About the Wine
is more famous for its red wines than its whites but don't under estimate them! There are some superb White Bordeaux wines out there with impeccable reputations and long histories. The grapes used are Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle and the white wines are usually crisp and dry with aromas of figs, flowers, honey and grass. The Sauvignon Blanc gives an acidic crispness while the Semillon rounds out the wine and can add a rich honey flavour. The early-ripening Muscadelle adds lush fruitiness. These same three grapes are responsible for world-famous sweet Bordeaux
such as Château d'Yquem.
* Soil and vineyards
Vineyards ideally suited to producing dry white wines are located on a great variety of soils and sub-soils. Gravelly soil is the speciality of the Garonne river's left bank. The right bank vineyards are composed of soil that is more a mixture of clay and limestone, or clay and sand. The triple alliance of soil, sub-soil and climate explains the amaizing diversity and individual character of Bordeaux
* Grape varieties
The elegant arome, softness and vivacity of Bordeaux dry white wines comes from the subtle blend of several grape varieties. Sauvigon Blanc provides a concentrated bouquet and crispness on the palate.
Sémillon gives a delicately scented wine that is very full and round. Muscadelle makes wine that is low in acidity quite round and aromatic. Small quantities of Colombard and Ugni Blanc are sometimes added.
dry whites are made from white-skinned grapes with white juice. As opposed to red wines, the object is not to extract colour or tannin, but rather to preserve the characteristic aroma of the different grape varieties.
1. From harvest to must.
The white wine grape harvest, whether mechanical or by hand, usually precedes that of other types of wine in Bordeaux
. Once the grapes have arrived in the cellar, they are crushed and pressed. The resulting juice called must , is kept apart from pips and grape skins. The slight addition of sulphur avoids the risk of oxidation.
This operation concists of separating the must from suspended particles by mean of natural sedimentation.
3. Alcoholic fermentation
This takes place at low temperature ( 18-20°C/65-68°F ) and lasts from 12 to 15 days.
4. Malolactic fermentation.
wines do not undergo malolactic fermentation in order to retain maximum freshness.
5. Racking and bottling.
The wine is filtered once the alcoholic fermentation has come to an end. Ageing is usually relatively short, and the wine is bottled within a year of the harvest.
* Contribution by oenological research
Certain Bordeaux dry
white wines have been able to take advantage of new techniques developed by modern oenological research such as skin contact, ageing on the yeast and barrel fermentation. These new techniques aim to bring out the best possible aromas out of each grape variety and produce wines that are rounder, "fatter" and longer-lived.
* Taste description of dry white Bordeaux
Each appellation comes from a well-defined geographical area with its own specific rules regarding viticulture, production methods and ageing. Hoewever, there are a certain number of points which all dry white Bordeaux wines share :
- an irrefutable nobleness : the wines are a light briliant color and fruity, crisp and leave a delightful fresh impression on the palate.
- aromatic quality that come to the fore quite quickly. Most dry white Bordeaux
can be enjoyed young, when their fruity, floral aromas are most concentrated.
* Advice on how to serve and appreciate
Dry white Bordeaux
is best stored on its side in a cool, dark place well away from strong odours and vibrations. In order to taste the wine under ideal conditions, it is best to chill it down slowly to the right temperature (8-10°C/46-50°F ). It is advised to use a traditional Bordeaux-shaped wine glass which enhances the bouquet and taste.
Innumerable food and wine matches, from the most classic to the most unexpected, suit dry white Bordeaux
admirably and inspire imaginative cooking : shellfish, seafood, grilled fish, fried fish, steamed fish and fished in a medium-light sauce. It is also well worth discovering the merits of dry white Bordeaux
as an accompaniment to delicatessen meats, cold roast pork, pâtés and even preserved duck. These wines also make a perfect aperitif.