Chateau Ducasse, Bordeaux Blanc 2020Regular price $20.00 Save $-20.00
Variety: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle
Meeting owner and winemaker Hervé Dubourdieu is almost like meeting a surgeon. Dressed to perfection and walking with confidence, his estate is located in the southern end of the famed Bordeaux wine region in Haut Barsac, famous for white wine, and more famous for dessert wine made from the noble mold, botrytis. I remember walking around the winery and feeling that if I put on a white glove I would not find a spec of dust, left alone dirt, anywhere in the winery. This cleanliness shows up in the wines. Always pristine and focused, the aromatics are fresh and the palate clean. The dessert wines produced here are what many of the estates in Barsac and neighboring village of Sauternes focus on. When a vineyard does not obtain the noble rot and the airflow is just too much to create the famous mold, it is still perfect to produce dry, fresh white wine blended with Sémillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc. No oak is used in the winemaking, and flavors of citrus and grass come through. Due to the river emptying into the Atlantic and the humid air blowing inland down into the vineyards, the wines are incredible with light seafood salads or simple preparations that highlight lemon.
Chateau Marjosse, Bordeaux Blanc 2017Regular price $20.00 Save $-20.00
Variety: Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle
Though the history of Château Marjosse is an extensive one, the story of winemaker Pierre Lurton begins in 1991. Pierre learned winemaking from his father Dominic, winemaker at the neighboring Chateau Reynier. At a young age, he was seriously ambitious, renting parcels of Marjosse from a retired French general. For his first vintage, he vinified everything by hand with almost no help. The following year, he managed the prestigious Cheval Blanc, continuing to manage his own property during off hours. The frost of 1991 lost him his entire crop, yet he took some loans and moved forward. Even though career beginnings were humble, his ardent winemaking journey has encompassed new roles—he is now CEO of Chateau d’Yquem and managing director for Cheval Blanc. The wines of Chateau Marjosse are a lens into Pierre’s grand capabilities.
The 2017 vintage of Bordeaux is known as the year of the frost; production was down a staggering 40-50%. Château Marjosse was fortunate enough to produce their white, but no red was produced for this vintage.
Chateau Rieussec, Bordeaux Blanc 2017Regular price $38.00 Save $-38.00
Variety: Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc
Chateau Rieussec is one of the most noteworthy châteaux in all of Bordeaux, hailing from the same great talents as Lafite Rothschild. The Rieussec winery and vineyard is located in the region of Graves (aka gravel) on the Left Bank of Bordeaux. In Graves is the appellation of Sauternes, famous for its honeyed, rich dessert wines, but Rieussec also makes an incredible Bordeaux Blanc Sec. The winery was begun in the 18th century under the Carmelite monks, who valued the vineyards' gravelly clay and sandy soil. During the great 1855 Classification of Bordeaux, Rieussec was ranked as a First Growth for its Sauternes and Barsac wines. Another turning point occurred in 1984 when Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) acquired the estate, implementing meticulous measures often described as “Draconian.”
This Bordeaux Blanc comes from the same vines as the Sauternes, though the main difference here is that the grapes are harvested much earlier before their potential exposure to noble rot, otherwise known as botrytis. The wine is always fermented in barrels in order to balance it and extend its ageability in the cellar.
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 'Les Hauts de Smith' Blanc 2019Regular price $60.00 Save $-60.00
Variety: Sauvignon Blanc
The story of Château Smith Haut Lafitte began in the medieval 14th century when there was the first record of any deeds of the estate, vines included. As history goes, the estate changed hands quite a bit; a Scottish wine merchant purchased it in the mid-18th century and named it after himself. A gentleman by the name of Lodi acquired the estate later on—this same man was also the mayor of Bordeaux and a signer of the official 1855 classification. Fast forward to today; Florence and Daniel Cathiard fell in love with the estate, intending to continue its legacy of excellence. One daughter, Mathilde, and husband founded a company that utilizes the vine cuttings and grape seeds in a range of beauty care products. This epic history reinstates the legacy this chateau continus to carry on.
Traditionally, a Bordeaux Blanc is a blended wine, though “Les Hauts de Smith” is simply Sauvignon Blanc. This may be considered the winery’s entry level white, but the care and quality is just as great as that of their best wines. The ageing process is lengthy as the wine spends one year on its lees in French oak barrels, half of which is new.