Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mastering the Medoc and Graves: Tasting the White Wines

A total of 10 wines were tasted at the Steven Spurrier Mastering the Medoc and Graves course which was held at Decanter HQ on October 8th, 2010.  I covered the tasting of the reds in a prior post and will cover the whites in this one.  The whites tasted at the course were Vieux Chateau Gaubert, Graves 2008 and Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blnc, Graves 2007

Vieux Chateau Gaubert is a 6-hectrare estate with a dry, pebbly topsoil layered on a clay-gravel subsoil.  The wine is an equal blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon which was fermented in 225 liter oak casks and then aged on its lees with batonnage for 9 months.  According to Steven Spurrier, the tartness of the Sauvignon Blanc coupled wih the roundness of the Semilon generally results in a well-balanced wine.  The wine was lemony-yellow in color and showd medium legs.  The nose was very attractive with lemon-lime citrus and white fruit aromas.  The wine was very crisp on the palate with a metallic minerality and flavors of lemon, lime, and gooseberry.  According to Stephen, this wine could be drunk now or cellared for 3 to 4 years and would pair well with oysters, fish, chicken, or cheese.

The 2007 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon sourced from  38-year-old vines and fermented in barriques.  2007 was a good vintage for Bordeaux whites, not so much for reds.  This wine had a rich, lemon-yellow color and richer legs than did the Gaubrt.  On the nose aromas of yellow fruits along with a richness and spiciness.  On the palate a masive richness, hint of sweetness, acidity, a stony mineraity and a pleasant weightiness.

All in all the course and tasting was a great experience: it allowed to me the opportunity to meet and break bread with Steven Spurrier and to take advantage of his expertise in a learning environment; it provided a basis for a deeper exploration into the Medoc and Graves; and it led to what one should expect to cover in a course with the word "Mastering" in the title.

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