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Chateau Monbousquet Blanc 2005

Bordeaux White Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • RP92
13% ABV
  • RP92
  • WS90
  • WS93
  • WS91
  • WE91
  • RP90
  • RP90
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5.0 1 Ratings
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5.0 1 Ratings
13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine made from Sauvignon Blanc and Gris demonstrates Saint-Emilion's potential for great white winemaking. The key is in understanding the terroir to achieve the mineral expression fundamental to a complex white wine. The wine's golden-yellow color is brilliant and limpid. Aromatic intensity is expressed through fresh citrus peel, lime, lemon, and passion fruit—a remarkable complexity that is in constant evolution as the wine continues to breathe. The wine's attack is fresh and full, with richness balanced by an acidity of fine structure and quality. The mid-palate is smooth, showing great volume. Although oak is present, it has become well-incorporated by reducing the excessive barrel aging of previous vintages. This change from the formerly massive style is most welcome. This is a lively wine showing fine mineral character and a good, long finish that is mouthwatering and flavorful—it is the type of wine which makes you want another glass. The 2005 vintage is well-known for its red wines, but the whites offer immense pleasure, too. The wine shines with a meal of Brittany shrimp, roast crayfish, lobster salad, or filet of bass with oysters. Another good choice would be roast poultry with winter mushrooms. And don't forget the goat cheese.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
More Burgundian than Bordeaux-like, Gerard Perse’s 2005 white Monbousquet exhibits rich, medium to full-bodied flavors of smoky oak, mango, white peaches, honeysuckle, and nectarine. While delicious, its aging potential is suspect, and I suggest consuming it over the next 4-5 years
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Chateau Monbousquet

Chateau Monbousquet

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Chateau Monbousquet, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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Chateau Monbousquet's origin goes back to 1540. The chateau has changed hands many times throughout the year, but there were two very significant periods in its history. From 1682 to 1826, Monbousquet was owned by the De Carles family. The chateau itself was built in 1779, and its fame grew in the 19th Century, under the short ownership of Count de Vassal-Monviel. The Count owned the estate from 1858 until 1877, enlarging the vineyard to its current size and significantly increasing production.

In 1993, Gerard Perse took ownership of Monbousquet, leading to many great accomplishments and a complete renovation, including a new drainage system, a barrel ageing cellar and state-of-the-art equipment introduced. Located 500 meters south of Saint-Emilion, the wines had ranked, for many years before Perse's time, somewhere in the middle ranges for Saint-Emilion wines. After over a decade of ownership, Monbousquet has become one of the region's leading wines.

St. Emilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vienyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

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.

VCJBWPII_1033_05_2005 Item# 101785