Château Haut-Bergey Blanc, Pessac-Léognan, 2006

From the cellar: White Bordeaux.  Sounds like an oxymoron.  Even the more eloquent Bordeaux blanc sounds like a misnomer.  And it comes at a steep price to boot.  The day I bought it, the white next to it was Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte, a mere $299 (seriously) with aging potential according to the “specialist” on duty to 2024.  Maybe in 2024, after all the European banks collapse, it will look like a bargain?


Without much context to compare it to, except a brilliant bottle of Pavillon Blanc I had the rare opportunity to drink a few decades ago, the finer white Bordeaux’s are out of my price range and out of my reach.  But this was pleasure all round, if you like a fulsome white.


The HBB is sturdy, crisp, tart with a minerally undertone and an almost perfect balance of “just enough” oak.  A masculine white; think Lee Marvin in Point Blank masculine.  What I imagine the very good Aussie Sem-Sauv blends aspire to be, but sometimes end up more Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter.


With food it went well pre-dinner; we had Marcona almonds, some olives and charcuterie.  It held up well with a gorgeous finish.  It was strong enough I think to complement any number of meats.  However, for a main we had a delicious cheese souffle and (my mistake) this needed something gentler and more floral.  I should have pulled out the Huet Vouvray Petillant, but what was done was done.


Price: $49 in 2009 at BC Liquor; how or why I had the cash or inclination is anyone’s guess…


Market Liquidity: Wonderful.  Just not, price wise, twice as good as new world Semillon / Sauvignon Blanc blends.

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