Author Photo - Written by The Vinorium

Jancis' Guide to Dry Whites

Jancis' Guide to Dry Whites

Jancis sampled in excess of 600 wines and her detailed vintage assessment (per appellation) can be found on her excellent website, which we highly recommend (and not only for Bordeaux).

More scores by Jancis

Ch d’Arsac 2016

Well-balanced vivacious blend with a beginning, middle and end, though fairly cool and early maturing. Some green notes.

Drink 2018-2020

16


Ch d’Arsac, Winemaker’s Collection Saison 11 2016

Lots of green-fruit character. Plus some light sweetness. Correct if a bit pinched.

Drink 2017-2019

16


Ch Bouscaut 2016

A big step up from the Graves blancs I have been tasting. Perfumed layer on top of a graceful cocktail of Sémillon and Sauvignon. Really quite superior. And very much a Pessac-Léognan. Well assembled!

Drink 2019-2025

17


Ch Carbonnieux 2016

Bit stinky and reduced on the nose. (Bordeaux University is experimenting with sulphur use here.) Fruit lacks vitality. Solid and stolid but not much fun. Quite long though, so perhaps it will improve?

Drink 2020-2024

16+


Ch de Cérons 2016

50% Sémillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Sauvignon Gris. Acid soils.

Rich interesting nose – well balanced and no excess of acid. Some exotic-flowers sensation. Very forward and unusual.

Drink 2017-2020

16.5


Ch de Chantegrive, Caroline 2016

Greenish gold. Fresh nose but so dead on the palate!! Where’s the acidity?

Drink 2017-2018

15


Ch Les Charmes Godard 2016

Owned by Nicolas Thienpont. 50% Sémillon, 30% Sauvignon Gris, 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Lively and mouth-filling. Easy and round. Then very tight and tart. Youthful. Certainly doesn’t taste low in acid!

Drink 2018-2020

16


Dom de Chevalier 2016

Light and so discreet one can understand why it never shows well in blind tastings. Edge of green. Succulent but so dry and low key… Wait a decade at least and it should please enormously…

Drink 2030-2050

17++

Clos des Lunes, Lune d’Argent 2016

Great texture but not that much flavour - it’s so well behaved!!

Drink 2017-2019

16


Clos Floridène 2016

Racy and lively with some richness underneath. Very broad and flattering, though not a really long-distance runner perhaps.

Drink 2017-2021

16.5


Ch Cos d’Estournel 2016

75% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Sémillon picked 12 September - 10 October. Yield of 29 hl/ha in the widely spaced vineyard at Goulée. ‘We built the white this year’ says Aymeric. All barrel fermented with just 7% new oak and some early bâtonnage. Bottled in late May/early June. Pressing is the key; the free-run juice is separated. They choose from 100 barrels. Rejects go into Goulée Blanc. Pale greenish straw. Quite a sherbet character on the nose. Unusual tension. 12.75%

Drink 2017-2020

16.5


Ch Couhins 2016 Pessac-Léognan

Sweet nose and a strong green streak. Lots of life and vivacity. Solid and well balanced. A good effort. Dry and with lots of green acidity but no extraneous elements. Impressive length.

Drink 2019-2024

17


Ch Couhins-Lurton 2016 Pessac-Léognan

Real lift and freshness on top of enormous lushness - so difficult to believe this is 100% Sauvignon Blanc. As usual.

Drink 2017-2027

17

Ch de Cruzeau 2016

Quite stinky and then sweet. Very embryonic. Slightly candified. Falls away a bit on the end.

Drink 2018-2021

16


Ch Ferrande 2016

Rather rich and luscious on the nose with some ripe Sémillon notes. Flattering, but again, like Chantegrive’s Caroline, there’s a lack of acidity and verve.

Drink 2018-2019

15.5


Ch de Fieuzal 2016

Lively and lemony. Directed and fresh, but a tad skinny. Fast fade.

Drink 2017-2021

16.5


Ch de France 2016

Real depth and drive. Minerals and excitement. Clean dry finish. Energetic and bone dry.

Drink 2018-2024

17-

Ch La Garde 2016

Light and fresh. Very dry. Bit pinched and lacking depth.

Drink 2017-2018

15


Girolate 2016

Rich Sauvignon. Maybe not the most refreshing but very sumptuous and ambitious.

Drink 2018-2021

16.5


Ch Grand Village 2016

65% Sauvignon Blanc picked 9-13 September (half and half Bordeaux and Sancerre plants). 35% Sémillon picked 10-12 September. New parcels being integrated. Aiming for a longer-lasting style.

Quite a deep straw. Just blended and still a bit stinky. Pretty demanding in terms of acidity - bone dry! Salty finish. But much more ambitious than it used to be.

