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Friday, December 9, 2016

A White Christmas

White Bordeaux completes the perfect White Christmas

I’m dreaming of a White Christmas.  While I love red Bordeaux, I’m thinking of dry white Bordeaux this year …perfect for San Diego’s warm December weather.  Perfectly timed for a White Christmas was a white Bordeaux tasting I just attended.  Held by a very sophisticated and savvy group of wine lovers (the Commanderie de Bordeaux of which I am a member), the blind tasting’s findings are below.

Before unveiling the winners, let’s review white Bordeaux.  Produced primarily from Sauvignon Blanc, these gorgeous relatively unknown wines also are often blended with Semillon.  While Sauv Blanc should be familiar to many, Semillon is often not.  One of the things I most love about Semillon is its luxurious, velvet-like texture.  Its flavor profile ranges from citrus in less ripe grapes, to tropical flavors in perfectly ripened grapes.  Mixed with the high acidity of Sauv Blanc, white Bordeaux can be a marriage made in heaven.

While extraordinary whites are made by some of the top Grand Cru Chateaux (e.g. Premier Grand Cru Chateau Haut-Brion Blanc which sells for about $850 a bottle), the Commanderie de Bordeaux tasting excluded all Grand Cru chateaux.  Eight members of our group tasted >10 bottles from the 2014 vintage.  Prices ranged from $28 to $14.  Here are the top three from our group's consensus:
  • 1st:  Chateau Charmed-Godard ($23)
  • 2nd:  Clos Floridine $26
  • 3rd:  Chateau Doisy Daene ($23)

The best wine of all tasted was disqualified because it was from the 2015 vintage.  Personally, this one was my hands-down favorite, however, the 2015 weather presented Bordeaux with much riper fruit than the year prior.  This gorgeous wine was made by Chateau Haut Mayne in Graves and offered a killer price quality ratio of a mere $12.  If you find it, buy a case or two.  It’s an extraordinary value.

If you don’t know white Bordeaux, you should.  Make your Christmas a white one this year!

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