| The dry white wines from Bordeaux can count themselves among the finest wines in the world. It’s difficult to spread the word, as the wines are in short supply and they have a dedicated following of savvy white wine lovers snapping up what little is produced. Sometimes it’s good, make that great, to be in the right place at the right time! This past April, I was there. This past April, I was introduced to the 2010 Opalie de Château Coutet!
The Opalie de Château Coutet is a brand new dry White Bordeaux made from equal parts Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon sourced from the quintessential parts of Château Coutet’s Grand Cru vineyards. The fruit comes from a few rows of 40 year old vines that are planted in the thickest layers of clay and limestone. Grape selection is strict and it is all hand harvested into small baskets which protect the ripe berries as they make their way to the cellar. Fermented and aged in French oak barrel, Château Coutet has produced a dry white wine of class and distinction with their inaugural vintage of Opalie, the 2010!
| It is always with great pleasure when I get a chance to visit Philippe and Aline Baly at Château Coutet during primeurs week. I’ve certainly chimed in occasionally as to how much I enjoy their Gold Wines from Barsac. This past April, after tasting 2010, 1976, and 1989 Coutet respectively, the conversation drifted around to “a secret project”. Intrigued as I was, I didn’t see this one coming. Another clean glass placed on the table and Philippe poured from an unlabeled bottle. Light straw-like in color, you can swear there are facets of slight green that pop out when you’re not looking directly at the wine, it’s that fresh. Its aromas were of high quality White Bordeaux: citrus blossoms, crunchy minerals, vanilla spice, and a hint of beeswax. On the palate, it was deep and complex with hints of tropical fruit mingling with the citrus garden. Its mineral definition is present throughout and the whole package is buoyed by fresh, crisp acidity. When you think about the mineral, the texture, the aromas, and the acidity, you come to the conclusion that the 2010 Opalie de Château Coutet is a very unique, one-of-a-kind wine.
So I had to take this secret home with me. All I knew was the wine would be available sometime later in the year. I’m good with secrets. That doesn’t necessarily mean I like to be trusted with them, but I can keep one. Well, guess what? It’s not a secret anymore! The 2010 Opalie de Château Coutet is now available on a pre-arrival basis. (It is expected to arrive in late 2012). Production was very limited, but we were fortunate to get an allocation which, on this day, July 10, 2012, has The Wine House San Francisco listed as the only merchant in the WORLD selling the 2010 Opalie de Château Coutet! Be the first on your block to own this stunning new wine! – Peter Zavialoff