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Elegant, sophisticated, complex, and age-worthy. Does that sound like a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc? Based on entry level examples from the Pays D’Oc or Marlborough, you’d think not. But the gorgeous 2015 Chateau Ferran from Pessac-Léognan in Bordeaux shows Sauvignon Blanc at its best. It is no surprise: 2015 was a very good vintage for whites in Bordeaux, delivering both acidity and density of fruit.

Chateau Ferran Blanc

The Chateau was founded in the 18th century by the philosopher Montesquieu and sometime later given its name by Robert de Ferran, a solicitor of the Bordeaux Parliament. The estate has been owned by an old Bordelais family since the 1880s, but the Lacoste family took over management of the estate in 1999 with a vision towards revitalization.  Heavy investment in both the vineyards and the winery as well as help from consulting oenologist Denis Dubourdieu, “the King of Bordeaux Blanc”, has ensured both the red and white wines regularly receive 90+ points from major trade publications.

Granted, the 2015 vintage has a good amount of Semillon (30%). But it is the harmony of the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon that makes this such a compelling wine. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon pith and savoury herbaceous undertones from the Sauvignon Blanc are beautifully entwined with the toasty, nutty characteristics of the Semillon, while subtle oak and lees work brings it all together. The wine was fermented in stainless steel and then aged in French oak with moderate battonnage. Simply put, this is a delicious wine that deserves proper consideration at the dinner table.

There will be many successful pairings for the 2015 Chateau Ferran Blanc, but I challenge you to find one better than almond-crusted halibut drizzled in an herb infused lemon butter with blanched spring beans and wild rice. The mid-weight density of the halibut is a perfect match for this medium-bodied wine and the extra richness from the nuts and butter are beautifully cleansed by the refreshing acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc. The nuttiness of the wild rice and, of course, the almonds play on the nutty and subtle toasty elements in the wine while the spring beans perfectly mirror the grape variety’s underlying savoury herbaceous notes.

In my opinion, Chateau Ferran’s wines offer some of the best value Bordeaux and will definitely impress at the dinner table.

2015 Chateau Ferran Blanc – $20