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The standard of dry white Bordeaux was exceptional in the Wine Champions tasting this year. We were delighted to see our unoaked Society-label sauvignon at the head of the pack and bursting with crisp, clean, citrusy charm.
Product Code: BW6681
The Bordeaux region is most renowned for its red wines but there are a number of excellent dry white wines, some of them amongst the most prestigious white wines in France, and indeed the world. White wine represents little more than 10% of the output of the region, from vines grown on about 7,000 hectares. Unlike Bordeaux AC reds, whites under the simple Bordeaux appellation may come from very prestigious properties within a commune because the commune appellation rules sometimes apply only to red wine. Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux and Ygrec, the dry white wines from the legendary producers Château Margaux and Château d’Yquem respectively, can only bear the appellation Bordeaux AC despite each estates’ renown and status as a 1er grand cru classé for red wines.As with reds under the basic Bordeaux appellations, the grapes that make white wine can come from anywhere in Bordeaux (and if made by a négociant company probably will). The principal grape varieties for Bordeaux AC whites are sauvignon blanc, semillon, sauvignon gris, ugni blanc and muscadelle with some smaller plantings of colombard and a little merlot blanc. At one time semillon was the most widely planted grape variety in Bordeaux, red or white, but since public taste moved decisively to red wines it has declined and now plays second fiddle to sauvignon blanc, which has enjoyed a renaissance in the wake of New Zealand’s success with the variety. Indeed, while most Bordeaux wines are a blend of complementary grape varieties, there are now a significant number of single-varietal sauvignons on the market. White grapes, particularly sauvignon blanc, are harvested earlier than reds, unless they are destined for sweet wines, and many are hand-picked because of the narrow width of the rows in many Bordeaux vineyards though machine harvesting is an option for some. Vineyard management, as with reds, is much improved in recent decades, with a much better understanding of vine care and canopy management leading to more reliably ripened and healthy fruit. Those that can afford to will sort the grapes at least once on arrival at the winery, partly because of the inherent problems of fungal attacks in Bordeaux.Winemaking techniques vary, with some producers having the resources to give the juice extended skin contact and the resulting wine some time in oak, though most cannot and do not. The bad old days of excessive use of sulphur are mostly gone and white wines are greatly improved, with better fruit characters across the board and terrific freshness and balance. The best wines are world class and many provide excellent value.Bordeaux whites have a very pale yellow colour when young which will deepen to straw yellow with age. Pessac-Léognan whites and those vinified in oak are generally richer in colour and flavour and favour more elaborate fish and white-meat dishes.
The Bordeaux dry whites of 2019 are excellent this year, with an almost exotic edge, but underscored with the hallmark freshness of the vintage, and good aromatic expression.
"Very crisp sauvignon blanc"
I would recommend this wine
"Dangerously moreish (!) - this fruity but dry wine slipped down with great ease. Pleasant but not overpowering nose. A great aperitif"
I would recommend this wine
"A pleasant change from our usual Marlborough"
"Very crisp sauvignon blanc"
There are no press reviews for this product.
"I bought this to make up a mixed case, it is relatively cheap at under £8 and I think some reviewers were expecting a £20 wine for their money. My view, generally preferring unoaked Chardonnay or dry Alsatian Gewürztraminer, is that it is well made, floral, well balanced acidity, fresh and with decent length. Certainly on my list of buy agains.
Stop press!!! Just seen the spell checker puts unpacked for unoaked. Never had unpacked Chardonnay!"
Mr Richard Burslem (24-Oct-2019)
"To say this wine is bone dry is an understatement! It's about as far away from your typical NZ Sauvignon as you can get. It doesn't have much charm and I can't remember the last time I had a wine this austere; it was a little like sucking a pebble. This is not an aperitif wine, but one for matching with food and the fattier the better; belly of pork springs to mind. This will do a better job stripping the grease off your palate than a swig of Mr Muscle. For God's sake don't spill any on your finest Chippendale - table that is, not some old male stripper. (WS star rating guideline: A good wine that left me feeling quite pleased with the value, and which I'd be happy to vouch for)."
Mr Nigel Skelsey (23-Sep-2019)
"Decent palate cleanser, bright and gluggable. Well priced."
