White Wines of Bordeaux
When one thinks of Bordeaux, certainly an expensive red wine comes to mind. Although this region is well known for its famous Chateaux and red blends vinified with the Cabernets, Merlot and Petit Verdot, the white grapes of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon also grow in the region. Sauternes of course, is famous for its botrytised (noble rot) sweet wines that will age for decades. However, did you know that the still white Bordeaux blends of Pessac-Leognan and Graves are truly some of the best white wines in the world AND they can be laid down to age for a significant amount of time as well? For those that might gravitate towards Burgundy and the Chardonnay grape, give white Bordeaux a try. You may be surprised by the complexity, character and age worthiness of these wines.
Chateau Chantegrive was started in 1966 by Henri and Françoise Leveque who loved the region of Graves and believed strongly in the terroir. In fact, they loved it so much, they sold their stamp collection in order to purchase their first two hectares! Starting off with the typical red Bordeaux blends, they tried their hands at white Bordeaux in the late 1980's wanting to make something "Burgundy-esque". Today, the Cuvee Caroline is one of their top selling wines. The legacy continues with daughter Marie-Helene joining in to operate the business alongside her mother, since the death of her father in 2009.
90 Points - Wine Advocate
The wine is a blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc and 50% Semillon. This stunning wine drinks well above its price point with aromas and flavours of soft brioche, lemon cream, ripe Yellow apple, warm vanilla bean, Acacia honey and hints of honeysuckle. A real unctuous treat in the mouth and so perfectly balanced with a long lingering finish. An absolute stunner of a wine!
Chateau La Louviere
The La Louviere vineyard and winery area itself came into being in the 1500's by the Guilloche Family. Spanning the generations it was taken over by several other families until Andre Lurton purchased the property in 1965. His goal was to bring the estate back to its former glory and prestige. The vineyards were revitalized and the house or "chateau" completely restored. Ultimately, we can still consider this a family owned winery! This is also one of the rarer white Bordeaux that have no semillon in it.
Made from 100% Sauvignon blanc, the nose is fresh and fruity, with notes of citrus, acacia flowers and blackcurrant leaves. The palate is very fleshy and round, yet with a fresh balanced acidity. You'll find flavours of nectarine, mango and hints of vanilla. Don't be afraid to put this one down for a few years; the notes will become more pastry and brioche like!
Chateau de Fieuzal
Like many wines from France, it is about where the grapes are grown and the soils they grow in, rather than the grapes themselves. The term the French coined is terroir, a term that is now used all over the world. For many winemakers "a taste of terroir" is likely their greatest accomplishment. By tasting terroir in a wine, there is a "sense of place"; you know exactly where that wine came from. Unlike centuries old Chateaux, Fieuzal is relatively "new-ish" with owners that are Irish and a winemaker with "New World" experience. They are open to new influences and are not afraid to experiment. "Fieuzal has the intriguing ability to hold one’s attention, by combining flavour and feeling; the senses and the sensual. Extraordinary freshness, naturally provided by our soils, holds the wines together with remarkable tension right to the finish." Now that's some serious terroir!
95 Points - Wine Enthusiast
The wine is 55% Sauvignon Blanc and 45% Semillon; there is a spicy note underneath the pineapple, grapfruit and lime nose. 2015 was a riper vintage so the palate shows a little less acidity than many of its peers, yet it is rich, broad and creamy in feel, with hazelnut, ginger, creamed apple and pear fruit. All set to enjoy now or age for a few years yet!