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Hudson Valley Wine Goddess: Introduction to Golden Bordeaux Wines

Time:2018-12-04 04:51wine - Red wine life health Click:

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Hudson Valley Wine Goddess: Introduction to Golden Bordeaux Wines



My first taste of Golden Bordeaux was with Sauternes two years ago when I walked into a Bordeaux tasting in New York City. Everyone was gathered at the many Bordeaux tables and in the back of the room was an area with 5 different Sauternes for tasting and nobody in sight. All I knew was that Sauternes was sweet, there was no crowd at the table and I needed to go check it out before the crowds gathered there. I was very surprised to find a nice, yes sweet, balanced, but not syrupy wine. In fact the few I tasted were so balanced with the sweetness and acidity I later purchased 3 bottles.


Last month I was thrilled that I got asked to participate in a Snooth tasting all about Golden Bordeaux which gave me a better understanding of the region and the sweet white wines that are produced there. Normally you would think to pair these wines with creme brulee or apple pie, but they wanted us to pair them with savory foods and sent us some ingredients to work with. Below you will find what I made along with the wines we tasted.


A few things to note, if you thought Sauternes is out of your price range, it’s not. The proper glass to serve the wine in is a regular white wine glass.


Hudson Valley Wine Goddess: Introduction to Golden Bordeaux Wines



What is Golden Bordeaux

Golden Bordeaux wines are a sweet wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. There are three main grapes used in the production of this wine: Sémillon which has a thin skin so it’s accessible to noble rot and is also an grape that ages well; Sauvignon Blanc give the wine the crisp acidity; and Muscadelle that adds body to the wine. The grapes are harvested late when when botrytis sets in also known as noble rot. This increases the concentration of sugars in the grape thus creating a sweet wine. Golden Bordeaux is produced in eight appellations located close to the Garonne and Ciron rivers which creates a nice mist in the mornings followed by sunny afternoons allowing the botrytis to form. Along with concentrating the sweetness of the grapes, noble rot increases the complexity, flavor and aroma in the wine.


Appellations


Barsac - Located twenty-five miles south of Bordeaux this appellation can use their unique name Barsac or Sauternes for their sweet wine. Grapes can only be picked when their must weight reaches 2221 grams per liter. The three grape varieties Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grow in limestone soil and produce a wine with 3 - 15 years aging potential. Wines produced can exhibit notes of honeysuckle, orange blossom, white peach, almond, mango and pineapple


Cadilac- Just north of Loupiac across the Garonne river from Cérons you will find the grapes growin in gravelly and chalky soil. The wines produced here are medium-sweet to sweet and the grapes can only be picked when their mus reaches 255 g/L which gives you high levels of residual sugars and at least an alcohol content of 12%. You will find notes of candied and roasted stone fruit and wine will taste elegant and smooth.


Cérons - The name comes from the river Ciron whcih is a tributary of the Garonne. The grapes grown in this appellation is Sémillon in grainy sand on compact limestone. The sweet wines produced here ferment a year to a year and a half in barrels or vats. The wines are full bodied, with notes of citrus and tropical fruit.


Côtes de Bordeaux - Located on the Right Bank it is a union of four regions: Côtes de Blaye, Côtes de Castillon, Côotes de Francs and Côtes de Cadillac. You’ll find an elegant wine with citrus notes.


Graves Supérieures - Produced from a combination of the standard three Bordeaux white grapes grown in soil composition of gravel and sand with clay and limestone. The must weight requirement is 221 grams per liter. The wine is soft and elegant with notes of citrus and stone fruit. It has the aging potential of 2 to 5 years.


Loupiac - Located across the Garonne river from Sauternes and Barsac, the laws in this appellation are strict and planting density must be at least 2024 plants per acre. The grapes can be picked when their mus weight is 245 grams per liter for Semillon and 229 grams per liter for Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle.


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