Bordeaux blanc is La Source of a splendid evening

la sourceIt was our first bottle of white Bordeaux and we really didn’t know what to expect.
The 2010 Chateau de Sours La Source Blanc, $33, came highly recommended. It’s not a Grand Cru — the price tells you that —yet it comes from an estate nestled between the great French vineyards of Libourne, Pomerol and St. Emilion. The limestone soils that lend such character and structure to fine Bordeaux wines is prevalent in the elevated terroir. The La Source Blanc is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc (80 percent) and Semillon (20 percent) grapes grown at the estate. This is a beautiful wine. It’s got a distinctive pale gold/green tint in the glass, and delivers pleasant grapefruit aromas. On the palate, you absorb delicate tropical flavors of lemon, grapefruit and pineapple. Believe it or not, this is mouthwatering and dry.
According to the label, this wine can age another 4 to 5 years without losing its freshness and vibrancy. I think it’s just right now.
The Wine Goddess was excited and it showed in the kitchen. She served a tossed green salad with sliced apples, gorgonzola cheese crumbs and red onion; tri-colored tortellini; and the piece de resistance — boneless breast of chicken wrapped in prosciutto and sprinkled with melted parmesan cheese. Mamma mia, can she cook!
I was overjoyed when the Wine Goddess gave me the highest of compliments for doing very little except for pulling the cork out of the bottle. “The wine was a perfect choice with the meal.”
“Grazie,” I said, anticipating the tiramesu gellato that would soon appear out of thin air for a sublime conclusion to another satisfying evening.
This La Source Blanc Bordeaux is available at Andover Classic Wines located in the Shawsheen Plaza of Route 28.
Other recent tastings are as follows:
franciscanFranciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, $28 — If they could make gemstones the color of this wine — beguiling garnet — I’d buy a ring for every one of the Wine Goddess’s precious fingers. I’m not big into the complexities of wine often expressed in fanciful terms by tasting experts who are much more knowledgeable than I am. But I know what I like. The Franciscan charmed me with its black cherry core of aromas and tastes, a good firm structure for accompanying thick, grilled meats or a fat, juicy hamburger.
The Franciscan has an interesting background. Its fruit comes from individual Oakville Estate vineyard blocks that are fermented separately to capture the localized flavors of every bit of unique terroir. The best lots are then blended. The 2012 is a Bordeaux-style mixture of 85 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and smaller amounts of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc.
benchThe wine is smooth and fruity with an aged-in-oak influence, and yet it had a somewhat drier than normal finish. I liked the transition, although a minority of reviewers felt otherwise.
2014 Bench Chardonnay, $18.99 — I was a bit conflicted by this Russian River Valley white from Sonoma County. It opened with pure apples on the nose — a nice welcoming — yet the first sip was a sharp stab of pineapple, almost like a Sauvignon Blanc. A moment in the glass, and the wine settled down with rich apple, lemon and other tropical flavors. The texture was mid-weight and smooth. It’s unoaked, meaning creamy, buttery Chardonnay lovers should think twice before opening. However, Bench captures the wonderful crisp, clean minerality of the varietal’s bright fruit. Chill to 52 degrees and pour liberally on a sweet, sizzling summer day.vermentino
2013 Bruni Maremma Toscana Plinio Vermentino, Italy, $15 — This Italian varietal is one of my favorites, and for years it took a silent backseat as an everyday drinking wine for workers in the field. Modern winemaking methods have given it a new, lustrous voice. It’s fresh and floral with great balance all the way through. The tongue is massaged with soft apple orchard flavors. The finish is  cool and rewarding. An appetizing wine for vegetable pizza, light cheeses, and antipasto.
— Jim Campanini