Pumice stone and beeswax – two Bordeaux whites


Did anyone else used to have a pumice stone that was disguised as a mouse in their bathroom? Can’t remember the last time I was up close and dirty with one, but the smell of them lingers in my brain and I’ve just found it again in the Dourthe No1 Bordeaux Sauvignon 2008 (£6.99-£8.99 Waitrose, Booths, Wine Rack). There’s also that classic catty edge, plus a wealth of elderflower and lemon flavour, and with that pumice character adding a touch of welcome severity to the finish. Tasty stuff from one of Bordeaux’s top négociants, how does it compare with a Bordeaux Blanc from a smaller estate? Yesterday, I was on the red from Château Grand Village; today it’s the 2007 white (£8.50 armit), which has some Sauvignon in the blend, but is mostly Sémillon. And while there’s some herby zing from Sauvignon in there somewhere, it’s the more rotund, honeyed, waxy Semillon that has the upper hand here, and which will mellow into custardy middle age over the next couple of years. Which is the better wine? They’re both very nice, and quite different. Drink the Dourthe by itself or with simple shellfish dishes, and save the Grand Village for heartier fishy fare.

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5 thoughts on “Pumice stone and beeswax – two Bordeaux whites

  • Robert McIntosh

    thanks for the suggestions. Bordeaux whites are an area I really have no idea about – which i realise is a crime.

    Both wines sound a little pricey. Are they worth the money do you think compared to alternatives (at the price)?

  • Simon Post author

    It’s weird that at this price, white Bordeaux sounds pricey, yet white Burgundy sounds cheap. The Dourthe at Thresher comes down to £6 on their 3-for-2 deal, but for something that combine Marlborough fruit intensity with Loire zip and restraint, it’s still a good buy at the £6.99 level. The Grand Village is a class act – hard to think of alternatives in France, maybe the closest in style is the SSB (Sem/Sauv Bl) of Margaret River, although this has none of the green pepper edge that some of those have. Oaked white Rioja mixed with Hunter Semillon perhaps?

  • Colin Smith

    Robert says “Bordeaux whites are an area I really have no idea about”. For me I just don’t get them. Give me a semillon from Hunter Valley and I’m happy, similarly a Loire sauvignon but the two combined leaves me cold.

    But I’ll persevere and keep trying.

  • Simon Post author

    Each to his own – recently had Chateau Brown Pessac-Leognan 2007 which was very tasty but still on the young side