Three Smart Bordeaux Whites for $25 or Less
Château Corconnac 2013 Bordeaux Blanc Sauvignon 13%, $25
Made entirely of Sauvignon Blanc grown in Bordeaux’s Haut-Médoc region, this wine emphasizes the zesty side of the grape. It’s impressively lean on the nose, showing touches of preserved lemon, straw, wet rocks and crushed aspirin. Though fermented in Burgundian barrels, it doesn’t show it at all. The wine definitively favors its citrusy side. This bottling has a solid finish, so it’s a wine that deserves a little time, a bit of air and even a good decanting. It’s far from a typical Sauvignon Blanc, and it’s definitely for those that love mineral wines, especially as it shows its über-lean 2013 ripeness.
Château La Grande Métairie 2014 Entre-Deux-Mers 12.5%, $17
Youthful, fresh and exuberant, this 56% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% Sauvignon Gris and 9% Muscadelle blend is the epitomy of bang-for-the-buck, true-blue Entre-Deux-Mers. Its producer is neither trying to make it a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc nor is it “oaking-it-up” to try to make a flashier, less characteristic wine for the appellation. The bottling displays a fascinating array of oregano, ginger, yellow grapefruit peel, green tomato and celery. The invigorating acidity is well-placed, and there’s only the slightest touch of pleasant bitterness on the medium finish. This is a serious out-performer.
Château de Portets 2013 Graves Blanc 12.5%, $20
Made from 60% Sémillon, 30% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Muscadelle from gravelly soils, this wine has an enticing and exotic bouquet. It smells of wet slabs of slate, rhubarb tart, green papaya, fresh vanilla bean and fern. The mouthfeel is impressively smooth with perky but appropriately meshed acidity. Nicely concentrated, the oak from the barrel fermentation and aging needs a bit more time to work thoroughly into the wine. It’s a bit disjointed now, and unlike other vintages I’ve tasted, I’m not quite sure if it is going to integrate. Still, it’s tasty and it’s easy to move into a second glass.