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Chateau Lespault-Martillac Blanc 2016

Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
  • JS93
  • JD92
  • RP91
  • WS91
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • JS94
  • JD92
  • RP92
  • JS92
  • RP91
  • WS90
  • JS92
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JS 93
James Suckling
Fresh, lemon-jelly bouquet, but it also has some creamy richness which neatly balances the lively acidity on the palate. Long, polished finish with some salty minerality. A blend of 70 per cent sauvignon and 30 per cent semillon. Drink or hold.
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
Plenty of lemon blossom, white grapefruit, and floral notes emerge from the 2016 Château Lespault Martillac Blanc, which is based largely on Sauvignon yet includes 30% Sémillon. Aged in 35% new French oak, it’s medium-bodied, has good freshness and acidity, top-notch balance, and outstanding length, all making for a delicious Bordeaux Blanc to drink over the coming decade or more.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Chateau Lespault-Martillac 2016 Blanc is a blend of 75% Sauvignon Bland and 25% Sémillon. It displays good intensity on the nose with grapefruit, peach and mango aromas that are nicely defined. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity, mango and papaya, quite saline in the mouth with good definition on what feels like a weighty finish. Tasted twice with consistent notes, this is a commendable dry white from Olivier Bernard.
Barrel Sample: 89-91 Points
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Fresh, showing lively cut to the mix of lemon pith, verbena and white peach flavors, with extra minerally zip through the finish. A light echo of shortbread lurks, which will likely blossom with a little time in bottle. Drink now through 2022.
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Chateau Lespault-Martillac

Chateau Lespault-Martillac

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Chateau Lespault-Martillac, France - Other regions
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Chateau Lespault-Martillac is one of the oldest estates in Martillac, and wine has been made here since Roman times. It is located on a magnificent gravelly rise overlooking the commune. The chateau, an 18th century manor house, and the newly-renovated cellars are located in the heart of small vineyard with old Merlot vines producing low yields of high-quality grapes.

Starting with the 2009 vintage, the owners, the Jean-Claude Bolleau family, have entrusted management of this estate to Domaine de Chevalier, a Graves great growth. Olivier Bernard and his team have undertaken to make this wine with an outstanding potential one of the jewels of the Pessac-Leognan appellation. In order to do so, they use the same methods as the finest great growths: ploughing the soil, sustainable viticulture, plot-by-plot vineyard management, hand picking and careful sorting of grapes, their transfer by gravity flow into small 50-80 hectolitre fermentation vats, finely-tuned extraction, malolactic fermentation, ageing in barrel on the lees, etc.

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Pessac-Leognan

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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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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 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.

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