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Flat front label of wine

Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc 2008

  • RP93
  • WE92
  • WS90
750ML / 13% ABV
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The vineyard for Château Carbonnieux's white wine is situated on clay-limestone slopes which support the region's famous Garonnaise gravel. These rare and respected terroirs produce exceptional white wines whose superior character has been recognized for centuries. When young, Carbonnieux's white wine charms with its freshness, its purity and its fruity, floral aromatic intensity. When mature, it develops notes of dried and preserved fruit which offer numerous opportunities for satisfying food matches.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This superb 2008 exhibits lots of fig, honeysuckle, orange zest and lemon butter notes. It should drink well for 15-20 years.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Initially severe, the structure then opens out and gives a delicious tension between ripe fruit and that structure. This will age.
Barrel Sample: 90-92 Points
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Pretty flavors of peach and beeswax are accented by grapefruit and green almond notes in this lively, medium-bodied white, with bright acidity and a fresh, minerally finish. Not complex, but delivers a lovely purity. Drink now through 2016.
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Chateau Carbonnieux

Chateau Carbonnieux

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Chateau Carbonnieux, France
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The history of Carbonnieux goes back a very long way, and records show that wine was made there at least as early as the 12th century. Benedictine monks from Sainte-Croix abbey in Bordeaux replanted and renovated the estate in the 18th century. They took advantage of the exceptionally pale, clear color of the white wine to label it as "Carbonnieux mineral water", which they then proceeded to ship to the sultan of Turkey.

Marc Perrin acquired and restored the chateau in 1956. His son, Antony, currently manages the estate. The gravelly soil at Carbonnieux is perfectly drained thanks to the Eau Blanche stream that carries away any excess water. The 85 hectares of vines are evenly divided between red and white wine varieties. The white wine is fermented and aged in barrel for 10 months. The red wine is aged for 15 to 18 months in barrel, depending on the quality and characteristics of the vintage.

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Recognized for its superior reds as well as whites, Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank claims classified growths for both—making it quite unique in comparison to its neighboring Médoc properties.

Pessac’s Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth located outside of the Médoc, is said to have been the first to conceptualize fine red wine in Bordeaux back in the late 1600s. The estate, along with its high-esteemed neighbors, La Mission Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pique-Caillou and Chateau Pape-Clément are today all but enveloped by the city of Bordeaux. The rest of the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan are in clearings of heavily forested area or abutting dense suburbs.

Arid sand and gravel on top of clay and limestone make the area unique and conducive to growing Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc as well as the grapes in the usual Left Bank red recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and miniscule percentages of Petit Verdot and Malbec.

The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky blue and black fruit, mushroom, forest, tobacco, iodine and a smooth and intriguing texture.

Its best whites show complexity, longevity and no lack of exotic twists on citrus, tropical and stone fruit with pronounced floral and spice characteristics.

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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 intrigue. 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" called botrytis, can have lush stone fruit and honey characteristics.

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 astute 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, oysters with a spicy mignonette or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce or even fried chicken.

WWH117506_2008 Item# 103907

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