasting notes tips - Chateaux Suduiraut

The whites were very good wines, but incredible value for the quality of the wine when compared to Burgundy or Northern Rhone. They are not the same wines, but they are of excellent quality. Lack of popularity means they offer excellent value. BRENDAN BARRATT reports with notes and "best in show":

Having grown up in the southern hemisphere, I developed an aversion to Sauvignon Blanc that turned into an allergy.  Whenever I taste it, I involuntarily spit it out, so be careful approaching me at wine tastings. 

Bordeaux dry whites offer difference 

They are not looking for fruity or grassy wines…..but there were a few. These wines are from a different place, a different climate and made more like an expensive white Burgundy than the dreaded Sauvignon Blanc. 

The other white variety in Bordeaux

There is another white grape variety in Bordeaux: Semillon. It goes into some of the greatest wines in the world. It deals well in hot climates and makes a complex wine. Many years ago in Australia it was in Tyrells Vat 1 Semillon. It aged for decades in a country where most Chardonnay was basically undrinkable after 5 years, and it is now becoming the hero of Bordeaux. Not just because there are 100% Semillon wines from Bordeaux that are great, but because many producers are putting more Semillon into their white blends, knocking off the edges of the dreaded sav blanc and making complex, age worthy wines.

White Bordeaux tasting notes

Château Bouscaut – Sauvignon Blanc 70 % Sémillon 30 %, 35 yr old vines.

 I didn’t like the strong modern Sav Blanc nose, but the palate was complex and good.  Good wine if you like SB.

Chateau BouscautChateau Bouscaut

Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2020 – Sauvignon blanc, Semillon

Proper white wine. Thick, oily…good oak treatment. Balance acidity and power..

domaine chevelier Domaine de Chevalier

Château Malartic-Lagravière – Sauvignon 71,8 % Sémillon 28,2 %

Perfume…interesting. Thick…VG, but power in the fruit

Chateau malartic 650Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere 2020

Château Smith Haut Lafitte – 90 % Sauvignon Blanc 5% Sauvignon Gris 5 % Sémillon Fermentation: T

Good, fat,90 % Sauvignon Blanc 5% Sauvignon Gris 5 % Sémillon

chateau smith haut lafiteChateau Smith Haut Lafite 2020

Onto the sweet – challenging year.  Low crops.

Château Doisy Daëne – 40% Sauvignon blanc, 60% Sémillon

It smells sweeter and richer than it tastes. It is a bit think. OK. Good, but lacks complexity

Château Doisy-Védrines – Reserved nose. Very sweet.  It is different.  I like it.. maybe because it had a hint of volatility that lifted it a bit.  A tiny bit. I liked it

Château de Fargues – (approx) 80% Semillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc

Again slightly volatile. But rich in flavour and really good. Long.  Longer…tichter acitidy..best structure so far, so worth keeping for a while.

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey – 93% Semillon, 6% Sauvignon, 1% Muscadelle

In 2020 they only made 5000 bottles, and it was different, so it has a different lable. It started with a thick, great nose, but lacked acidity. It has good power, but not all there. Interesting.

 chateau sigales rabaudChateau Sigales-Rabaud

Château Sigalas-Rabaud – "... at least 90% Semillon"

This was a great wine. Toasty on the nose, interesting, lots of layers of fruit, slightly smokey oak, lots of confectionary…. it was a very very good wine, but confusing. Then I saw the year. 2015. They made no wine in 2020, so they brought this. While they may sell a lot of this as a result, I think it really puts into context what sauternes can do in a few years in the bottle. 

chateau suduirautBest In Show: Chateau Suduiraut

Château Suduiraut – 58% Semillon, 42% Sauvignon Blanc
Ageing: 10% in new barrels, 90% from barrels of one vintage, for 9 months

Clearly the best of the show – Cleanest. Most powerful, Golden. Worth it. 



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