Drink 2019-2024

16.5


Ch Guiraud, Le G 2016

Strong, rather fetching aroma of bruised apples. Then very marked acidity. Most unusual! Could be very refreshing on a summer’s day.

Drink 2017-2019

16


Ch Haut Rian 2016

60% Sémillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh and directly fruity but much more interesting than yet another Sauvignon. Gutsy lanolin notes with just a hint of greeny Sauvignon. Very clean and fresh with some good breadth. This would make a very satisfying aperitif. I hope it is already shipped. Nope, not according to wine-searcher.com. 12.5%

Drink 2017-2017

16


Ch Haut-Bacalan 2016

Waxy and off dry. Really quite sweet actually. Falls away a little on the end. Honeyed.

Drink 2017-2021

16


Ch Haut-Bergey 2016

Sweet and a bit OTT but with good energy and a big please-me factor. Quite good length.

Drink 2018-2023

16.5+


Ch Haut-Brion, La Clarté de Haut-Brion 2016

Mainly Sémillon. Rich and sweet and seductive. Spicy and racy.

Drink 2018-2024

17


Ch Haut-Condissas 2016

Appellation not yet confirmed - should be Bordeaux blanc sec or Vin de France. Strong bright, ripe Sauvignon fruit on the nose. Opulent and a real charmer. Good palate weight and a broad oily and smoky quality. Lots to enjoy already. Crunchy fruit. I’d drink this soonish. Impressively long.

Drink 2017-2020

16.5


Ch Haut-Lagrange 2016

50% Sauvignon Blanc, 50% Sémillon. Still cloudy from the tank. Interesting, peachy stuff with excellent acidity. Should age well.

Drink 2018-2022

16.5


Ch Lafaurie Peyraguey, Grand Vin Sec 2016

Firm Sauvignon nose with a waxy Sémillon undertow and some floral notes. A little sudden on the end. It may all come together but is distinctly embryonic now.

Drink 2018-2019

15.5+


Ch Lafleur, Les Champs Libres 2016

Made by the Guinaudeaus in new barriques. 100% Sancerre Sauvignon picked 9, 11 and 13 September. Very sappy and salty. Really appetising. This was the wine that inspired Cheval’s white wine! Really exciting. Dense and tense. Pretty snazzy! Very precise.

Drink 2017-2022

17


Ch Larrivet Haut-Brion 2016

Sweet and heady with a strong lemon streak. Trying hard! Good drive though not that much juice.

Drink 2018-2023

16.5


Ch Latour-Martillac 2016

Racy and lean. Really sinewy. Bone dry. Even a bit austere...

Drink 2017-2023

16.5


Ch Lesparre 2016

Pretty light and lean with the aromas of the fermentation vat. A bit simple.

Drink 2018-2020

15


Ch La Louvière 2016

Racy and with lots of acidity. Spice and menthol. Cool. Dry end. Some real energy. Long.

Drink 2018-2022

16.5


Ch Lynch-Bages, Blanc de Lynch-Bages 2016

52% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sémillon, 18% Muscadelle. Picked mainly after the rains of 13 September. 45% new oak. Pungent with a slightly rich palate entry and then masses of crispness. Really quite tight on the end. Racy and lots of tension, with none of the flab of some dry whites in 2016.

Drink 2018-2021

16.5


Ch Magrez Fombrauge 2016

Tiny 2-ha property in St-Émilion with Sauvignon Gris and some Sémillon. Smells very strongly of coconut. Slightly oily. Not the most refreshing! Definitely for rich food.

Drink 2018-2022

16


Ch Malartic Lagravière 2016

Edgy and savoury and with some oak in evidence but this is a serious wine and very much a Pessac-Léognan. Correct and upright and bone dry. Quite glamorous and sinewy. Long. Lots of energy here.

Drink 2019-2024

17


Ch Margaux, Pavillon Blanc 2016

Picked 8-13 September. Almost oily and creamy. Lovely precision. Racy and lively. Very pure and luxurious. The closest to Petit Cheval Blanc. Very limey and energetic. Lanolin and really refreshing.

Drink 2019-2030

17


Ch La Mission Haut-Brion 2016

The first vintage with a majority of Sauvignon Blanc. Thick and sweet and racy. Some wild notes. Very different from the old Laville Haut-Brion! Great tension. A halfway house with some ginger flavour.

Drink 2020-2025

17


Ch Monbousquet 2016

Owned by Gérard Perse. 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sauvignon Gris, 5% Muscadelle, 5% Sémillon. Not barrel fermented but aged in a mix of 50% new and 50% used barrels. Bâtonnage. Exotic and salty and sweet. Quite rich. Not refreshing. But smoky and big and beefy.

