They make some lovely, crisp whites in the far southwestern corner of France. This is 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Semillon, the same grapes and proportions as a typical white Bordeaux, but I’m expecting this have an extra edge from the limestone soil and mountain air.
Chateau Belingard (2012) Bergerac, France – $10
Color: very pale yellow, about the lightest-colored wine you’ll ever see.
Aroma: gooseberry and citrus peel – lime, lemon, and grapefruit.
Taste: crisp and citrusy on the palate; with some mineral notes on the finish. This isn’t quite big enough to stand up to rich seafood or chicken in a cream sauce, but it’s a nice aperitif and is a great companion to a chunk of warm brie. Keep this in mind for the summer!
White Bordeaux, Tasting note, France
A Rhone-style blend, with 95% Shiraz, 3% Cinsault, 1% Mourvedre, and 1% of the white Viognier grape. It’s not uncommon to see a couple of drops of Viognier in a red Rhone – it helps to open up the blend, and Viognier contributes more fruit aroma than you’d think, even in such a small proportion.
The Curator Red (2011) Coastal Region, South Africa – $11
Color: reddish-purple, verging on black; this is quite dark.
Aroma: blackberry fruit and dried earth notes, with a little spice, licorice, and dried flowers underneath.
Taste: more fruit on the palate, with a mix of blackberry, plum, and dark cherry. This is followed by medium tannins and spice on the mid-palate and the finish. Good balance and a nice length – the fruit doesn’t dry up or get overwhelmed by the tannins. Not in the jammy category, but definitely a New World-influenced fruit-forward style.
A great $11 bottle for pizza, burgers, or nothing at all – recommended.