Wine Time

Wine of the Week: A Bordeaux White

Winemaker Hervé Dubourdieu is widely recognized as one of the great producers of Sauternes, the "noble rot" dried-grape wine of Bordeaux, where grape growers let the fungus botrytis grow on their late-harvest fruit, thus desiccating the berries and concentrating their sugar and flavors.

But on a long, hot summer night of a Texas June, I don't reach for Hervé's sweet, viscous nectar, in part because its price makes it a "special occasion" wine in our home, and in part because it's a wine that I reserve for pairing with ripe aged cheeses during the fall and winter (I've already consumed a lifetime's allocation of foie gras, and so I'll leave that classic pairing to the fat cats who like that kinda stuff).

Instead, I search out his dry Graville-Lacoste, a wine made from the same grapes that go into his top wines. In this case, the blend is predominantly Sémillon, which gives it wonderful steely minerality and bright acidity. A smaller amount of Sauvignon Blanc gives the wine a gentle aromatic character that marries well with gentle spiciness, like the freshly cracked pepper that I sprinkled over a dish of short pasta, pancetta, and peas the other night.

You'll find this wine for less than $20 at Kroger, Central Market, Whole Foods, and Top Shelf Wine and Spirits. And don't be fooled by its reasonable price: The wine is as elegant as its classic Bordelaise label (which makes it one of my favorite wines to take as a gift to a dinner party).

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Jeremy Parzen writes about wine and modern civilization for the Houston Press. A wine trade marketing consultant by day, he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy. He spends his free time writing and recording music with his daughters and wife in Houston.
Contact: Jeremy Parzen