Friday, April 25, 2008

Chateau Bonnet Blanc Entre Deux Mers, 2006

With spring and summer on the way, I make sure I have plenty of Sauvignon Blanc on hand. Although I prefer Sancerre and other Sauvignon wines from the Loire, white Bordeaux wines offer a different slant on the grape that is right for some meals. (They are also usually less expensive.) Semillon, usually included in the Bordeaux blend, has a green quality but with broader tones. Compared to Sauvignon Blanc, it is more like fresh mown grass than green pepper or tart gooseberries. And Semillon is fuller bodied, more like Chardonnay in texture and mouth feel.

Some of the best Bordeaux Blancs come from the region known as Entre Deux Mers. Literally, it means "between two seas" but in reality the area is between two rivers--the Dordogne and the Garonne. (Since these rivers are influenced by the Atlantic tides, some think of them as inland seas.) It's a beautiful area for travel, but the vineyards there do not have the reputation to command high prices. Bonnet Blanc, one of the best of its class, can usually be found for about $10 a bottle. The 2006 is particularly good.

It's a youthful medium light straw color with glints of green. From the first sniff, I get intense scents and flavors of fresh flowers, white peaches, figs, melon and citrus fruits. It's fresh and crisp but also has a luxurious feel. Blends nicely with the fresh basil and tomato of a Margarita pizza.

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