This is part of a series of posts about the wines offered at Slows BBQ during the summer of 2015
2012 White Bordeaux, Bernard Magrez.
This is essentially a dry Sauvignon Blanc tamed with a small proportion of Semillon – it’s a customary practice in Bordeaux. The slight herbaceous grapefruit character pairs nicely with blackened catfish
If Pinot Grigio is the antithesis of alpha white – buttery oaken Chardonnay – then Sauvignon blanc is, well, the “other” antithesis. Think of white wine styles in the shape of a triangle.*
What about the proportion of Semillon? Why focus only on the 60% of this wine that is Sauvignon Blanc? Because compared to Sauvignon, Semillon contributes very little in terms of flavor. Think of it as a neutral-tasting buffer, offering a little bit in the way of body and texture.
Descriptors commonly associated with Sauvignon Blanc are: grass, grapefruit, cat pee, tomatillo, gooseberry, and sometimes a sulfury snap like the smell of a flint being struck on a cigarette lighter.
One thing to watch for is the association of the region of Bordeaux with red wines (see the Chiroulet Merlot and Pont de Gassac for reference.) Bordeaux is so commonly associated with red wine that we need to add the qualifier to anything from the region that is not red.
*This chart is for dry table wines. Riesling, if it’s dry, would occupy a space roughly equivalent to Sauvignon Blanc, although confusing these two grapes and their flavors would be nearly impossible.