When it comes to fresh and versatile white wines, Bordeaux is often overlooked. But while Bordeaux’s reds tend to get most of the attention and acclaim, there certainly are world-class whites produced by the top-tier estates.
And the region is also awash with relatively inexpensive white wines that provide great value — wines from such appellations as Graves and Entre-Deux-Mers, or those labeled simply “Bordeaux.” It is from the large Bordeaux category that we find one of the best of these top-value wines that don’t get much “buzz” but are go-to bottles for those in the know.
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Château Lamothe de Haux’s 2019 Bordeaux white stands out among recent vintages from this charming estate tucked in a quiet corner of Bordeaux’s Right Bank. There, in the commune of Haux, three generations of the Néel-Chombart family have managed and farmed some 200 acres of vineyards since 1956, bottling white and red wines under the Bordeaux and Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux appellations.
Lamothe’s 2019 white Bordeaux is an aromatic blend of 40 percent Sauvignon Blanc, 40 percent Sémillon, and 20 percent Muscadelle. The latter, though a traditional variety in Bordeaux blends, is somewhat rare these days and brings a nice floral note to this crisp, fruit-forward wine — accenting tastes of pink grapefruit, apricot, and lime. A touch of cream comes from three months of lees aging in concrete and stainless-steel tanks. Alcohol is a modest 12.5 percent.
This is a quintessential wine for broiled or sautéed fish such as sole or flounder, shellfish including clam sauce over pasta, and sushi. It’s also perfect as an aperitif with a variety of appetizers. (Truth be told: I discovered it at a cookout with friends one summer and was surprised that it held its own with grilled burgers and hot dogs.)
All of which shows that this is a multi-purpose and delicious wine to have on hand by the case, with a price tag — about $14 — that’s unbeatable.