I was offered a really good deal on one today by the salesman of a medium sized distributor who basically said, “If I show a White Bordeaux to any store or restaurant they will throw me out on my ass but my boss had to buy some of this to get all the red we wanted…”
I LOVE aged Bordeaux Blanc and grew up (wine wise) drinking lots of it at all price ranges in NOLA where it was more popular than white Burgundy.
Is the market THAT poor for it now that it ends up being an “introductory closeout”?
As someone who still counts a very nice early 90s La Louvière as one of his most surprisingly good wine experiences, I can think of a couple of problems. First, the bottom end of this sector is full of a lot of soulless plonk. They don’t exactly encourage much further experimentation. Next, the top end has been swept up in the Bordeaux price explosions, and it leaves fans of the wines reeling and grasping for alternatives. What are they? The middle-tier producers who, in most other market sectors, carry some of the quality of the top down to reasonable price points. Where are those in Bordeaux blanc? I don’t think most of us see enough variety in the marketplace to know any of these middle-tier producers, if they do exist. The aforementioned Louvière has a decent track record, and can still be had at around $50 or less if you shop around. Other examples, anyone?
I guarantee the CA market is 100% tougher market to sell bordeaux blanc than say the east coast or very wine savvy metro cities across the US. I would not want to try to sell it here in CA…very few takers I would think.
Beautiful wines but misunderstood, at least what I’ve witnessed here in the CA market.
Agree, if you can get the buyer to taste and believe, you’re halfway there. But there’s such a preconceived notion about aged Sauv. Blanc with a higher price point that most buyers here in CA will not even consider. Sad…but true.
Gotta hand sell these wines to Somm’s that know their dishes and work closely with the food, and helps to get the chef to taste as well.
I like Bdx blancs well enough. I certainly drink it when I am there, but nothing has really grabbed me enough (and I’ve had many) to buy for myself. Even the few vintages of Yquem’s “Y” I’ve had, though very good, don’t convince me, not at their prices anyway (at those prices, I buy white Burgs). As many have stated, when it comes to French sauv blanc based wines, I prefer the Loire.
The market is pretty poor. Lack of understanding and appreciation? Personally, I love the stuff. I think Haut Brion Blanc is one of the finest whites made anywhere in the world. One of two wines my wife “green lights” every time for purchase. There are even some pretty good values out there that are escaping my mind right now though I have some in the cellar now.
They (some) age and they’re pretty versitile with food. I have no idea why they aren’t more popular among the “masses”. That said, we can keep this little secret among us geeks.
I’m willing to go out on a short limb here:
I believe there are more White Bordeaux under $20 worth buying and drinking than Loire Sauvignon Blancs. The same holds true over $50.
Sancerre is King between $20 and $50, the “wheelhouse” of my shop’s wine drinkers.