By Sunny Wong, 18 Novemeber, 2020
A mature Bordeaux Blanc with nuttiness, beeswax interplayed with tropical fruit flavours, is a great option for a winter dinner. Fermented and matured in French oak, the wine often goes into a muted period before it revives and delivers some of the most iconic and unique flavours. The traditional Bordeaux blend comprises Sauvignon Blanc, for the citrus aromas and racy acidity, as well as a fair share of Sémillon which offers roundness and ageability to the wines. They need time to integrate with each other and become harmonised.
Château Haut Brion - Château Haut Brion Blanc 1989
Château Haut Brion Blanc, only produced in a very small quantity, is the unicorn for Bordeaux Blanc. With 53% Sémillon and 47% Sauvignon Blanc, and matured in 100% new French barrels, the wine shows the highest level of craftmanship of blending and use of oak, particularly on aromatic grape varieties. At 13% alcohol, this wine presents a sense of elegance and grace. In my humble opinion, the 1989 is one the wines to showcase the fullest potential a dry white wine can deliver from anywhere.
Château La Mission Haut Brion - La Mission Haut Brion Blanc 2010
In strong competition to its neighbour, Haut Brion Blanc, is Clarence Dillon’s sister – Château La Mission Haut Brion Blanc. Here, with 81% Sémillon, the wine offers more softness and richness. The vintage 2010 had an exceptionally dry growing season that delivered high-quality pristine fruits with refreshing acidity. This wine just entered its tertiary plane, developing flavours such as mandarin orange peel. It would be a delicious wine to drink now, yet it also has a decade or more of potential ageing ahead of it.
Château Margaux - Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux 2014
Another white wine from a First Growth, yet it remains unclassified. In contrast to the previous two, this wine is made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc and the wine has much more freshness and fruity character. It is also more scented and approachable when young. The vintage 2014 was again exceptional for whites, and with its penetrating intensity and acidity, it is destined to age well.
In fact, Bordeaux white is one of my favourite wines. It shows the great art of blending, and at this high level, gives a wine of concertation, balance and long ageing capability. If you are interested in trying some, at The Fine Wine Experience we have a great range of Bordeaux Blanc waiting for you.