Tour des Gendres, Moulin des Dames Cotes de Bergerac Blanc, 2013

White Wine from Southwest France, France
$27.99
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This is a superb value in what is very similar to a perfectly mature white Bordeaux. Bergerac is upstream from Bordeaux and they grow the same grapes there, in both red and white. The whites do particularly well.

This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, 100% organic, aged in barrel and then in bottle to its current pinnacle. It's a fine and elegant white that can stand up to rich and complex foods, if you like, or just a simply cooked piece of salmon.

Chateau Tour des Gendres is Bergerac’s flagship producer, the closest thing the appellation has to a star. Of course, even to many wine lovers that sounds like damning by faint praise: “Berger-what?” you may ask.

Indeed, Bergerac is known in America, if at all, as a source of inexpensive Bordeaux-alternatives, wines made from similar grapes, in a similar climate with somewhat similar soils to Bergerac’s vastly more famous neighbor.

But in France, Tour des Gendres is a big deal: they're on the finest wine lists and stocked in the best stores. And not as some cut-rate Bordeaux. They’ve transcended the appellation by working incredibly hard to understand and express their unique terroir. With wine academics, they’ve studied their complex soils of clay and limestone. They are passionate about the ancient (they say up to 1000-year-old) local varieties, Malbec (Cahors is nearby), Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle a Petit Grains. And as a result they make an ever truer expression of Bergerac’s unique personality.

Like most great growers, they limit yields in their (biodynamic) vineyard to ensure the fruit contains the terroir’s essence. But instead of thinking of yields in terms of the volume of wine from their acreage (hectoliters/hectare, in France) the way most growers do, they concentrate on the ideal number of bunches for each vine, considering the soils, how densely the vines are planted, the weather and the wine they want to make.

That degree of granular attention is essential, they say, to truly let the mixture of earth and vine speak. And their work in the winery is every bit as thoughtful and focused on the terroir. They have introduced large casks to age the wines with less of an oak influence, and never do anything to push the wines to be something they aren't.

Details

  • Country

    France

  • Region

    Southwest France

  • Grape Variety

    White Blend

  • Vintage

    2013

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Organic

  • Sweetness

    Dry

  • Body

    Light Bodied