Top whites fight off flab


In the superripe 2009 vintage, two of Bordeaux's most famous white wines seem to have decided to go to the gym. Yquem, the region's flagship sweet wine, is no less complex and potentially long-lived than usual, possibly more so, but, unlike many of its super-rich, super-sweet, occasionally downright fat peers, it has a sort of electric, toned, vibrancy. Bravo!

Pavillon Blanc, the all-Sauvignon dry white wine of Ch Margaux, has undergone a similarly dramatic transformation. From the 2009 vintage it is much leaner, racier, more mineral – and probably longer-lived than previous, fatter vintages. The team became concerned about some recent vintages notching up more than 15% alcohol. The 2009, even though picked at the usual time, is under 14%. In this four-minute video, Paul Pontallier and owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos describe how they achieved this. And discuss how much of it they drink.

Keep coming back for more reports of the 2009 bordeaux and watch out for my full set of hundreds of tasting notes next week.