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.
Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2020 – Sauvignon blanc, Semillon
Proper white wine. Thick, oily…good oak treatment. Balance acidity and power..
Domaine de Chevalier
Château Malartic-Lagravière – Sauvignon 71,8 % Sémillon 28,2 %
Perfume…interesting. Thick…VG, but power in the fruit
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 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.
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.
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.
Discord in Odesa; pruning at Shabo goes on!
Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces.
An aperitif by the coliseum
As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.
Artichoke pasta and very fine Pigato
Britain’s lamentable exit
On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.
I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!
Soave: volcanic wines with elegance and longevity
Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.
An American In Paris; Tanisha Townsend (@GirlMeetsGlass) discusses podcasts, Paris wine bars, & what she's drinking at the moment
Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.
Wine tasting in Galicia: The pilgrims search for Albarino
The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.