Don’t Blanc Bordeaux Whites
I’m by far not the first and most definitely will not be the last bacchanalian commentator to rail at wine consumers for their ignorance of the glories to be found in a bottle of Bordeaux Blanc.
Just picture the hordes of dry white junkies up and down the country pulling corks and wrenching screw caps, then guzzling the contents as they squint down at labels smeared with names like Marlborough or Sancerre. All the while totally oblivious that of Bordeaux’s two heavyweight white grapes Sauvignon Blanc is one.
Yes, there’s plenty of Semillon about (less Muscadelle and Sauvignon Gris) and some producers like to chuck it in oak to add body, texture and depth. But that formula of razor sharp acidity, cracking citrus, crunchy minerality and fabulous food friendliness apply to so many.
I first came to love BB about 3.5 years ago while celebrating with my girlfriend (now Mrs DnE) at the Greenhouse restaurant in Mayfair. On the recommendation of the sommelier, I ordered a glass of Clos Floridene 2008 from Graves to pair with my haut cuisine chicken dish. The match was tremendous and the wine? Near perfect. So smitten with it, I marched straight out and bought six bottles of the 2010, of which I still possess two (Berry Brothers & Rudd are currently stocking the 2011).
As if being wonderfully complex and a superb food wine wasn’t enough, good Bordeaux Blanc can also age incredibly well. Yet another reason to discover some for yourself.
Good BB is also exactly the kind of wine you want to bring along to your wine geek friends dinner parties. Makes you look like you very much are in the know.
If you are a regular reader/watcher of my blogs/vlogs then you’ll know that I am a big fan of the Wine Society and they deserve much applause for stocking a stellar range of BBs.
I recently tasted a few and here’s a run down.
Fresh tart lime, crunchy green apple, bold acids. Some creamy apricot on the finish. Tart green machine. 86/100 – £8.50
Jazzy lime, firecracker smoke, fresh gooseberry, gum clenching acidity, fine green apple. Very classy and super value. 89/100 – £7.50, but sadly at writing was out of stock.
Viscous yellow, nose of flint, yellow melon, grassy herbs and waxy pear. Quite smoky, raw Bramley apple, chewy acids, electric acidity, searing lime juice, vibrant, pure, focused mineral and long razor sharp finish. Just got better and better in the glass. Scrumptious. 91/100 – £10.50 ps Same owners as Clos Floridene but almost a 1/3 of the price of CF.
To avoid showing too much favoritism or if you don’t do the Wine Society then here’s some other options to consider.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Bordeaux Blanc – Medal winning on currently on offer at £6.00
Aldi’s Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc – Another medal winner and a snip at £4.99
M&S Bordeaux AC Sauvignon Blanc £8.50
Despite the winter coming on, it’s a dynamite wine for the festive period. As an aperitif, seafood platters, tangy cheeses, and the Chateau Reynon killed with Mrs. DnE’s roast chicken last weekend.
So what are you waiting for? Till some pillar of the wine writing establishment cracks under the strain of trying to turn the general public onto this most underrated yet splendid value fine white wine and chains themselves to a stand of NZ Sauvignon Blanc at your local Waitrose? Spare them from such a shameful fall from grace and pick up a bottle or two.
It’s a win win win. You’ll be expanding your wine horizons, supporting the underappreciated producers of white Bordeaux and maybe just maybe saving someone’s career.