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Monday, 9 January 2012

Dourthe La Grande Cuvee, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010, Bordeaux

The Sauvignon Blanc grape originated in Bordeaux where it is often blended with Sémillon to produce something fuller, heavier and waxier. This Dourthe Grande Cuvee is, however, 100% Savignon Blanc and in style is perhaps halfway between the steely smokiness of a Loire Savignon and a ripe, tropical Marlborough example.

On opening, the nose is typically aromatic, with lots of zingy gooseberries, cut grass, nettles and blackcurrant leaves.

The herbaceous aromas continue on the palate which also shows crisp, mouthfilling acidity whilst, underpinning it all, is a persistent minerality that increasingly develops on the mid-palate and stays around on the finish. It feels quite weighty, but balanced with a food-friendly crispness.

So full marks then for varietal expression, clean, up-front herbaceousness and minerality - this is a wine that wants to be noticed, but still goes about it with an old-world degree of restraint and balance.

I find, however, that the gain in expression is a loss for finesse - there's plenty of up-front appeal to like here, but it just doesn't feel particularly elegant or well-made. It apparently has an IWSC Bronze and a Decanter Bronze - which feels about right: OK, but not special.

It was chosen by the Association of Wine Educators, and is being promoted by the Good Food Would Choose Bordeaux campaign as an example of an easily-available, mid-range, typical Bordeaux wine.

Match with creamy cheeses (such as goat's), white fish with herbs or even herby chicken.

£7.99 from Waitrose, Ocado and Majestic; provided for review.

Links

Good Food Would Choose Bordeaux - http://www.goodfoodwouldchoosebordeaux.com/
Dourthe - http://www.dourthe.com/
Waitrose - http://www.waitrosewine.com/
Ocado - https://www.ocado.com/
Association of Wine Educators - http://www.wineeducators.com/

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