Elegant and Refined: Chateau Guibon Bordeaux Blanc


Entre-Deux-Mers, Bordeaux

Grapes can be tricky little devils. In one bottle they can have you believing one thing — “this grape tastes like lime and grapefruit” — and in another bottle it’s anything but.

You say, “What happened to the aggressive citrus and acid?”

Well, what happened is that this grape, Sauvignon Blanc, changes style as often as my daughter changes her clothes. Sauv Blanc can be bold and aggressive, like a young career woman on the rise, or refined and sophisticated, like one of those lucky women who look cool and elegant no matter the occasion.

You’ve probably guessed that my two players here are New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc — that’s the aggressive one — and the white wine of the France’s Bordeaux region. The wine that I loved recently, and launched me into this barely-plausible analogy, is Chateau Guibon Bordeaux Blanc 2010.

Chateau Guibon is part of the Andre Lurton wine family, and it’s a very extended family. The Lurton’s have been in Bordeaux since Lords and Ladies rode through it on horseback, and they now own and manage six or eight Chateau in Bordeaux. Not being content to stay close to home, various family members have launched wineries in 10 other countries, including France, Spain, Australia, Argentina and Chile.

So back to the French Lurton. Chateau Guibon comes from the Entre-Deux-Mers appellation, a sub-region of Bordeaux. In this area “between two seas” (the Garonne and Dordogne rivers), white wines can be made from some or all of these grapes: Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. Chateau Guibon uses all three. Semillon is the predominant variety, and the blend is beautifully balanced.

I liked this wine for its elegance and bright fruit palate. The entry is soft — not like the aggressive attack of New Zealand Sauv Blanc — and some delicate but lush pear and melon linger on the palate. The finish is still crisp (thanks to the Sauv Blanc) but softened by the Semillon in the blend.

This is a classically styled blend that would be very appealing to fans of both the New World and Old World style. In fact, I think it beats the heck out of almost every California Sauv Blanc I’ve tasted. And it’s pretty cheap ($13). Yay for that! Take it out for a spin next time you’re tired of your Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay, and Cheers!

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