Last week was a busy week, what with the biennial Vinexpo trade fair taking place in Bordeaux. After tastings and meetings, and five dinners on the trot (two small ones here, three flashier affairs at neighbouring châteaux), I was flagging a bit when a short email came through to firstname.lastname@example.org from Jancis Robinson MW OBE on Thursday morning: “Hope Vinexpo is treating you well. Much enjoyed your 2009 white, even if it is not based on the usual vines. What is the RS pse?”
Angela was about to reply ‘£8.95’ before checking with me at the show. ‘The Residual Sugar is 2.94 gms/litre’ was the answer Jancis was looking for. ‘Why?’ we asked. HRH replied “I’m planning to make it wine of the week on my website tmrw.”
Now that is good news at the end of a long week, and somehow all the effort we put in after the hail in May 2009 seems worth it. Here below is Jancis’s article on the wine, taken from the freebie part of her site. (Subscription costs £69 a year for ‘Purple Pages’ – essential reading for any wine nut.) Jancis then kindly tweeted the link to her 90,000 followers on Twitter. I did the same for my, er, 1,193.
“Purple pager Gavin Quinney must be a pretty good salesman. He has managed to have his wine served as the house white chez both Gordon Ramsay and Rick Stein, completely unrelated world-famous television chefs. In fact Ch Beauduc Bordeaux Blanc has been Ramsay’s house white (as witness this particular label) for 10 years now.
“I’m delighted to say, however, that he is not such a persistent salesman that he has actively tried to sell his wines direct to me. (Thank you, Gavin.) I had to wait until From Vineyards Direct sent me three of their recent finds to try before being exposed to Ch Bauduc 2009 Bordeaux Blanc, which I strongly commend to you at the FVD price of £8.95 a bottle – the same price as the Quinneys sell from their warehouse in Surrey.
“Ch Bauduc is one of those hundreds of properties in the pretty Entre-Deux-Mers region struggling to make a living and an impact on the international market. Gavin and Angela Quinney have been running this property near Créon in the far north of the region since Gavin went mad and bought it after a rush of blood to the head at Vinexpo exactly 12 years ago. You can read Jane Anson’s short profile of them and the property here. They sell much of their wine direct (this is the link for this particular wine) – a wise alternative to being entangled in the middle-man-heavy conventional Bordeaux trade.
“But this particular wine is also listed by the Swedish monopoly Systembolaget, by Well Spring Wines in Hong Kong, a handful of UK retailers and by From Vineyards Direct’s Irish operation. It’s a blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc with 40% of its richer near-relative Sémillon (see my comment below the Master of Wine 2011 tasting papers). It almost tastes Sémillon-dominant to me – there is certainly no excess of facile Sauvignon stink. In 2009 much of the fruit came from leased vineyards because the Quinneys lost 80% of their own grapes in two hailstorms in May 2009. (Note that the Quinneys also make a slightly cheaper 50:50 Entre Deux Mers dry white.)
“What I liked about this wine was its crystal clear, particularly precise, piercing nose followed by attractive smokiness and good palate weight.
“In fact this has so much extract (no excessive yields here) that there is just a tiniest hint of the oiliness of some white Graves, but it rises above this to be a thoroughly fine dry white bordeaux (and it’s much cheaper than most white Graves). Residual sugar is 2.94g/l and acidity is 3.9. I would chill this quite heavily for aperitif drinking but, served at room temperature, it would make a lovely wine at the table. Excellent value.
“One of From Vineyards Direct’s plus points is their selection. They seem to try not to overwhelm their customers with too much choice but concentrate on a relatively small number of hand-picked relative bargains, in upmarket rather than supermarket bracket.”
I should also point out that the 2009 is the ‘prestige’ house white at Hotel du Vin and the exciting new Bistro du Vin restaurants in London. More on that anon.
Any comments gratefully received. One friend and customer has suggested (via Facebook) that we should sign up FVD’s PR outfit. We checked with Jancis and will follow it up.
The wine is available in the UK
And in Ireland here
Curious Wines (2010 vintage)