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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bordeaux ’s Other Wine

Gravel soil of Graves district

“A glass of Bordeaux?”   Many people would assume a red wine was being offered, however, they could be totally in error as Bordeaux produces some stunning whites.  Unfortunately, white Bordeaux is little known outside of France which is regrettable as a white Bordeaux can compete with the world’s best crafted wines.  Case in point:  the white wine from Chateau Haut Brion is one of the most memorable wines to have ever passed through these lips---and that’s saying something as I’ve had Haut Brion’s red on several occasions.
The best white Bordeaux is produced in the southern part of the wine area in the district of Graves.  Its distinctive gravel soil, for which it is named, is credited with much of the character and quality of both its white and red wine.  Graves' two main white grape varieties, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, are often blended.   While wine lovers are familiar with Sauvignon, not so many Americans know Semillon.   I love this varietal especially for the creamy texture it contributes, however, I also enjoy the apricot, peach, and pineapple notes it adds.  Because of the unique gravel soil, there’s no where else in the world that these grapes can even come close to producing the likes of a white Graves.
If  Haut Brion’s white ($900) is not in your budget, an excellent alternative is Smith Haut Laffite.  While its "blanc" is still pricey at $90, this primarily Sauvignon Blanc wine is no step-sister…it’s one of the best constructed Bordeaux whites that I’ve tasted.  If you’re looking for more moderately priced bottles, try either Latour-Martillac or Le Thil Comte Clary, both under $50.  Regrettably, you will probably need to turn to the Internet to find them as few wine shops in the U.S. carry them.  Try

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing with us this beautiful and informative post...
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