£19.95, Cambridge Wine Merchants
White Bordeaux has never really established an identity that’s captured hearts and minds like white Burgundy or red Bordeaux, but when it's good it’s a delight: a dry white with its own style and individuality. Lions de Suduiraut is just such a wine – and one that niftily sidesteps the identity issue with the simple description ‘Blanc Sec’.
It’s one of a trio of new dry wines from Sauternes’ illustrious Château Suduiraut, although Lions Sec is not entirely new in that it replaces the previous dry white, S de Suduiraut, and unites the new Sec with Lions de Suduiraut Sauternes.
What the three new wines emphatically don’t do is replace the estate’s Sauternes. Rather, the idea is that the dry wines complement and support them – no one needs reminding that Sauternes requires all the help it can get in the marketplace.
As for the wine, it’s a classic blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, weighted slightly towards the Semillon in the 2021 vintage. Half was aged in vats and half in oak barrels (half of them new) for six months.
The oak brings subtle toast and vanilla spice and links the floral, apple, peach and citrus succulence with the greener dill and nettle notes – all in all, a lovely combination of softness with backbone and energy, and more complexity than you might suppose from its sheer drinkability.
It makes a cracking aperitif, but also goes with seafood such as scallops, white crabmeat and calamari and it would work with a simple pasta or chicken dish with lemon and dill/tarragon. 13.5%.
Lions de Suduiraut Blanc Sec 2021, Bordeaux, France