A couple of Wednesdays ago myself and five colleagues attended a very special customer tasting at Glengarry Wines' Victoria Park branch in Auckland. We were tasting 8 white Bordeaux wines, six of which were in what I would call the affordable-on-special-ocasions category - with five of these being from the Pessac-Léognan appellation. The two others were Y d'Yquem, a more established luxury classic, and a new Vin de France from Château Palmer - both at prices which will forever be beyond me.


Ch. Olivier Blanc 2014 Pessac-Léognan (NZ$49.99) Very pale colour right now. Initially subtle lemon-lime notes on nose. More tangerine and peach with time. Lots of zippy citrus and green apple, crisp and mineral-laden with great length. Should flesh out further in a couple of years but very impressive now [93+]

Ch. Couhins Blanc 2014 Pessac-Léognan (NZ$59.99) The only relative dud on the evening - lots of sulphurous matchstick aromas on nose which did not dissipate. Broader texture than Olivier on palate; juicy lemon-lime flavours. Good length but finish quite sour. Comments were similar from people who tried a different bottle; would love to try this wine another time [84]

Ch. Brown Blanc 2014 Pessac-Léognan (NZ$70.00) Floral and high-toned aromas; hints of honey and wax. Rounded, well-textured palate, flavours initially muted but lemon and grapefruit appear with a few swirls and time in the glass [90+] 

Ch. Larrivet Haut-Brion Blanc 2014 Pessac-Léognan (NZ$89.00) Quite a deep intense gold colour already with just a narrow watery rim. Butterscotch [100% new oak on this one], tomato leaf, melon and tropical notes on the nose. Big, generous ripe and weighty with more melon and lemon on the palate, long citrussy finish. Felt more ready to go than some others here [93+] 

Ch. Carbonnieux Blanc 2014 Pessac-Léognan (NZ$92.00) Another pale and watery wine, and again some hints of burnt match but more integrated with floral and melon skin aromas. Very bright lively fruit on palate; ripe apple, melon. Complex and ripe on mid palate, but with an edge of flintiness, then butterscotch coming through on finish [95+]

S de Sudiraut Blanc Sec 2014 Bordeaux (NZ$89.00) Rich deep, expressive nose with anise, gooseberry, melon and menthol (Olbas pastille) notes. Aromatic spice on the palate too, with ripe lemon barley and melon flavors. Spicy finish, with a touch of heat [92+]

Y d'Yquem 2014 Bordeaux (NZ$365.00) Nose is slightly closed but shows nutty, cheesy hints and herbal notes. Profound on the palate; minerality, toastiness, lovely texture. Elegance goes up a notch here; composed and complex. 7g per litre residual sugar but tastes a little drier. Definitely a work in progress [97+]

Vin Blanc de Palmer 2014 Vin de France (NZ $399.00) Very different beast [mostly Muscadelle with some Sauvignon Gris and the very rare Loset variety]. Nose seemed dominated by volatile acidity to me. Initially very nutty on the palate, reminiscent of Rioja and Sherry, then more lemon and apple flavours arrive. Popular with other tasters but I found it hard to evaluate, especially at this price level [90+]   

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