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Bordeaux dry white wines to try this summer

Dry white wines are one of Bordeaux's best kept secrets, with quality consistently high and the 2014 vintage showing particularly well. Tina Gellie picks 12 to try before summer is out.

There were murmurs around the 2014 Bordeaux vintage that it was one of the best ever in recent times for dry whites.

This is partly down to a healthy vintage, but arguably more so thanks to the work of Professor Denis Dubourdieu and his team of oenologists at the University of Bordeaux, which leads the world in Sauvignon Blanc research.

This grape is at the heart of most dry whites from the appellations of Pessac-Léognan, Graves, Entre-Deux-Mers, Côtes de Bordeaux and Bordeaux, but Semillon is increasingly used as the dominant variety especially in wines that see some oak. Dollops of Muscadelle and Sauvignon Gris add complexity and interest.

Here are 12 great value Bordeaux dry white wines for everyday drinking now and over the next two years.

Château Lestrille Capmartin, Bordeaux 2012

UK stockist: £14 The Good Wine Shop

Score: 17.75 /20 (92/100)

Blend of Sauvignon Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Lean and focused, well-integrated spicy oak with a smoky, toasty edge to the ripe citrus fruits. Has good weight and texture; classy. Try also the unoaked Sauvignon Blanc-Muscadelle (£10.99 Thames Food & Wine). Alc 13%

Château Doisy-Daëne
, Bordeaux 2014

Score: 17.5 (91)

UK stockist: £9.17 in bond, Grand Vin Wine Merchants
US stockist: $17 European Wine Resource (Ca)

100% Sauvignon Blanc. A delicious dry white from Denis Dubourdieu’s Barsac estate. Fresh, zesty, bright and herbal with a lovely tight palate of lime and minerals. Firm, grippy finish. Try also the stablemate Clos Floridène (£19, The Wine Society). Alc 12.5%

Château Mont Pėrat
, Bordeaux 2012

UK stockist from £9, Fine & Rare
US stockist $15.99, Grand Vin Wine Merchants

Score: 17.5 (91)

Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscadelle. Bit of botrytis adds complexity to the textured, weighty palate. The Muscadelle comes through with a floral, grapey lift but not in a cloying way. Juicy and moreish. Alc 13%

Château Baret
, Pessac-Lėognan 2011

Suggest Stockist: €19.2 (£13.6) XO-Vin (France)

Score: 17.25 (90+)

Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon. The oak is prominent but rich, but ripe fruit backs it up. Fresh and floral juicy palate with a focused mouthfeel and a fine, long finish. Admirable complexity thanks to a few years of bottle age. Alc 12.5%

Château des Perligues
, Graves 2014

Stockist: €7.95  Vinatis (France)
US stockist (2011 vintage): $10.95 Empire Wine (NY)

Score: 17.25 (90+)

Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc. Big, ripe and limey with racy acidity. Nice texture and weight with good freshness and minerality. Creamy finish with a floral lift. A nice food wine. Alc 12%

Château St-Jean-des-Graves
, Graves 2014

UK stockist: £8.49 Waitrose

Score: 17.25 (90+)

Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon. From the Sauternes property Château Liot, here botrytis adds complexity to the juicy, ripe, weighty palate. Interesting style that even though dry would be nice with foie gras or blue cheese. Semillon comes through strongly. Alc 12%

Château Argadens
, Bordeaux 2014

UK stockist: £8.95 The Wine Society (currently out of stock)
US stockist: $12.99 Marketview Liquor (NY)

Score: 17 (90)

Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon. From Maison Sichel, in the same stable as Châteaux Palmer and Angludet. Fresh lime leaf aromas reveal a good percentage of Semillon. Great acidity – tart and tight. The grassy style is very good. Alc 12.5%

Château Haut Rian
, Entre-Deux-Mers 2013

UK stockist: £10.99 The Wine Company (2013 vintage)
US stockist: $9.96 Astor Wines (NY) / $10.99 Wine.com (Ca)

Score: 17 (90)

Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon. Very tropical passion fruit and melon characters on the nose and palate, thanks to the warmer site here by the Garonne. A friendly style – ripe and long – with balanced grassy and herbal notes. Alc 12.5%

, La Grand Cuvėe, Bordeaux 2014

UK stockist: £8.99 Waitrose
US stockist: $10.95 Sherry-Lehman (NY)

Score: 17 (90)

100% Sauvignon Blanc. A stalwart from Dourthe. Aged on fine lees for six months with some battonage, this is an exotic, tropical style of Sauvignon Blanc with lifts of bright, zesty, grapefruit acidity on the crisp palate. Great character. Alc 12%

Le Fleur Baron
, Bordeaux 2014

UK stockist: £8.50 Asda (listing via mysupermarket.co.uk)

Score: 17 (90)

Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc. Calvet is a big, reliable producer and at times you can find this wine for as little as £5, which makes it superb value. Muted nose at first but then opens to grassy, grapefruit notes. Balanced and bright palate with perky acidity. Great easy drinking. Alc 12%

Château des Tourtes, Sauvignon Blanc
, Blaye-Côtes de Bordeaux 2014

UK stockist: £9.50 The French Wine Project

Score: 16.75 (89)

Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon. This comes from a 7ha plot of 15-year-old vines. It still tastes very young, showing spiky nettles and green fruit with fresh, zesty acidity. Ripe palate with a grapefruit finish. Alc 13.5%

Chai de Bordes
, Bordeaux 2014

UK stockist: £10 Dulwich Vintners (2013 vintage)

Score: 16.5 (88)

Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc. Clean, fresh and crisp with both varietals showing their faces. Young, tight palate with green fruit freshness and soft florals. An easy-drinking Bordeaux Blanc. Alc 12%

Stockist searches aided by Wine-Searcher.

(Editing by Chris Mercer)

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