Mr Andrew Sturmey (25-Aug-2019)
"Not bad but nothing special. Lacks flavour and character. No depth to it. Plonkish. Disappointing. Won't buy this again. The supermarkets' Savignons are hard to beat."
Mr Richard Gandy (30-Jul-2019)
"One of our favourite easy drinking wines. Never disappointed with it. When in doubt ....... this one please."
Mr John Robins (26-Jul-2019)
"This is an easy drinking wine consistently"
Mr Kevan A Jones (07-Apr-2019)
"Taste is such a personal thing, My wife and I love this wine. Always have a few available. Goes with most foods or none."
Mr John Robins (29-Dec-2018)
"This was an immense disapointment, I've found the New World Sauvignon Blancs much superior."
Mr Thomas Fitzgerald (19-Dec-2018)
"A cracker. For the price, I haven't tasted better. Please, get some more in!"
Mr John Carr (01-Apr-2018)
"Have found in the past some astringent Entre-Deux-Mers style wines, but this is lovely - clean and refreshing but fruity and very enjoyable."
Mr Philip Kirkley (07-Aug-2016)
The Daily Mail (30th Jul 2016)
razor-sharp, elderflower and gooseberry-scented Sauvignon is decisive enough
to cut through a host of challenging dishes while retaining unflappable calm
including [Elizabeth David's] flavoursome Venetian risotto with green peas.
joannasimon.com (27th Jul 2016)
grassy, zesty, unoaked Entre-Deux-Mers sauvignon.
- Joanna Simon
"A nice fresh wine, enjoyable to drink and unoaked, good with or without food."
Mr David Mitchell (14-Mar-2016)
"Clean, dry and not too grassy. Very good value."
Andrew P G Wakely (22-Feb-2016)
"Bone dry and unoaked as advertised! Gooseberry and elderflower even on the nose, full flavour long lasting. Goes well with the cricket! Outstanding value."
Dr Brian Metters (17-Jun-2015)
"A really excellent first dip into The Society range. Appropriate complexity for the price. Promising, and more soon to be ordered. Good job."
Mr Paul Gillott (02-Feb-2015)
"A very pleasant surprise after too many disappointing sauvignon blanc wines. Not bone dry ,accurately labelled 2. Beautifully clear and smooth but not bland or dull. Good value and a credit to Bordeaux."
Dr John Baston (08-Jun-2013)
"Lovely clean and fresh Sauvignon and not too acidic either. Good value for money!"
Mr David Carroll (28-Jul-2011)
"Fresh, clean, very drinkable."
Mr Simon Bourke (30-Dec-2010)
"This was not a bad wine, and indeed the nose was quite nice. However, it seemed a bit weak in body and a touch bland on the palate. Not something I'd rush to order again."
Mr Richard Hinton (12-Oct-2010)
"I sampled two bottles of this having enjoyed the 2007. Unfortunately it only confirmed my aversion to sauvignon blanc - far too perfumed."
Mr Thomas Keane (02-Dec-2009)
"It's our house white. We've been buying it by the case for years. Always reliable, classic and delicious. Great with food, great for sharing. Value for money."
Mr Alasdair Lenman (14-Nov-2009)
"I find the Society's Bordeaux Sauvignon consistently a pleasure to drink, the quality is such that it is a completely reliable wine. You could argue that it is more of a summer wine, but I must confess that we drink it all year round! It is very fresh and has the virtue of tasting lighter than the New World equivalents. Please keep it on the range."
Mr Wilfred G Pragnell (11-Nov-2009)
"A somewhat disappointing wine. I normally drink Sauvignon Blanc (particularly Chilean) so maybe my expectations were erroneous in assuming the French wine would have similar flavours and taste. Whilst the Bordeaux is drinkable, I found it to be completing lacking in flavour."
Michael Price (11-Nov-2009)
"The crystal-clear gooseberry nose and lovely fresh acidity on the palate are mouth-watering in the best possible sense: like a good Fino Sherry, you will want to eat something after a few sips. Very dry and clean on the finish, but elegantly light and well-balanced. Bring on the seafood platter…!"
Mr Justin Crawford (12-Aug-2009)
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