Chateau Haut Rian Blanc 2019
The 2019 Chateau Haut Rian Bordeaux Blanc features aromas of white flowers and lemon and a crisp, crunchy palette. The fresh fruit characteristic of Sauvignon Blanc is perfect match for the richness of Sémillon.
Blend: 60% Sémillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc
In 1988, Michel and Isabelle Dietrich bought Chateau Haut-Rian, after living for 6 years in Clare Valley, Australia. Michel was the manager and head winemaker at Chateau Remy. Both of them come from winemaking families: Michel grew up in Kaysersberg, Alsace, and his wife Isabelle in the Montagne de Reims area in Champagne. Michel earned his viticulture and oenology degrees at the Collège de Beaune and the University of Bordeaux. Their daughter Pauline Lapierre joined them in 2017.
Their property is located 18 miles southeast of the city of Bordeaux, in the tiny village of Rions. The vineyards spread over eighty hectares encompassing parts of Premières Côtes de Bordeaux and Entre-Deux-Mers, bordering the village of Cadillac and near the Garonne River, ”where the vines can see the water but won’t get their feet wet." The climate there is warmer than the maritime Médoc, but also drier. All of the vineyards are on gentle slopes facing south and southeast, and the topsoil consists of loose pebbles over limestone.
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.
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. Popularized in Bordeaux, the blend is often mimicked throughout the New World. Somm Secret—Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but they can be served before, during or after a meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico, oysters with a spicy mignonette or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage.