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Les Hauts de Bel Air 2009, Bordeaux Blanc

Les Hauts de Bel Air 2009, Bordeaux Blanc

This is 100% Sauvignon Blanc - unusual for Bordeaux Blancs. Classic, light, crisp and easy-drinking white Bordeaux, try this on its own, with a starter or any light dishes and you can’t go wrong.
France
Bordeaux
Bordeaux AOC
Sichel
Sauvignon Blanc
12.5%
Cork
Drink now + 2 years

Brownie

Easy drinking fresh and fruity white good for many chicken or fish dishes.
3 out of 5

Bordeaux region of France

The most famous wine name in the world, Bordeaux, is found towards the south west corner of France, surrounding the historic city of the same name.

The climate in Bordeaux is very marginal, which means vintages can sometimes be challenging, although the region’s relentless optimism when it comes to talking about the quality of each vintage has become a source of some amusement in recent years, as each year is declared “the vintage of the century”.

Then again, wines from this region are often rated as of the most superior quality in the world, and have long been held high on a pedestal as a benchmark style for other regions all over the world to copy. The region is also living proof that blended wines should not be sniffed at because, as here in Bordeaux, they produce some of the best wines in the world.

On the left bank of the Garonne river, along the region known as the Médoc, Cabernet Sauvignon rules, although seldom are its wines made from 100% Cabernet and are often softened with the fleshy Merlot. There are five red grapes permitted in red Bordeaux; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.

The left bank is home to the five First Growth châteaux. These properties have been given elevated status under the famous 1855 classification system, which ranked the properties in Bordeaux according to quality. While this is still pertinent today, there are also a number of quality wines on the left bank of Bordeaux which did not make the grade more than a century and a half ago. Today these wines are often referred to as Cru Bourgeois and can be a source of value for money Bordeaux.

Coming back to the right bank north of Dordogne, the clay soils make Merlot a more favourable grape to grow than Cabernet Sauvignon and is the home to St Emilion and Pomerol.

We must not forget that Bordeaux is also the region of Sauternes, another world class, often regarded as benchmark style of wine. Made from one or all three white grapes Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle which have been affected by the noble rot condition called botrytis, they make heady, perfumed, unctuous sweet wines. The same white grapes, especially Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, are used to produce dry white Bordeaux, a style which has been much overlooked thanks to the region’s red wine fame but which can be a fruity, refreshing aperitif or seafood-matching wine.

Other Bordeaux regions of note include Entre Deux Mers, Côtes de Castillon, Blaye and Bourg.

Sauvignon Blanc

Traditionally it could be argued that the home of Sauvignon Blanc are the Loire Valley and the Bordeaux region. Due to their cool climate this late budding and early ripening varietal fits in perfectly, but due to the fact that it is a superb traveller it is now producing fantastic whites in New Zealand, Chile, California and South Africa. Many now deem Marlborough, New Zealand, as the new home of this varietal where the greatest Sauvignon Blanc can be found.

As Sauvignon Blanc is of the aromatic variety, it is generally at its best when young and unoaked. Due to this very few Sauvignon Blanc wines age well, with those that do tending to have a touch of Semillon as a blend and oaked slightly.
When planted in cool regions Sauvignon Blanc will develop classic green, herbaceous flavours. In warmer regions it can fail to develop much aromatic character and just have hints of peach. Generally the wines have high acidity and are normally rather dry.


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Salads & Vegetables
A great match for this wine would be a feta or green salad but it would go equally well with a light seafood or mozzarella salad and a Salade Nicoise.
Fish & Seafood
Pair this wine with clam chowder or mussels and oysters. It also works well with halibut, herring and trout and we recommend you try prawns for good measure.
Pasta & Other Sauces
A very light olive oil and fish based sauce would work well with this wine. Try it with spaghetti 'alla marinara' or 'alle vongole'.
Meats
Generally this wine is too light for most meats.
Herbs & Spices
The delicate seasonings of chives, coriander, dill, fennel, tarragon and parsley would complement this wine.
Spicy Foods
We wouldn't recommend pairing this wine with anything spicy as the flavours would overwhelm a wine like this.
Cheeses
Very mild flavoured cheeses such as cream cheese, feta, halloumi, mozzarella and ricotta would work best with this wine. 
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