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A refined and aromatic white Bordeaux blend of semillon, sauvignon blanc and sauvignon gris. Made by Society favourites the Courselle family in the Entre-Deux-Mers.
Product Code: BW6731
View all products by Château Thieuley
Francis Courselle was one of the first to show the Bordelais how to make dry white wine that people want to drink. While teaching at Bordeaux University, he was putting his ideas into practice with considerable success at his charming property Château Thieuley at La Sauve, in the centre of Entre-Deux-Mers. His secret lies in harvesting high-quality fruit and preserving its aroma and character in bottle. His two daughters have now followed in his footsteps and are making better wine than ever at this excellent property.
If the word Bordeaux is mentioned most people take it to refer to red wine. Though a good deal of white wine is made in Bordeaux, and some of the finest white Bordeaux are only entitled to that generic appellation contrôlée nomenclature, it is reds that are most associated with the region.The Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur regional appellation contrôlées are spread throughout the Bordeaux region. A bright colour, a clean, deep, appealing red-fruit nose (with hints of vanilla and spice if the wines have been aged in oak) and the classic balance of alcohol, tannin and acidity are the hallmarks. These modest designations verify that the wine comes from a particular region and conforms to certain criteria, such as alcohol content, but cannot be relied upon as a guarantee of quality. Many good wines are made in little-known appellations, just as mediocre bottles can have grand origins, so the key is to follow a property or grower you like and trust.The climate of Bordeaux is deeply influenced by its proximity to water, whether it is the sea, the estuary or the rivers, all have a major impact on the grapes grown and the wine made with them. The maritime climate is mild and gently warmed by the Gulf Stream which has a ready conduit deep inland via the Gironde estuary. The estuary acts as a moderator of the extremes of winter and summer. Summers are generally hot and autumns fairly long and mild. Winter and spring too are relatively mild but also often wet, and overall, give or take the odd and very rare major weather event, the climate is generally stable and consistent. Dampness is indeed on of the major difficulties of wine production and it is no coincidence that the anti-fungal spray ‘Bordeaux Mixture’ was developed here in the 19th century. In terms of weather events the two that are often encountered, sometimes with devastating effects, are hail and frost. Bear in mind that Bordeaux lies on a latitude of 45 degrees and should you travel across the Atlantic on that latitude you would make landfall in Nova Scotia. Without the Gulf Stream and proximity to bodies of water Bordeaux would be a much more marginal climate for making wine.Red wines are the biggest part of the wine production of Bordeaux. Some 55,000 hectares of vines are employed in the making of Bordeaux AC and Bordeaux Supérieur AC. The most planted red grape is merlot, followed by cabernet sauvignon. Most of these generic Bordeaux are made outside of more specific communes, and indeed may be made from grapes grown anywhere in the Bordeaux region, and it would be strange indeed, in commercial terms, if a grower could label his wine as something more prestigious but chose the Bordeaux AC for his bottles. The Entre-Deux-Mers region, between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, is home to much of the production of generic Bordeaux on its clay, or sand and clay soils with occasional outcrops of limestone and gravels.However, there are regulations and strictures that must be adhered to. To qualify for Bordeaux AC status the wine must naturally achieve 10% abv, and for Supérieur status the requirement is 10.5%. In actual fact the majority of wines are between 11% and 12.5 % abv, and as the climate warms up and vine canopy management and vineyard techniques continue to improve this may rise. Most reds from these appellations are designed to be drunk young.At this level some of the fruit is machine harvested, though much is still picked by hand because of the narrow row width of most Bordeaux vineyards, and the winemaking is fairly standard, with temperature control now the norm and chaptalisation less common than it used to be. Barrels are not often used for these wines due to their expense, though large wooden vats or hand me down barrels previously used by a wealthier producer might be utilised. Such second-hand barrels require great care to be taken to maintain them.Co-operatives still make most of these generic bottlings, but there are many smaller estates, many of them conscientious and making excellent wines that represent terrific value, that are finding the going tough in the prevailing economic climate and in the face of stiff competition at their price point from wines made in places where conditions and costs are more propitious for making fruity affordable wines. Négociants operate within Bordeaux and a good deal of the wine or grapes that make generic Bordeaux pass through the hands of companies like Maison Sichel and Dourthe.
