Blend: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle
From: Bordeaux, France
Taste: A perennial crowd pleaser, his Bordeaux blanc is a dry white produced from vineyards within the Sauternes appellation. The blend features primarily Sémillon, providing a round peachiness and faint honeyed notes; Sauvignon Blanc, which contributes lively citrus and a bright core of acidity; and a splash of Muscadelle for aromatic pizzazz. It feels weightless on the palate, and the crisp finish features a refreshing note of iode (the equivalent to ocean brine). Classy.
Pairing: I’m sharing a recipe for “Crab Cakes Baltimore-Style,” by Pierre Franey, because Bordeaux Blanc is absolutely amazing with seafood. This easy recipe yields about 12 cakes, and once the ingredients are sourced, the recipe only takes 15 minutes. Coincidentally, the wine also fares beautifully with French-rolled omelet’s, salads, and fresh pasta with ricotta cheese and snap peas.
About. This Bordeaux blanc is made from old Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle vines planted in complex soils of clay and limestone on fissured rock. The wine is bone-dry, even if your first whiff of sunny, slightly tropical fruit leads you to expect otherwise. On the palate, it is luscious and mouth-coating with generous passion fruit and lychee, and yet it is racy at the same time—constructed along a sturdy spine of chalk and acidity, it bears the classic Sauvignon Blanc notes of lime and grass.
The man behind the Chateau, Hervé Dubourdieu’s easy charm and modest disposition are complemented by his focus and ferocious perfectionism. He prefers to keep to himself, spending most of his time with his family in his modest, tasteful home, surrounded by his vineyards in the Sauternes and Graves appellations. Roûmieu-Lacoste, situated in Haut Barsac, originates from his mother’s side of the family, dating back to 1890. He also owns Château Graville-Lacoste and Château Ducasse, where he grows grapes for his Graves Blanc and Bordeaux Blanc, respectively.
In the words of Dixon Brooke, “Hervé is as meticulous a person as I have encountered in France’s vineyards and wineries. Everything is kept in absolutely perfect condition, and the wines showcase the results of this care – impeccable.” Hervé is incredibly hard on himself. Despite the pedigree and complexity of the terroir and the quality of the wines, he has never been quite satisfied to rest on his laurels, always striving to outdo himself.
Roûmieu-Lacoste is in the climat of Haut Barsac, an area famous (and in fact more renowned historically than the Sauternes appellation as a whole) for its particularly robust, powerfully styled moelleux (sweet wine) with pronounced acidity. The vineyards are just across the road from First Growth Château Climens on a similar soil: calcareous clay on fissured rock, peppered with red iron, white limestone, and grey flint gravel. The Graville-Lacoste property produces a Graves Blanc, known primarily for its stony soil composition and fresh minerality. This wine and the Bordeaux Blanc of Château Ducasse are very different from others from their appellations: Hervé blends a high proportion of Sémillon (60%) and a splash of Muscadelle (5%) with Sauvignon Blanc (35%), creating a rich, full, aromatic mid-palate to complement the clean finish.
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