Undervalued. If the Loire Valley is the world’s favorite choice for French Sauvignon blanc, Bordeaux is the underdog. Most Loire examples come from the neighboring towns of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the grape shows exuberant fruit and steely gunflint. But Sauvignon blanc (known as simply “Sauvignon” in France) also thrives in Bordeaux, a region whose famous reds often overshadow its undervalued whites.
In Bordeaux, Sauvignon tends more towards grapefruit zest than pulp, showing less fruit and more skin. It’s perhaps a more dignified, less extravagant take on Sauvignon than that of Sancerre — think Chablis rather than Chassagne. For a glass on its own, we might choose Sancerre; but when served with food, the better choice is often white Bordeaux.
Zest. Once owned by the enlightenment philosopher Montesquieu, the Chateau Lafont Menaut is named for a centuries old fountain (font) and the local river Menaut from which it draws water. Vines have grown here for over 300 years, and today are cultivated by winemaker Philibert Perrin of Chateau Carbonnieux.
Lafont Menaut blanc 2014 is pure Sauvignon raised in oak barrels (another difference from Sancerre). The oak adds a subtle hint of muted spice and helps round out the mouth, but it’s the lively fruit that drives this wine. Grapefruit is still the dominant note here, but it’s blended with notes of honey, straw, and pear.
This wine is a springtime evening in a glass — perfect for the fish in beurre blanc we enjoyed it with last night. In the past we’ve paired this with moules marinieres to great success — it’s even sturdy enough to stand up to Moules Chorizo, a delicious dish from a few kilometers to the south over the Pyrenees. With warmer weather and grilling season on the way, you’ll want this versatile, food-friendly underdog in your corner.
LAFONT-MENAUT Pessac-Leognan blanc 14
Ansonia Retail: $26
case, half-case: $22/bot
AVAILABLE IN 6- AND 12- BOTTLE LOTS
or call Tom: (617) 249-3657
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