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18 September 2005

Carbonnieux from the P-L

BordeauxmapOf the major playas in the French wine gig, Bordeaux & Burgundy, white Bordeaux seems to get the least amount of pub.  On the plus side, the result is that there is plenty of moderately priced & inexpensive white Bordeaux.  Much of it is simple, pleasant-enough wine.  Rarely do I think of slappin down several bills for Bordeaux's second fiddle.  However, it does pay to experiment.  Let's have a taste of Chateau Carbonnieux, a Grand Cru property in Pessac-Léognan

The info-rich site, provides some interesting historical background of the Graves appellation (of which, Pessac-Léognan is the northernmost part):

"Unlike the chateaux of the more northerly Médoc, which are built largely on lands drained by the Dutch engineers just a few centuries ago, those in Graves have a much lengthier history. Chateau Carbonnieux was constructed in the 14th Century, at the time of the Hundred Years' War. Incredibly, even at this early stage, there were wines at Carbonnieux, although in the centuries that followed the practice of viticulture fell by the wayside. It was not until 1741, when the property was taken over by Benedictine monks, that winemaking started anew at Carbonnieux."

The Skinny
Chateau Carbonnieux Grand Cru Pessac-Léognan AOC, 2002 ($25-$30) [find it here]

  • CarbonblancA blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc from Pessac-Leognan in Bordeaux
  • Bright yellow-green gold in color with a narrow watery rim
  • Quite aromatic - scents of honeydew melon, lime, celery, and lemongrass
  • In the mouth this fullish-bodied wine is initially crisp with tangy-fruit flavors.  It evolves to a long finish with rich fruit flavors

***.5 (3.5 stars out of 5)

The style of Ch. Carbonnieux is decidedly on the new(er) world side of the fence.  Rather than earthy, straw-like characteristics, the wine is cup 'o fruit.  It does seem structured enough to age for 3-5 more years (at least).  Perhaps, by then, it will have mellowed a bit.  Try it with roasted pork loin or a mix of roasted fall veggies.


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Great blog. I like that you are sharing your sources.

Smith Haut Lafitte 2000 was my best white Bordeaux ever. A lot of subtle woody flavors and the big plus, an heavy body but a fantastic balance.


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