Superb Bordeaux Sauvignon BlancCheck this Cuvée Grêle 2013!
|Gavin Quinney at|
Chateau Bauduc June 2014.
New Zealand, where it is by far the most widely grown grape, is not the only New World country producing good Sauvignon Blanc. Chile is another, excellent examples coming from the cooler coastal areas of this long and narrow country. And there are quite a few more, both old and new world.
But let’s go back to France again and search that little bit harder. In Bordeaux (which may have seen the birth of this grape). I know many of us are under the impression that all Bordeaux whites (now increasingly rated higher by Mr Parker) are all a blend of SB and Semillon in all kinds of proportions.
But there are quite a few one hundred per cent Sauvignon Blancs in the area, including the pair below. And do note that Bauduc is available in Ireland via Curious Wines!
Chateau Bauduc, Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Bordeaux, 11.5%
Lovely fruit flavours here with excellent balance, crisp and dry with a little tingle and a lovely long finish. This gem, somewhat fuller than the Loire style, has been the house wine at Gordon Ramsey’s and Rick Stein’s for over a decade, showing you don't have to be in the Loire to make excellent French Sauvignon Blanc. Very Highly Recommended.
We are lucky to have this one at all. Vigneron Gavin Quinney notes on the back label: “We call this our Cuvée Grêle (hail) as we lost half our crop on 2 August, just before the September harvest.”
Chateau Rochemorin, Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Pessac-Leognan Bordeaux.
Came across this beauty in an one star Michelin restaurant in Arcachon (Le Patio) and absolutely enjoyed, even if it came in at fifty euro a pop. Enjoyed it even more when I found I could buy it in Podensac for €11.95.
In the Loire in 2013, I bought more red than whites and this year, in Bordeaux, I bought more whites than red. Pessac-Leognan is, according to Oz Clarke, “one of the most exciting areas in France for top-class white wines” while Hugh Johnson says it has Bordeaux’s “finest barrel fermented dry whites’. High praise indeed.
The highly respected Andre Lurton is the man in charge here and impressed even Jancis Robinson with this one who described it as racy and lively and “giving white burgundy a run for its money”.
It spends 10 months in oak barrels (35% new), on full lees with bâtonnage. Believe it or not it can age 12 to 15 years but is excellent after 2 to 5 years. I’ll have my purchases wiped out by Christmas, at the latest!
Lots of white fruit on the nose, it is rich and fresh and beautifully balanced. Well worth seeking out if you are on hols in France. Not sure if you’ll find it in Ireland though I see that Wine Online are offering the 2007 version.
Other Sauvignon Blanc recommendations
New Zealand: Fiona Turner’s Tinpot Hut and Fleur McCree’s Little Beauty are both excellent Marlborough examples. Also worth a try is Tim and Judy Finn’s fresh herbaceous Neudorf from the Nelson area.
Chile: Aresti’s Trisquel Sauvignon Blanc and Cono Sur’s Single Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Valle de Casablanca.