What to drink this week
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.