Unusual circumstances. Unusual solutions. Visits to Bordeaux at harvest time by our Bordeaux buyer Tim Sykes showed him the potential of 2019 clarets, which carefully organised tastings in spring 2020 bore out with some wonderful wines. What’s more, the extraordinary circumstances of lockdown in 2020 made some châteaux offer much reduced prices. Two compelling reasons for regarding the vintage well as a buyer and drinker. The 2019 Bordeaux vintage is unquestionably very good indeed, and for châteaux with their vines in the best terroirs, potentially excellent. Weather conditions overall were hot and dry, but the remarkable characteristic of the vintage is that the wines (both reds and white) have maintained freshness, with lovely cool, lifted fruit character. And whilst alcohol levels are above average for the past few years there is little evidence of this in the glass, thanks to a seam of fresh acidity running through the wines. Balance is the key to a great wine and the 2019s are harmoniously balanced.Tim Sykes made two trips to Bordeaux last year during the harvest, once towards the end of September to visit the right bank appellations of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, and then again during the second week of October for the Médoc, Graves and Sauternes. Both visits revealed an abundance of small, healthy grapes arriving at the cellar doors.In normal years Tim would make two subsequent week-long trips to Bordeaux in April to taste the new vintage, but as we all know 2020 was not a normal year. Having been forced to cancel his trips he, like Bordeaux buyers around the world, was unable to visit individual châteaux to taste barrel samples of the 2019 vintage in the normal way, so instead he was sent, and tasted, dozens of samples here in the UK. Whilst this is not the same as tasting ‘sur place’, it enabled him to form an opinion of the individual wines and develop a clear overall picture of the style and quality of the vintage. The 2019 growing season was not straightforward, and vineyard managers needed to be vigilant, but those who kept on top of things were rewarded with a fine and sizeable crop. In the winery, low-temperature fermentations and gentle extractions were the keys to producing attractively balanced wines.
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Decanter 7th Oct 2020
"Grand success for
2019, this well-established estate has once again proven its mettle. Pale lemon
hue and an expressive nose of lilac, passion fruit and lime. Sure, the palate
is round and rich but the citrus adds freshness and lift to the wine. Very well
balanced, long finish, a wine that punches above its weight and thus offers a
fine price/quality ratio. Can go toe to toe with roast turkey."
"Very pleasant, well balanced, classic dry white Bordeaux. Just a satisfying glassful of well made and easy to enjoy wine . An open without fuss all rounder, with or without food, this makes a perfect 'house' white."
Mr R Piggott (28-Jul-2020)
"Lovely smooth finish to this wine, taste of vanilla, no acidity would buy again
Kevin A Mager Esq (27-Jul-2020)
"Please note this review is for the 2017 vintage.
A truly pleasurable wine and great value. A light green colour with a fruity and full nose, lemon and melon were dominant. Tasted quite luscious, minerally, fresh fruit with a sound and good aftertaste. Would recommend it."
Mr Derek Saul (08-Apr-2020)
"This has got to be one of the best and most consistent of the lesser white Bordeaux wines on the market and very reasonably priced as well. Not a huge finish but full of flavour and you can taste both the Sauvignon and Semillon grapes. One of my regular purchases. Philip Cambray 28.12.2019"
Philip A Cambray (31-Dec-2019)
"Really enjoyed this wine. Just the right amount of Semillion to make it interesting in very positive way."
Mr Nic Downes (15-Feb-2020)
"Enjoying the 2015 with a lemon sole, spinach and new potatoes. Mrs Pygott is correct. The more mature wineI was fine when opened. Certainly no sharpness. I shall lay down some more."
Mr Robert D E Battersby (23-May-2019)
"On opening it was a little sharp.
24 hours later it had mellowed, the qualities of semillon coming through. I recommend keeping this wine if you wish to fully enjoy it. "
Mrs Caroline Pygott (25-Mar-2019)
"Like others, I found this totally underwhelming. No depth, no length and no real character. Very poor value. One of the worst WS wines that I have bought. "
Mr Arthur Butler (18-Jul-2018)
For a (near) £10 Bordeaux white this left me with a feeling of been stung. TWS has many more whites that deliver better value at under £10. This should have much more class in the glass than it provides: not unpleasant, but no where near enough substance or finesse for the price. As guided by TWS' start rating, this is 'a fine wine that disappoints'."
Mr Mark Chandler (22-Sep-2017)
"Thought this might be an interesting blend but found it totally underwhelming . Nothing to it, disappointing!"
