Dourthe no

Keywords: wine, wines, bordeaux, dourthe
Description: Visiting Dourthe, Bordeaux negociant and property owner. Part 2, Sauvignon Blanc

The Bordeaux negociant and property owner aiming to change the fortunes of affordable wines from Bordeaux

No1 Sauvignon Blanc a rare thing: an affordable Bordeaux brand that has a strong potential. First of all, it is Sauvignon, which is really trendy at the moment. Second, Bordeaux has a lot of it, and seems to be a good place to grow this grape. ‘We have worked for 20 years on Sauvignon here,’ says Dourthe CEO Patrick Jestin, ‘and we are 100% sure of being able to select the best Sauvignon in the region possible.’

We looked at a range of samples of Sauvignon with Patrick Jestin and winemakers Thomas Drouineau and Christophe Ollivier. ‘We need the best Sauvignons,’ says Jestin. ‘The ones with volume and character. We need a significant volume (500 000 litres, which is 60 000 cases).’ The team had already tasted 200 samples over the previous 15 days, and this was a final selection. Around one-quarter of the wines would go to No1. ‘At this level, price is more or less the same,’ explained Ollivier. He explained that they were looking for a pure expression of Sauvignon with strong character. ‘We don’t want it to be too ripe, lacking freshness. Nor do we want it to be too green, lacking body, with simple aromas.’

Altogether Bordeaux has 200 000 hectolitres of Sauvignon, and the team at Dourthe have tasted two-thirds of this to make their selection. On the table in front of us we had wines representing a tenth of the whole region – 20 000 hectolitres. Most of these wines come from Entre Deux Mers and Blaye. Blaye is reckoned to be one of the best places in Bordeaux for Sauvignon.

Then it was time for some benchmarking, with a blind tasting of commercial Sauvignons. These are the results

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