Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wine Review: White Bordeaux

Hey all. So this is my first wine review—of many, I hope. Like all consumers, I have a budget, thus, I will not review any bottle that costs more than ten euros. However, as I am in France, the wines I am drinking may end up being significantly more in the States (or indeed, not available), since there’s a long plane ride and an import tax between the wineries here and the consumers in America. Secondly, the wines I choose are ultimately subject to my palate. I don’t like tannic wines, as much as I make an effort, and I’m partially to elegant, creamy whites. Thirdly, the French don’t really drink wine without food, so I’ll also be talking about the dinner I made to go with the bottle and how well that worked.

So, with those precautions, let’s meet:

The Wine:

Benjamin de Vieux Chateau Gaubert Blanc 2009

Origin: Bordeaux, Left Bank

AOC: Graves

ABV: 12.5%

Awards: Bronze Medal, Concours de Bordeaux 2010

Varietals: 60% Semillon (“which brings roundness and body to the mouth”), 40% Sauvignon Blanc (“for the richness in bouquet”)

Aging: 80% in stainless steel, low temperature, 20% in new barriques

Serve: at 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with fish in sauce, shellfish, white meats, or cheese

The Food:

Broiled Lemon Thyme Pollock

I followed the recipe almost to the letter, but I left out the anchovy paste. I don’t like anchovies, in general. Additionally, I didn’t have any anchovy paste and didn’t feel like buying any specifically for this recipe. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the mayonnaise I used was flavored with Dijon mustard, which added another flavor to the fish.

Diced potatoes, sautéed in butter and garnished with chives.

Green salad with a mustard vinaigrette.

The Verdict:

The Benjamin Gaubert starts with lemon and grapefruit on the nose, then opens up to some floral scents and a little bit of green apple. The bouquet is fairly indicative of the flavors, but the Gaubert also boasts a nice, creamy mouthfeel and a little bit of butter on the mid-palate, maybe because of the barrique aging. I didn’t notice quite as much green apple as I expected from a Sauvignon Blanc, but then again, this is majority Semillon, a varietal with which I don’t have a whole lot of experience. Fairly creamy throughout, but with a fairly long and fairly tart finish, which gives it a nice balance.

It paired very nice with the fish, since it was tart enough to punch through the mayonnaise crust but without overwhelming the taste of the fish. However, it did not work as well with the salad. The mustard vinaigrette was a bit too, well, mustardy to go well with this wine, but I think a simple oil and vinegar dressing would have worked perfectly.Link


  1. Bordeaux class tomorrow, and I am taking this with me both to look for the wine and to share.