September is Bordeaux wine month and we are focusing our attention on the Rosé and white wines of the region. While Bordeaux may be world famous for its red wine there are plenty of incredible whites and even Rosés, many at very affordable prices. This blog gives you 5 reasons to drink Rosé and white Bordeaux.
5 Reasons to be drinking bordeaux rosé and white wine
1). Quality - Bordeaux is undeniably the pinnacle of red fine wine. Traded and drunk the world over red wines of the region are made to the highest quality by some of the most prestigious and talented winemakers around. But this quality is extended to the white and Rosé wines of Bordeaux. With high quality red grapes fetching such a high price vineyards only grow white varieties of high quality and in low volumes. Red dominance was not always the case in Bordeaux, until 1970 white varieties actually exceeded red production. However, not wanting to damage their reputation the Chateau's still give plenty of attention in to their white wines, never producing low quality wine even if they release far fewer bottles.
2). Price - While volume may be low (only 9% of grapes now grown in Bordeaux are white) the wines are also in lower demand and normally not made to age. This means that for wines of such high quality they are often very affordable. It is possible to find excellent quality white wines under £25 usually from well know red wine Chateaus. When it comes to Rosé, Bordeaux is capable of rivalling the very best of Provence. Chateau Chambrun's Rosé is a prime example of Provence elegance coupled with traditional Bordeaux Cabernet Franc to produce a delicate and fruit driven Rosé of exceptional quality and at only £20 a bottle.
3). Depth of range - Age-worthy reds may be Bordeaux main global appeal but the region is actually on of the most diverse with a huge depth of range. With over 5,500 growers and 110,000 hectares of vine there is space to grow a large variety of grapes and produce a huge range of wine styles. 85% may be red wine, but Rosé (4%), dry white (9%), sweet wine and Crémant are all produced in the region. The range of dry white is often underestimated with 12 AOCs producing wine in this style - only 9% of volume but still 59 million bottles means there is a white wine for every taste in Bordeaux.
4). The Next Generation - Bordeaux has always had a history of family run estates and 56% remain individually operated today. This means that these estates often go through systematic re-invention, evolving as the younger generation inherent the businesses. Some like to continue the traditions, but many look to put their own stamp on the wines, often opting to make subtle changes or pursue new ideas. For example producing Rosé from Cabernet Franc, moving away from heavy intervention, towards sustainable farming or simply modernising their practices.
5). A Leading Region in Sustainability - As is true of lots other well established regions, Bordeaux is now taking the issue of sustainability very seriously and is in fact one of the pioneers in this regard. A dedicated budget for pesticide reduction and research in to environmental practices as contributed to a 9% reduction in greenhouse emissions over a 5 year period. Plenty of certified organic estates and a concerted effort to reduce the impact of farming paints a picture of a region leading the way in sustainability.
These five reasons and many more mean there is no better time to try a Bordeaux white or Rosé!