White Bordeaux Missing From Your Cellar?

They sure didn’t goof when they named this place. There are lots and lots of different wines here at The Wine House. So many in fact, that it is nearly impossible to stay on top of them all. Sometimes we can forget we have certain bottles available until, all of a sudden, someone or something makes us look under a rock (or stack) and discover some hidden gem that has been longing to come out into the light.

Around a month or so ago, I received an email from our friend Alex, who was a regular customer here before moving away recently. He’s in the process of stocking his cellar and checks in from time to time with us. He noticed that his cellar was bereft of White Bordeaux, and asked my assistance in finding him some. I told him I’d look into it and let him know. I did also say something along the lines of, “The prices are out of whack because there’s tons of demand and very little supply.” While looking through what we had available on pre-arrival, I was absolutely astonished when I saw that the price of the 2005 Haut Bergey Blanc was $33.98, when all the others are either rapidly approaching $100 or are well over it!

I’m not kidding when I say the prices are out of whack. If you don’t believe me, just check your favorite wine search engine for such names like Haut Brion Blanc, Laville Haut Brion, Pape Clement Blanc, and Pavillon Blanc de Chateau Margaux. Hundreds of dollars for a bottle of white wine doesn’t exactly get one’s heart racing enough to stock the cellar full of them.

Ah, but tasting a fine White Bordeaux can be a moving experience. Usually a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, the wines have wonderful complexities that range from citrus fruit and blossoms to the minerality from the gravelly soil. And in a vintage like 2005, they are showing off their fleshy fruit, yet they are propped up by zippy acidity that tells us they will be age-worthy. The Haut Bergey is drinking beautifully now, yet it can age for 7-12 years.

We still have a few cases of this wine lying around, and I fear, when these are gone, quality White Bordeaux from Pessac-Leognan for under $40 will go the way of Supreme Unleaded for $1.45 a gallon! – Peter Zavialoff

From The Wine Advocate Issue #176, April 2008: Produced from 85% Sauvignon and the balance Semillon, the 2005 Haut-Bergey offers subtle aromas of wood smoke and gun flint accompanied by notes of honeysuckle, waxy lemon oil, fig, and melon. This complex, fleshy, fruit-forward, medium-bodied Pessac-Leognan can be enjoyed now and over the next decade. – 91 points
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Filed under 2005, French Wine, General, Peter Zavialoff

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