Château La Louvière Blanc 2010, Pessac-Léognan, was one of the highlights of a tasting with family and friends last night, reports David Rowe from Bordeaux. The colour is definitely straw, rather than the “pale straw” description we use so often for younger Bordeaux whites. But the remarkable freshness of peach and apricot fruit on the nose belies the age of the wine and promises interesting possibilities for future development in bottle.
While there is just a hint of oak on the nose, it is more pronounced on the palate but remains perfectly in balance with the fresh fruity flavours and the refreshing acidity on the finish.
Unfortunately it costs three to four times as much as the other star among the whites tasted: Château Bonnet 2013, Entre-Deux-Mers, bottled under screwcap and, like La Louvière, also from the André Lurton stable. This wine is, I suspect, as close to perfection as you could achieve in the Entre-Deux-Mers in 2013 (not forgetting that Bonnet’s vineyards in Grézillac were badly hit by hail in the middle of summer that year). A textbook example of modern white Bordeaux winemaking, with delicious citrus fruit aromas and each of the three grape varieties – Sauvignon, Sémillon and Muscadelle – making its own contribution to the palate.
Nearby Château Thieuley 2013, Bordeaux Blanc Sec, was a disappointment by comparison, especially given that it has been very impressive in previous vintages: reductive aromas and lack of fruit on the palate.This piece was contributed by David Rowe. David is a wine consultant based in Bordeaux and the former editor of Decanter Magazine.