White Wines

While Bordeaux is better-known for its reds, or as the British affectionately call them, clarets, its whites are world-class too.

White wine production in Bordeaux is rather sparse, as compared with reds, and comprises roughly 11% of overall volume. But don't worry, that's still over 7 million cases of white wine!

As with the reds, Bordeaux Blanc are mostly blends. The most common variety is Sémillon, followed by Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. Bordeaux is also home to some of the most famous dessert wines in the world, from the renowned Sauternes sub-appellation and Barsac.

The best dry white wines are from the Graves region and are usually lightly oak-aged. White Bordeaux often possess vibrant acidity and elegant citrus notes that lean toward white grapefruit. These brilliant, charming whites are exquisite when paired with scallops, roast chicken with tarragon, asparagus quiche, or salads with shaved fennel.

Sauternes owe their characteristic depth and concentration to Botrytis cinerea (or Noble Rot, an infection that causes the grapes to shrivel). The quintessential French pairing with Sauternes is foie gras or duck paté. Soft-ripened cheeses and desserts like crème brûlée are excellent matches. The sweet wines from Barsac are worth exploring and tend to be less expensive.

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