2015 Chateau Monbousquet blanc
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
Best known as the driving force behind Château Pavie, Gérard Perse's home estate is Château Monbousquet, where he happens to make a “sensational dry white” per Robert Parker, which is “always one of the better dry whites of Bordeaux”. Production is super limited, so we're thrilled to have a small parcel of the 2015 vintage at the lowest price arounde. Fans of under-the-radar Bordeaux Blanc will not want to miss this one.
The Monbousquet name doesn’t quite carry the caché of Pavie or Pavie-Decesse, but there’s no mistaking the Perse influence here. Located a little further from Saint Emilion village, the estate’s Saint Emilion Grand Cru can give its big brothers a run for their money. As with the red wines of Pavie, Pavie-Decesse, Bellevue Mondotte and Clos Lunelles, Perse keeps yields low and quality is high. Regular buyers of these wines know the style inside and out, and it should surprise nobody that Perse has developed a real hardcore following for his vins rouges.
Less well known is Monbousquet Blanc, his tiny-production dry white from the Saint Emilion property of the same name. Legend says that Monsbouquet Blanc came about as the result of a friendly debate between Perse and his consultant, Michel Rolland, over which grape varieties to plant on a fallow patch at the estate. Instead of the traditional Merlot, they went with Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Sémillon and Muscadelle.
Dry whites are not unheard of from classified growth producers, though the focus tends to be across the river. White Pessac-Léognan from the likes of Domaine de Chevalier, La Mission Haut-Brion and Haut-Brion are among the world’s most sought-after. In the Médoc, Mouton Rothschild, Margaux and Cos d’Estournel all market Bordeaux Blanc worth trying – though they’ll cost you.
If you don’t think the right bank can make serious white Bordeaux, think again. Monbousquet, in particular, is well worth seeking out, and this 2015 vintage is a great place to start. Cheers!