What to drink this week

White Bordeaux

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

Still un­der­val­ued, these wines com­bine Loire-like crisp­ness with a cer­tain round­ness, ad­vises Harry Eyres

White Graves, from a restau­rant wine list eons ago, would not have been a wine to set the heart rac­ing. In fact, it might have been al­most as deathly as the name sug­gests, with a taste some­where be­tween wet flan­nel and sweet­ish card­board. White Bordeaux strug­gles to gen­er­ate ex­cite­ment, apart from the great­est sweet Sauternes—and even they’re un­der­val­ued. As a re­sult, you can find some of the great­est bar­gains in wine here.

Why you should be drink­ing them

Per­haps, in the past, many grow­ers in the big ap­pel­la­tions of AOC Bordeaux and AOC Bordeaux Supérieur made less ef­fort with the white than with the red, in the vine­yard and es­pe­cially in the cel­lars. How­ever, lazi­ness is no longer an op­tion and the re­sults are get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter, com­bin­ing Loire-like crisp­ness with a cer­tain round­ness.

What to drink

Gavin and An­gela Quin­ney have cre­ated a very slick and suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tion at Château Bauduc out­side Bordeaux—it says some­thing that they sup­ply the house wines for Rick Stein and Gor­don Ram­say. The Château Bauduc Blanc 2016 (below, £9.50 each if you buy 6–12 bot­tles di­rect, tele­phone 0800 316 3676; £10.95 from www.fromvine­yards­di­rect.com) is 100% Sau­vi­gnon and made in the mod­ern style, with at­trac­tive grassi­ness on the nose and en­joy­able tex­ture on the palate—it’s fresh, but not thin. Château Saint-jean-de-graves 2015 (£8.49; www.waitrose.com) from AOC Graves has at­trac­tive ripeness and a com­bi­na­tion of goose­berry verve with a richer creami­ness. For more com­plex­ity and su­perb mouth-feel, do try Château Guiraud ‘G’ 2015 (£15.95; www.fromvine yards­di­rect.com )—a steal at the price.

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