10-jan-07-bouscaut.JPGI picked up a couple of bottles of white wine yesterday.  As you’ll have gathered as a regular reader of this week-old blog (if not from its title) I tend to drink more red wine than white.  But I do like the odd drop of the cold stuff and need to keep supplies for the ladies (sorry, that sounds bloody awful, doesn’t it?).  I’d avoided whites from Bordeaux (generally buying from the Loire or Burgundy) but this was, to be honest, entirely based on my own ignorance.   

Given my recently increased interest, I realised that I really should be giving Bordeaux’s dry whites more of a hearing (clearly its sweet whites have an outstanding reputation).  After all, I thought, if anyone in Bordeaux is producing dry white over red (and therefore doing away with the potential marketing benefits of the Bordeaux= red wine association) it’s got to be pretty good, hasn’t it?  I realise that this might be slightly flawed logic, but reading Oz, there are clearly some examples of excellent white wines from the region, so I thought I’d pick up a couple and see for myself. 


Michelle and I popped into the E.Leclerc supermarket yesterday for a browse (armed with Oz, of course).  We bought a Château Thieuley “Cuvée Francis Courselle” 2005 (from the standard Bordeaux AC) for 8,90 euros and a Château Bouscaut 2004 “Grand Cru Classé de Graves” Pessac-Léognan for 12,45 euros.   We have had examples of the Thieuley previously, and remember them being pretty tasty, and the château gets a couple of positive mentions in the Oz book.  It was also mentioned in a large feature (front page, in fact) that recently appeared in Time magazine on the state of the Bordeaux wine region (I plan a post regarding that soon).    Châteaux Thieuley is run by sisters Marie and Sylvie Courselle, who recently took the vineyard over from their father, whose own father had bought it in the 1950s.  Marie’s 30 and Sylvie’s 28.  Hang on…a couple of young French women with their own vineyard.  Sounds like a place I should be visiting. 

Interestingly, it’s one of the few (but growing) Bordeaux châteaux that puts the grape variety on the label (in this case Sauvignon-Sémillon) something that I’ve previously mentioned is an area where I think the French wine industry in general falls down. 

Château Bouscaut is another chateau owned by a woman – Sophie Lurton-Coglombes – and the 2004, according to Oz, is a “watershed vintage” for the château.  Oz suggests five or six years bottle age for the Chateau Bouscaut but it’s already in the fridge so I’d be surprised if it sees five or six days.  Still, we’re tasting and, if it’s great, I’ll certainly consider buying a load and laying it down. 

For standard Bordeaux whites like the Thieuley, Oz recommends drinking them young.  In fact, he suggests opening them as soon as you’ve got them chilled down.  Which is what we did.  And it was great – dry, crisp, fruity but not too much so and unoaked, which I like.  Definitely worth getting some more as an everyday drinker.  And definitely worth a visit, I’d say.