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Chateau Bonnet Bordeaux Blanc 2003

Bordeaux White Blends from Bordeaux, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    "To prove that white Bordeaux can age as well as white Burgundy, here comes André Lurton with his wood-aged Château Bonnet. It's a finely made wine, with well-judged wood and ripe, but crisp fruit. It's certainly young at the moment and will repay aging for five years." - WE

    Critical Acclaim

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    Chateau Bonnet

    Chateau Bonnet

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    Chateau Bonnet, Bordeaux, France
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    The vineyards of Chateau Bonnet were planted during the 16th century, by the Reynier family, wealthy merchants from Libourne. In a mere 30 years, the landscape around the house was transformed, as vines replaced forest on the surrounding slopes.

    Château Bonnet lies to the North of the Entre-Deux-Mers, on the clay-chalk slopes of the commune of Grézillac, overlooking the Dordogne valley some 10km south of Saint Emilion. The estate dates back to the 17th century; when André Lurton took over in 1956, it comprised 30 hectares of vineyard, which he immediately undertook to renovate and develop.

    Today, half Bonnet's production is devoted to a highly popular dry white (AOC Entre-Deux-Mers), a blend of Sauvignon, Sémillon and Muscadelle grapes, carefully vinified to preserve the freshness and bouquet of these varietals.

    The other half is composed of classic red varietals - Merlots, Cabernet Francs and Cabernet Sauvignons - producing noteworthy clarets widely held to be superior to the general run of the appellation.

    Bordeaux

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    One of the most important wine regions of the world, Bordeaux is a powerhouse producer of wines of all colors, sweetness levels, and price points. Separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a coastal pine forest, this relatively flat region has a mild maritime climate, marked by cool wet winters and warm summers. Annual weather differences create significant vintage variations, making Bordeaux an exciting region to follow.

    The Gironde estuary, a defining feature of Bordeaux, separates most of the region into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. Farther inland, where the Gironde splits into the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers, the bucolic, rolling hills of the area in between, called Entre-Deux-Mers, is a source of great quality, approachable reds and whites.

    The Left Bank, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, contains the Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes, as well as the region’s most famous chateaux. Merlot is important here as the perfect blending grape for Cabernet Sauvignon adding plush fruit and softening Cabernet's sometimes hefty tannins. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec may also be used in the Left Bank blends.

    Merlot is the principal variety of the Right Bank; Cabernet Franc adds structure and complexity to Merlot, creating wines that are concentrated, supple, and more imminently ready for drinking, compared with their Left Bank counterparts. Key appellations of the Right Bank include St. Emilion and Pomerol.

    Dry and sweet white wines are produced throughout the region from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and sometimes Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris. Some of the finest dry whites can be found in the the Graves sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, while Sauternes is undisputedly the gold standard for sweet wines. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are made in Bordeaux as well.

    Bordeaux White Blends

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    Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy, Bordeaux white blends typically consist of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Often, a small amount of Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris is included for added interest. This blend was popularized in the Bordeaux region of France (where it also comprises outstanding sweet wines like Sauternes and Barsac), but is often mimicked throughout the New World, particularly in California, Washington, and Australia.

    In the Glass

    Sémillon provides the background to this blend, with a relatively full body and an oily texture. Sauvignon Blanc adds acidity and lots of bright fruit flavor, particularly white grapefruit, lime, and freshly cut grass. Used in smaller proportions, Muscadelle can contribute fresh floral notes, while Sauvignon Gris is less aromatic but offers ripe, juicy fruit on the palate. These wines run the gamut from unoaked, refreshing, and easy to drink to serious, complex, and barrel-aged. The latter style, usually with a higher percentage of Sémillon, can develop aromas of ginger, chamomile, and dried orange peel. The dessert wines produced by these blends, often with the help of noble rot, can have lush stone fruit and honey character.

    Perfect Pairings

    Crisp, dry Bordeaux white blends are the perfect accompaniment for raw or lightly cooked seafood, especially shellfish. A more structured, Sémillon-based bottling can stand up to richer fish, chicken, or pork dishes in white sauces. These blends also work well with a variety of vegetables and fresh herbs, like asparagus, peas, basil, and tarragon. Sweet dessert wines are traditionally enjoyed with strong blue cheeses, foie gras, or fruit-based desserts.

    Sommelier Secret

    Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but smart sommeliers know that they can be served at any time—before, during, or after the meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico or oysters with a spicy mignonette, or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce, or even fried chicken.

    GLO8260115_2003 Item# 84584