Sunday, August 14, 2011

2007 Pessac-Léognan Blanc

2007 Chateau Ferran Blanc

2007 Château Ferran Blanc, AC Pessac-Léognan

I don't quite remember when or why I first decided I was going to buy dry white Bordeaux and that I was going to like it. Actually no, I remember precisely when I fell for these wines. I was young, it was spring, and it was a bottle of 2005 La Fleur Jonquet. The wine's creaminess, its pure sauvignon vibrancy, the jolt of acidity in the mouth - it was all so new, so unique, so singular. You have these notions that overt oak is never a good thing in wine, but dry white Bordeaux has taught me that some wines absolutely need oak.

We drank this on one of the hottest weekends I can remember Toronto ever having. We were going to grill in the backyard, and with the heat and humidity, I was so excited to be drinking a pair of these wines, heavily chilled. From the UGC Bordeaux tasting of 2007 wines, I came away awed and inspired by the dry white wines. Far better than the red wines from this vintage, and mirroring the quality of the sweet white wines, dry white Bordeaux from 2007 is just magical. That combination of ripeness and character, that sheer electric jolt of acidity and minerality left me speechless as I was tasting.

This was the first of the two 2007's I had ready for dinner. Double decanted and chilled in an ice bath, this showed a deep gold colour, immediately very rich on the nose. A bit more semillon, perhaps contributing to a more waxy quality on the bouquet. Oak and citrus, lemons especially. Very concentrated, and tinged with herbal aromas as well. On the palate, creamy with beautifully integrated oak. A wonderful contrast of richness and acid, absolutely delicious.

Every time I drink one of these, I'm reminded I don't drink enough. Just as Bordeaux is exalted for its red wines, these dry white wines deserve recognition too. They absolutely are equal in quality and character - I love Sauternes, but I have no preference between sweet and dry white Bordeaux. Drink them young, but put a few away to age as well. With severe oxidation issues in white Burgundy, is this where we should be turning for ageable white wines?

DF

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