Wine Review – 2005 Chateau Respide-Medville, Graves Blanc, Bordeaux, France

Winery: Chateau Respide-Medevillerespide-medeville

Bottling: 2005 Bordeaux Blanc

Importer: Martine’s Wines

Region: France

Sub-Region: Graves, Bordeaux

Estimated Retail Price: $24

Purchase Details: Purchased from Arlequin Wine Merchant in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco for $24 plus tax.

Tasting Notes: What a wine!  I can see what the intrigue of white Bordeaux is now.  This is a wine that combines racy acidity, tingling minerality and lush creaminess better than no other wine.  They are typically a proportionate blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc, with the occasional smattering of muscadelle.  The two anchor varietals could not be more diametrically opposed and is the reason why you get such a cool wine.

The Respide had wonderful lemony, gooseberry, grassy and minerally aromas.  Really don’t want to say it, but a hint of cat pee as well – usually a good sign of true to type wines from this region as well as many sauv blancs and pinot grigio from the northeast region of Italy.

In the mouth; wow!  Searing acidity in the initial sips and creaminess in the mid-palate and finish.  We couldn’t get over how well the yin and yang of both the lush, round semillon grape and the nervy sauvignon blanc melded to make a wine like this.  Lip-smacking deliciousness indeed.  Flavors of lemon, lime, citrus fruits and cream are the taste sensations we got from this wine.

The wine is great as an aperitif, but is also serious and complex enough to stand alongside a main dish.

Food Pairing and Context in Which to Enjoy: We were enjoying this with our usual Mediterranean fare of falafel, baba ganoush, etc.  and it paired very well.  Of course with summer on its way, this is a great summer sipper as well.  Another thing of note, is that these wines are also ageable well beyond what you would think from a zesty white wine.

Winery & Other Background Information: The white versions of Bordeaux often stand in the shadow of their red counterparts.  In fact, many people I speak with never knew white versions even existed.  Not much is made in the region, thus you don’t see very much on the shelves or on restaurant menus.  The top flight ones, which are collectible and are made to age for years, often fetch prices well into the hundreds of dollars.  Eric Asimov of the New York Times does a nice write up on the virtues of this under appreciated wine style.  Click here for his post.

The wine is imported by an excellent importer in Martine Saunier from Martine’s Wines.


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