Drink 2018-2021

16.5


Ch Mouton Rothschild, Aile d’Argent 2016

53% Sauvignon Blanc, 46% Sémillon, 1% Muscadelle. Quite exotic and spicy. Lean and green underneath and a flavour that reminds me of the figgy character of Napa Valley Sauvignon (but not the weight or sweetness). Racy and sinewy and much more streamlined than it once was. Good power.

Drink 2020-2027

17


Ch Olivier 2016

Light and fresh and easy. But without real savour. Just a nice Sauvignon/Sémillon blend with a touch of sweetness.

Drink 2018-2022

16


Ch Pape Clément 2016

Big, broad, but without quite enough zest and energy. A bit dead - picked too late? Sweet and floral. Not a success this year (even though it often is). Dull.

Drink 2018-2021

15.5


Ch Picque Caillou 2016

Light and green and adequate but without real conviction or central drive. Off-dry lemon juice. Some length.

Drink 2018-2021

16


Ch Puygueraud 2016

20% Sauvignon Gris, 80% Sauvignon Blanc. Bottled this week, but this sample was pre-bottling. Perfumed and then quite tight and fresh. Lots of green fruit. Tangy.

Drink 2017-2019

16


Ch Rahoul 2016

Richly perfumed - almost as though there were some Sauvignon Gris in this. Good tension and vivaciousness. Nerve. Lemon cough sweet flavours but at least it’s refreshing!

Drink 2019-2022

16+


Ch de Reignac 2016

Very richly perfumed, as though Sauvignon Gris. Quite a statement. And by no means unpleasant.

Drink 2017-2020

16.5


Ch du Retout, Le Retout Blanc 2016

A hugely distinctive wine with its very unBordelais assemblage (Sauvignon Gris, Gros Manseng, Savagnin, Mondeuse Blanche). Excellent acidity and some spicy aromas plus richness and density. Mid weight and excellent balance and satin texture. Very fresh finish. But so far unsettled and unresolved.

Drink 2019-2022

16


Ch de Rochemorin 2016

Solid and structured but without the lushness of fruit of the Couhins-Lurton Blanc.

Drink 2018-2021

16


Ch Roquetaillade La Grange 2016

60% Sémillon with Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. Rich and catty with some almost syrupiness on the palate.

Drink 2019-2023

16


Ch Le Sartre 2016

Zesty and green and lively. Nice now. Very refreshing.

Drink 2017-2020

16.5


Ch Smith Haut Lafitte, ​Le Petit Haut Lafitte 2016

Fresh green fruit on the nose and a streak of lanolin on the spicy, satin-textured palate. Some slight sweetness on the end. Pretty damned good for a second wine. Just a little abrupt on the finish.

Drink 2017-2020

16.5

Ch Smith Haut Lafitte 2016

Heady, spicy, deep flavoured and a great exhibition of what makes excellent dry white bordeaux distinctive and delicious. Lanolin and rich lemon syrup notes but very fresh and long on the finish. Perhaps not the most intense vintage of this wine but I would happily drink this now.

Drink 2017-2024

17


Ch Ste-Marie 2016

Old vines, some Muscadelle. Not very expressive. A bit tight.

Drink 2018-2021

15+


Ch Suduiraut, S de Suduiraut 2016 Bordeaux

Old vines. Only 500 cases. 56% Sémillon, 44% Sauvignon Blanc. 20% new oak. First vintage 2004. From 2013 in the groove. Waxy, round, halfway to Sauternes. Very rich and a food wine. Long, limey. 13.89%

Drink 2020-2028

17


Ch Suduiraut, Le Blanc Sec de Suduiraut 2016

Their aim is to reduce the amount of their second wine Sauternes. Aiming for a retail price of €10-12 and it sells much better than second sweet wines. They want to make 100,000 bottles eventually. 2,000 cases made in 2016. 51% Sémillon, 49% Sauvignon Blanc. 10% new oak. Very exciting and layered and fun and rich. Rich grapefruit juice, interesting. Not long but well done. 13.8%

Drink 2017-2021

16.5


Ch Valandraud, Valandraud Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Sauvignon Gris grown next to the château. 80% new oak. Greenish pale straw. Edgy and lively with real perfume. Greek oenologist makes it and it does taste quite Greek! Hint of resin.

Drink 2017-2021

17


Ch Vieux Robin, Blanc de Lunier 2016

There’s a strange and strong hint of polish on the nose of this. Mouth-filling wine that tastes of herbs and cough medicine. Interesting but not exactly fun to drink. Not quite enough fruit but no shortage of flavour!

Drink 2018-2021

16