The Demystified Vine

Taking the mystery out of wine exploration!

Hello Wine Lovers!

I’m going to lure you into the wine store with a good reason. Try the 2010 Bordeaux Blanc ‘La Grande Cuvee’ from Vins & Vignobles Dourthe.

Go.
Okay, for those of you who are still sitting in front of your screens reading this, I shall continue. I shall ask you a few questions first:

Do you enjoy Sauvignon Blanc?
What style(s) of Sauvignon Blanc do you like?
Are you a fan of New Zealand style Sauvignon Blancs over French styles?
Would you be open to trying what I was hoping you’d already be out the door heading to purchase?

Only you can answer any of those questions, but ponder this: it is not often that you’ll see a single varietal wine coming out of Bordeaux for historical reasons. (More on that later.) This wine, my friends, is special. And good. Now, normally I wouldn’t begin a sentence with a conjunction; it’s just not cool. However, this Bordeaux Blanc is cool, and at about $13.99/bottle, you cannot go wrong.

Photo credit to their website: http://www.dourthe.com/

Clear pale lemon green, crisp, and refreshing, this Vins & Vignobles Dourthe wine calls the shots on what a classic Sauvignon Blanc is. Both interestingly and surprisingly, I began the debate during my blind tasting about whether or not this wine followed New World or Old world style because of its characteristics. The bouquet and palate combination on this wine almost tricked half of my class into thinking it was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc! There were a few of us who suspected that Tim Ellison, our Sommelier instructor, might throw a curve ball at us during our blind tasting on Bordeaux, and well, we got a curve ball – just a French one!

As mentioned earlier, Bordeaux does not tend to produce single-varietal wines. Historically speaking, Bordeaux’s moderate maritime climate provides this lovely region with 950mm of rain per year. As a result of the heavy rainfall, and because different varieties of grape blossom, fruit, flower, etc. at different times, Bordeaux winemakers found that they never really harvested a full crop for any one varietal. So, in order to make enough wine, they had to blend.

For a Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc, this La Grande Cuvee showed classic notes of distinct herbaceousness. I actually got hints of asparagus from the bouquet, which tickled me pink. Grass, citrus tones, and a particularly clean stoney minerality were all par for the bouquet course. The website clearly states that:

The Sauvignon Blanc undergoes a highly specialised vinification process to unleash the varietal’s aromatic concentration, while retaining great freshness.

On the palate, this youthful wine reveals high acid, medium alcohol, medium body, and a medium  intensity experience of grassiness, dried hay, and white stone. Definitely a “drink now” kind of wine, you’ll be going back to buy another bottle to share with your friends at a dinner party. Fall and winter isn’t just for red wines, you know.

Paired perfectly with mixed greens and lemon poppy seed dressing.

Cheers!

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