A sampling of Bordeaux blancs

A more modern, varietally labelled Bordeaux blanc
A more modern, varietally labelled Bordeaux blanc

Last week I tasted through quite a lot of wine in Bordeaux!  Here are some of the whites which show the range of sauvignon blanc wines made today in Bordeaux.

2007 Chateau du Cros, Bordeaux AOC.  This chateau is also known for its sweet wines from the Loupiac appellation, just on the other side of the Garonne river on the right bank.  This dry white is typical of the modern, fruit-driven, clean and sleek wines made today.  90% sauvignon blanc, 10% semillon, some skin contact and cool 16-18 celsius ferment temperatures result in vivid tropical aromas of passion fruit and pineapple, with vibrant acidity, medium body and grapefruit flavors.

2008 Chateau Vrai Caillou, Entre-deux-mers.  Entre-deux-mers (between the two seas) is the large dry white appellation between the two rivers the Garonne and Dordogne.  Vrai Caillou, or “true rocks” loosely translated, is very accurate.  This wine is 40% semillon, 45% sauvignon blanc and the remainder sauvignon gris.  It has restrained aromas of grapefruit pith, with medium body, citrusy fruit and finish, but well-balanced and with notable minerality.  This is a fantastic food wine and at less than $10, a bargain.

2007 Chateau Couhins-Lurton, Pessac-Leognan, Cru Classe.  This cru classe is 100% sauvignon blanc, barrel-fermented in 30% new french oak and aged for 10 months for a restrained and elegant wine with just hint of oak.  This wine is closed with a non-permeable screwcap seal for good ageability.

2003 Chateau Cantelys, Pessac-Leognan.  This chateau is owned by the Cathiard family of the Cru Classe Smith Haut Lafitte which is reflected in the winemaking.  It is 50% sauvignon blanc, 45% semillon and 5% sauvignon gris, barrel-fermented in 50% new french oak and aged for 10 months with stirring of the lees for rich mouthfeel, complexity and length.  2003 was a hot year, which allows the honeyed and pear tart tatin flavors to balance the toasty oak in this wine.