Mr Terence Eastham (22-Sep-2017)
Decanter (5th Jun 2017)
"The owners describe
it as a 'party wine; but it is more than that. Pleasing notes of pear, peach
and grapefruit with excellent palate substance. Rich and even somewhat serious.
Delicious. And an excellent price. - Panos Kakaviatos"
"I am normally a red wine drinker, but drank this with some fish and thoroughly enjoyed it. Not as acidic as some white wines, smooth and very refreshing on a hot day."
Mr Stewart Cusworth (24-Jul-2017)
Mr David McDowell (31-May-2017)
Miss Claire Chapman (13-Mar-2017)
Cambrian News (26th Jan 2017)
"A blend of sauvignon
blanc, semillon and one of the more unusual grapes permitted in white Bordeaux,
sauvignon gris. This wine has notes of citrus peel and custard cream biscuits. - Bev Thomas"
Shropshire Star (7th Dec 2016)
"Made by the fabulous
Courselle sisters, Sylvie and Marie who co-run Château Thieuley, this Bordeaux
blanc is a blend of sauvignon blanc, semillon and a touch of one of the more
unusual grapes permitted in white Bordeaux, sauvignon gris. Lovely white with notes
of citrus peel. Sylvie Courselle likes this wine at Christmas because:
"This is the perfect aperitif, festive party wine or match with a
Christmassy seafood platter of lobster, prawns and oysters.""
Shropshire Star (3rd Aug 2016)
A particularly fresh sauvignon; dry, scented and
immediately appetising, it goes perfectly with seafood but also cheese.
Sunday Telegraph (17th Jul 2016)
well-judged, nicely poised white with notes of citrus peel and custard cream
biscuits, mainly sauv blanc and semillon with a little sauvignon gris. Great
- Susy Atkins
Sunday Mirror (11th Jul 2016)
of sauvignon and semillon grapes make it a fresh, crisp drink with a smooth
edge. Lovely with chicken or creamy pasta dishes and risotto - or just on its
Decanter (1st Jun 2016)
reliable name, owned by the Courselle family, and once again delivers a
highly enjoyable and well-finessed white Bordeaux. Contemporary feel majoring
in citrus flavours.
- Jane Anson
"We were a bit underwhelmed with this - despite the favourable reviews given to it by some prestigious wine critics. The bouquet was modest - some fruit but we found it hard to identify. On the palate it was dry and crisp with a slightly acidic finish. Disappointing."
Mr Michael J Webber (31-Aug-2016)
"As good as ever. Why white Bordeaux is such a tough sell when it's a wonderfully versatile and subtle partner for lighter fish, vegetarian and white meat dishes is beyond me. Or you could just enjoy it on its own sitting on your patio - if the sun ever decides to shine!"
Mr Richard Holmes (25-Feb-2016)
JancisRobinson.com (1st Dec 2015)
"Has the herby, grassy
vibrancy of a Margaret River style – modern, really expressive and with rich
leesy texture. Charming and flavoursome. - Richard Hemming"
Decanter (27th May 2015)
"A blend of semillon
(50%), sauvignon blanc (35%) and sauvignon gris (15%) this has a freshly-cut
grass and hay attack, nice juiciness, but with a touch of sweetness coming
through on the mid palate. - Jane Anson"
winegang.com (1st May 2015)
"A perky, fresh and
understated Bordeaux blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc from two winemaking
sisters based in the Entre Deux Mers, this new-vintage dry white has a really
attractive herbal-grassy tone to complement its clean, incisive citrus acidity."
JancisRobinson.com (31st Mar 2015)
low-key nose. Emphatic palate grab and some smokiness. Extremely good for its
appellation. Good Value. - Jancis Robinson"
"We find this wine light and rich to the taste. Superb with roast chicken (or any food). We cannot get enough of this, it is one of our favourite wines.
I note it is out of stock again, will have to guard our reserves carefully."
Mr Derek Morland (07-Jun-2014)
JancisRobinson.com (20th Nov 2013)
"16/20 This is getting
on a bit by the moon though it still tastes nice and fresh. Very respectably
made. Could be enjoyed both with and without food. Lightly chewy on the end. "
"I've always been a fan of this wine - it's a great match for all sorts of fishy food and works surprising well with a gingery stir-fry. It's a subtle unobtrusive sort of wine that doesn't shout any particular varietal credentials but just gets on with being fresh yet textured."
Mr Richard Holmes (06-Mar-2013)
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